Weather continues to be the dominate factor influencing markets. Currently frigid throughout most of the country depressing demand and Warm in the West, pushing supplies. On the Horizon appears to be a switch with mild weather forecast in the East and cooler, below seasonal temperatures in the West. Following surging supplies expect prices to firm heading into next week as demand continues to shift slightly towards iceberg. Quality has been improving as epidermal peel has begun to lessen although most continue to show varying degree of blister and epidermal peel.
Romaine market remains weak as demand softens with poor weather conditions around the country. Also slowing Romaine demand has been the poor quality due to discoloration of epidermal peel. Many shippers are trimming excessive discoloration in the field but most plants are blistered to the core. Adding to the discoloration was last weeks rain and mildew stain that followed. Although decreasing in severity, expect shippers to quote product with Epidermal peel and discoloration for a couple weeks barring any additional frost. Green leaf and Red leaf prices continue to be elevated above Romaine but have stalled as well. Cooler, below seasonal temperatures will slow growth and expect Green and Red leaf prices to firm ahead of Romaine.
Domestic production from Northern Coastal region has been winding down as quality becomes more of an issue with in Northern California. Production from Mexico has been slow to start but should increase with improved weather.
Onion: Markets are steady and will remain so in Washington and Oregon until mid to late March, then everything will become very tight. Mexico has had cold and rain weather through their growing season and a lot of the onions that usually come north will remain in Mexico. Texas acreage is down from the last few years and if demand stays the same the market will be noticeably higher. Vidalia acreage is off 25% Brawley and the Imperial Valley (spring deal) is off 30% from last year and New Mexico will be about steady but there is a salt water problem that is starting to show in some of the irrigation…more on that later.
Sweet Onions will gap in March as Mexico keeps product in Mexico.
Strong markets continue on all sizes this week. Demand remains strong and production is light out of the Oxnard and Desert growing areas. Production is expected to remain light into next week. We expect better production out of the desert towards the end of next week, which should ease markets.
Rain damage out of California continues to hamper quality and supplies. California is slowly recovering from the extensive rains two weeks ago and yields are improving although demand has increased greatly due to the Valentines day pull. Challenging times are just ahead of us if a 5-day weather event forecasted for both Santa Maria and the Oxnard area. These Storms should bring up to 3 to 4″ of rain totals by Monday. The market remains steady through the end of the week. Expect fill rate shortages at the end of the week and into the next. Florida is recovering from last weekends rain and all shippers are contending with cooler than normal weather which is severely reducing crop yields and plant maturation. A freeze warning is in effect in the northern part of the state. Expect cuts and requests to move orders to alternate loading areas. The market remains steady and strong.Mexico is producing decent numbers of fruit however these increased numbers are being easily consumed by the increase in demand and the low yields being produced in the other growing areas. The overall market is in demand exceeds supply status in all growing areas. We expect shortages in all areas.
Supplies will begin to trend downward due to the natural curve. Cooler weather is expected out of Central Mexico as a cold front approaches. Expect an uptick in Prices.
Volume continues to be light and will continue this over the next 2 weeks. The raspberry market remains steady with adequate availability in Texas, Oxnard, and Florida. All fruit is transfer fruit from Mexico and advanced bookings are required. Quality looks good for the market and availability is to remain steady through the weekend.
Jalisco will continue to increase and peak in mid February. In February you will see the Santa Maria and Watsonvile areas begin some light volume. Oxnard volume will begin to increase week over week as we head into spring. There are deals being offered on pints and 18 oz. Peruvians to make way for new containers and rotate volume. Markets will hold with the occasional lower volume price previously mentioned.
Prices have stabilized and there seems to be more interest from buyers this last part of the week. We expect to see a slight increase in pricing as we head into next week. Rains are forecasted for much of California and could find their way into Arizona by the weekend. This could possibly hamper harvest. Quality out of the desert has been nice. Good clean white domes with very little soft shoulder. Stay in touch with your Produce West sales representative for the latest updates.
The market has reached the floor as supplies have outmatched demand over the last 10 days. We will be in this situation for the remainder of the week and then we could start to see a slight upward trend. Better weather in the Mid West and East Coast along with lighter supplies out of California and Arizona should help kick start demand. Central Mexico growers are now diverting product to the freezer thus lightening up supplies at the border. Most growers in Central Mexico are also expecting lighter harvest in general over the next 2 weeks. Our Shui Ling crown volume will be limited next due to lighter yields.
Production continues steady with improving demand especially on the Heirloom variety. Most varieties currently are seeded or Thornless. at reduced prices. Production is expected to shift towards larger size profile as the weather improves. Frost and Freeze damage can be found on all Artichokes for the duration of the month although mostly cosmetic it can slow demand.
Stonefruit availability is slowly improving. Yellow peaches, yellow nectarines and red & black plums are available. Quality has been good on the fruit with most varieties high in color. Market prices have been mostly steady with a few lower and a few higher.
Demand exceeds supplies from both coasts. The consensus with the importers is that this will continue for the next couple of weeks until greater volume form Chile arrives. Pricing will remain firm and at these higher levels. From a variety standpoint, most red seedless arrivals are either a Crimson or Flame, with green seedless arrivals expected to predominantly be Sugraones and Thompsons.
Production from Mexico has improved although prices have been slow to drop as pent up demand continues to be strong. We expect to see supplies continue to improve and the market to eventually settle at lower levels. Quality continues to be fair with some issues on arrival including occasional decay and some discoloration along with insect damage as product has been “sitting” in the fields for an extended period.
Better supplies coming in from Mexico this week. Pricing is easing up on both Italian and Yellow squash as more volume and better quality product comes in. We expect markets to continue to ease for next week and quality is improving every day
Navel Oranges – The rains are back and will limit harvest over the next 4 days. For now, overall supplies are good and peaking on 88/113’s. As far as pricing goes, 56’s and larger are hold firm, 72’s and 88’s are mostly steady with deals on volume, and 113’s at the bottom of the market with shipper ready to deal. No change in quality as it remains very good in appearance and flavor.
Lemons- The market is mostly steady to lower on Fancy with some spot buy opportunities on large size Choice. Fruit peaking on 140/165’s with 80% of the fruit packing Fancy Grade. Please continue to promote for the next month.
Limes – Good supplies of 110s and 150s with the growers to deal on those sizes. Small sizes like 230’s and 250’s continue to be tight yet available. Quality is very good. Skins are smooth and deep green. We are calling for the market to be steady for the next 10 days.
Demand is slowly returning as supplies increased and the market has dropped to promotional levels. Strong demand anticipated for the beginning of February should help firm prices as well as cooler temperatures forecast out West. Most shippers are anticipating switch to 28 lb containers by Mid month.
Off shore production remained ample and demand was diminished by the blast of winter that afflicted much of the country this week. Prices therefore dropped a bit with an abundance of discounts being offered by sellers trying to keep their inventories manageable. Quality has been good with some problems reported in Costa Rican fruit, but nothing terribly serious or widespread. Sizes ran heavy to 9s then 12s then jbo 9s with a few 15s. Next week supplies look to be ample once again as both Guatemala and Costa Rica expected to be harvesting unabated. Demand could improve as the polar vortex retreats over much of the country and we enter the first of the month. Sizing is expected to be more centered on larger sizes with an increase in jbo 9s and larger and decrease in 12s and smaller. We look for a steady but firming market over the next two to three weeks. By the last week of February the supplies are expected to drop and growers will be getting into fields that have been affected by white fly, decreasing yields and sizing.
Honeydews remain tight with offshore supplies being affected by white fly and coming in with scarring, keeping the offshore market in a demand exceeds supply situation. Sizes were running smaller off shore with fewer jbo 5s and more 8 and even some 9 and 10s. Mexico got back to harvesting and peaked on 5s and 6s with some 8s. Sizes peaked on 5s and 6s. but there were few overall supplies as it normal for this time of year. Little looks to change in Mexico next week/. Demand could increase a bit as weather in the Midwest and East moderates. Market should continue to be high prices and tight next week.
OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower Improved supplies helped push prices lower. Production is expected to level out heading into February. Quality has been very good.
Broccoli Production on broccoli has also improved with prices reflecting better supplies. The market is expected to be steady heading into February.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production has improved and supplies are sufficient. Quality is slowly improving following a period of cold and wet weather.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg demand continues to be strong as Romaine market adjusts to demand shift. Heavy mildew pressure following last weeks rain has slowed production and will keep supplies limited . Expect volatility for the duration of the Winter season.
Lemons: Steady production and improving quality has led to better demand and stable pricing. Mexico and Chile quality is still variable and supplies should hold steady with a higher percentage of fancy fruit available .
Oranges Navel production has been strong as well as sizing profiles.Rain forecast for the balance of the week will slow harvest but supplies are expected to be plentiful. The rain will help improve sizing profile and prices to remain competitive.
Limes: Improved demand has pricing elevated and cooler weather has tightened supplies . We anticipate better production as weather improves but expect volatility as growers try to manipulate the market.
Grapefruit: Production is good from the desert and Mexico
Mandarins: Production has been strong as well as demand . Prices have been edging higher with tightened availability. Supplies should become more available as we head toward February.
Mexico: Production from Mexico continues to improve with prices firming as heavy Super Bowl demand continues.
California: Season will begin early next month.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with average supplies . Demand has been very strong. Supplies should start to improve as production shifts south for the balance of the Winter season . Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage.
Potato production has finished for the season and whatever remaining supplies will move into storage on Gold, Red and Russets.
Onion demand has been good and production has finished as supplies will be shipped out of storage Expect quality to decline towards the end of the month.