Newsletter 1/3/19

Lighter demand due to over inflated pricing and Holiday schedules interrupting sales will rebound while supplies should improve as well although currently light due to extreme cold overnight temperatures and frost delays in most locations. Cool temperatures, but not as critically cold as this week, forecast should keep supplies moderated. We are expecting to see continued demand shift towards iceberg as confidence slowly returns to Romaine consumption keeping pressure for competing salad bowl commodities. Quality continues to improve although recent frost is expected to affect wrapper leaves with blister and eventual peel in coming weeks.

Mix Leaf
Demand for Romaine although far below normal is slowly improving. Most shippers are harvesting Romaine to order with light inventories. Critically cold overnight temperatures in all growing locations over the New Year weekend will increase the appearance of blister and peel in coming weeks although currently quality is at seasonal best. Green leaf and Red leaf pricing has retreated slightly but continued volatility with demand is expected as regular demand returns post Holiday season.

Brussels Sprouts
Domestic production from Northern Coastal region continues to be strong. The market has held mostly steady with heavy Holiday demand but expect the market to retreat with slowing demand . Quality continues mixed from Northern California with some water and insect damage as the season winds down.  Mexico production has started in a light way with varied mix of quality and sizing.

Demand is increasing, strengthening the market. Labor shortages, mixed with cold weather across the west coast continue affect supply. Recent frost is expected to result in quality issues, including blister. Oxnard production is slowing down and desert product is slow to come on. We expect production gaps into the coming weeks, which will bring stronger markets.

Prices are easing on down a bit as a result of post holiday lack of demand . What may possibly counter this is the fact that the Oxnard and Santa Maria areas have both had 3 days of below average temperatures with overnight lows warranting freeze watches in lower inland areas. The Santa Maria area was hardest hit and it will result in lower yields due to frost damage to plants already past their prime production. This should somewhat stabilize prices overall . Mexico will be ramping up production after the holidays although they too are experiencing colder than normal weather inhibiting maximum harvests. The Florida area is currently recovering with light but steadier yields than in the past few weeks due to the drier weather they are enjoying.

Light supplies continue out of Mexico. The market remains steady with a slightly lower tone as we experience the post-holiday lull in demand. Look for availability to increase in the short term with the possibility of slightly lighter numbers down the road. Quality has been fair to good for most suppliers.

Production will continue to come exclusively from Mexico. Quality has been good for the most part. Cooler temperatures have caused a slight increase in pricing as production is being curtailed because of the poor growth rate. Look for better availability next week as we move away from Holiday schedules. Some shippers have expressed concerns about crop damage due to adverse weather including hail, rain, and sleet. There are many micro-climates in the growing areas, so what actual effect this may have on markets remains to be seen.

The Blues will continue to be available from several exporting areas by cargo container offloading at ports in the Philadelphia and Miami area in the east and Los Angeles area on the west coast. Pricing is lower but steady and fluctuates mildly from the front end of the week to the end as inventories are pushed through the system and importers await new offshore arrivals. Mexico is also producing decent numbers. Quality has been good out of all areas.

The colder night time temperatures are slowing growth across California and Arizona. Demand is increasing and so are prices. Expect prices to continue upward through the first part of next week. Pre – books are recommended so get with your sales representative early to make sure we can get your orders covered.

Supplies will become somewhat limited as the cooler temps across California and Arizona will slow growth. Look for prices to increase slightly over the next 5 days. We will start to see more purple color domes but overall quality should be just fine. We continue to ship nice quality crowns out of Central Mexico. Check with your sales representative on current pricing on our “Shui Ling” crowns.

Lime markets are steady with pricing at promotable levels.

Production continues steady with improving demand especially on the Heirloom variety.  Most varieties currently are seeded or Thornless. at reduced prices. Production is peaking on Medium size profile Some frost has been reported in Salinas and Mexico and now the desert which will impact quality and sales.

Stone Fruit
The first Chilean arrivals have hit the West Coast. It is early in the season and supplies of both Peaches and Nectarines are very limited.  It is best to commit to the fruit prior to arrival to insure getting covered. The market is expected to be steady through next week. Quality of the early fruit is good with high color varieties available.

The transition continues as we finish up the California crop and move into the Peruvian product. Supplies of California grapes may last into the 3rd week of January. As the California crop finishes, there is a wide range in quality so lean on us to help you source the best quality and avoid any issues.  On offshore product, Peruvian Flames are available from the West Coast and are priced at a significant premium over the old crop California Red Seedless.

Green Onions
Labor and budgeted shortages anticipated and realized over the Christmas and New Year Holiday’s should start to subside in coming weeks as workers head back to work. Expect markets to maintain through this week but anticipate easing as shipments increase next week. Below normal temperatures over the past week will keep the increased flow moderate. Quality will remain fair as product sits in the field.

Bell pepper
Supplies continue to be short around the country. Production is expected to improve in coming weeks in Mexico shipping out of McAllen, Texas barring any severe cold weather.

These markets have been flat over the past few weeks, however recent cold temperatures in Mexico have slowed production. Supplies have been adequate, keeping up with demand for the past few weeks, but markets show signs of strengthening as production forecasts indicate lighter volume on Italian and yellow squash.

West Coast supplies are good and available from all three districts. Most sizes are readily available and we suggest booking ads for the month of January. Condition and quality remains good to excellent.  Sizing is peaking on 140/165/115 count.  Supply currently exceeds demand which is causing a slight softening of the market. Market pricing is expected to be slightly lower.

The Navel Orange crop continues to peak on 113/88/138/72’s. The market is lower on these sizes with good promotional opportunities available.  Multiple packaging formats are being offered for your ads. Mid range and large sizes are also available with FOB’s remaining firm.  Quality and flavor remains excellent.

Caborca is in the process of cutting fern and will start shipping the 21st depending on weather warming up a bit. San Luis is ahead of Caborca by a week, but the big push will be Caborca. We are still shipping Baja but those number are dropping rapidly. Prices right now on Mexican asparagus are in the $35-40 range on large, a few dollars less on standard.

The cold temperatures are a huge factor in the growth factor and could cause major problems as we go forward.

Markets this week are higher due to lack of labor to run storage product. Jumbo Yellow Onions are in the $6.00 range up from the $4…4.5 we have been paying. Reds are non-existent except for contract commitments. Colossal and Supers are generally a dollar to $1.50 up overall. Whites are very tight also with prices in the mid to high teens. Mexico has not crossed any measurable amounts yet. Transportation continues to be a problem in the northwest.

Organic Items

OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower Although production has slowed , Demand continues to be cool as well although we expect improved demand as we begin a full week of normal business.  Quality has been very good.

Broccoli   Production has improved with many shippers yields and quality improving in the desert areas. Expect the market to firm and possibly head higher with the current cooling trend.

OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production has improved along with demand. The markets are expected to remain strong through early January.

OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg demand continues to be strong as Romaine markets adjust to demand shift. Expect volatility for the duration of the Winter season.

OG Citrus
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 expected.  .

Oranges  Navel production has been strong as well as sizing profiles. Freezing temperatures this week weren’t critically cold but will delay harvest temporarily. Possible rain in the forecast next week will likely delay harvest as well . Expect prices to remain competitive.

Limes:  Improved demand has pricing elevated and cooler weather could keep supplies tight. Sizing profile and Quality has improved from Mexico.

Grapefruit:  Production is improving from the desert , while supplies from Mexico are expected to continue to improve as well

Mandarins:  Production  has been strong as well as demand . Growers are accessing damage from Freezing temperatures this week as the thinned skinned Clementine varieties are more susceptible to freeze damage.

OG Avocados 
Mexico: Production from Mexico continues strong with varied pricing. Possible rain forecast may interrupt production next week but supplies are projected to be strong through the month

California: Season will begin in by the end of the month.

OG Grapes
Green & Red  Central Valley supplies are winding down for the season Some storage supplies will remain but quality will certainly be less after a strong run. Expect off shore grapes to arrive next week.

OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with average supplies . Demand has been very strong for the  Holiday’s . Supplies should start to improve after New Years as production shifts south for 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.

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