Newsletter 1/9/19

Now that the Holidays are behind us the weather and quality will have the biggest influence on the market trend. Forecast to be above normal temperatures with intermittent  precipitation,  supplies are expected to improve moderately although quality could impact overall production as blister and peel will become more prevalent with each passing day as well as mildew pressure from the occasional shower.  We are expecting to see continued demand shift towards iceberg as confidence slowly returns to Romaine consumption keeping pressure for competing salad bowl commodities.
Mix Leaf
Demand for Romaine although far below normal is improving. Most shippers continue to harvest to order with light inventories. Improved weather temperatures are forecast but intermittent showers are also expected which will accelerate discoloration of the blister and peel. Green leaf and Red leaf pricing has firmed with continued volatility  expected as demand continues to shift among Salad Bowl commodities.
Brussels Sprouts
Domestic production from Northern Coastal region is expected to decline in coming weeks as quality becomes more of an issue with rain forecast for the next couple weeks. Production from Mexico has been slow to start with the cold weather experienced last week but should improve as the temperatures improve. The market slipped post Holiday but has firmed especially for better quality.
Strong markets this week. Production is slowing in Oxnard and Yuma has not yet produced any significant volume. Cold weather in the desert is hampering production and we expect some quality issues early on. There is better volume on small sized celery in Oxnard. Product is being transferred to Yuma and best deals are still in Oxnard. Desert weather remains cooler than normal and we do not expect to see good supplies until weather warms up. Strong markets should continue through next week
Lighter volume will continue into next as inclement weather continues to slow the growth of the plants. The cooler weather in Mexico, Florida, and Baja growing areas have affected overall supplies. Other contributing factors to the limited volume have been the frost in Oxnard and 2 inches of rain in Santa Maria.
Supplies should decrease slightly for the remainder of the month. The mid season varieties will help offset some of the declining numbers. The weather has been favorable out of central Mexico, with a slight chance of rain next week. Expect prices to trend slightly higher.
Limited Raspberry production due to lighter volumes out of the Joco, Oxnard, and Guzman areas. We expect an increase in numbers as we head into next week as the plants reach their peak cycles.
Baja production is expected to increase the remainder of the month. Prices have been fairly soft, with some report of quality issues, mostly soft berries. California product will continue to be limited as cooler temps and wet weather will continue into next week.
Supplies will be very limited for the remainder of this week. Again, all weather related and as temperatures get back to normal we should start to see better supplies next week. Pre – books for the rest of this week are highly recommended.
Market will remain strong as we finish out the week. The cooler temperatures among all growing areas of California and Arizona have slowed down the growing process. Temperatures are forecasted to be near normal in the growing areas for the next 7 days but on and off again rains could hamper harvest. On the other hand production out of Central Mexico has increased and pricing and availability is a little more attractive out of Texas. We have good quality and supplies of our Shui Ling crowns shipping out of Pharr, TX. Please call your sales representative for pricing.
Supplies have tighten up as Mexican growers hold off harvesting to drive the market higher.  Therefore, there is a lot of uncertainty in the market with no one knowing when supplies will pick up again.  The bottom line is it is difficult to say if the market will be up or down next week.
Production continues steady with improving demand especially on the Heirloom variety.  Most varieties currently are seeded or Thorn less. at reduced prices. Production is peaking on Medium size profile but expect Large sizes to dominate the category moving forward 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.
Stone Fruit
From the West Coast, we expect to see limited availability and higher pricing over the next 7-10 days. We will slowly work out of this situation as arrivals increase.
California for all practical purposes is done. The transition from Domestic to Import Grapes has not been as smooth as expected.  On the imports into the West Coast, no green seedless are currently available.  Demand exceeds supplies on the West Coast arrivals of Red Seedless. We expect supplies to gradually improve over the next week.
Green Onions
Labor and budgeted shortages anticipated and realized over the Christmas and New Year Holiday’s have been followed by a week of freezing temperatures and now substantial rain delaying production. Weather is expected to improve although continued rain in the forecast may further delay anticipated improved supplies. With the pipeline relatively empty expect markets to continue strong through this week but anticipate easing as shipments increase next week. Quality will remain fair as product sits in the field.
Lighter volume of Italian and Yellow crossing from Mexico this week. Supplies are expected to remain tight through next week. Cold weather and Rain continues to plague Mexican growing regions. Quality is marginal at best on most varieties.
Supplies have continued to pick up each week with FOB’s coming off.  Promotional opportunities available.  All regions have a good run on sizes and expected to continue to improve as weather permits.
Rains in the growing regions slowed harvest down for a few days, but could help size the fruit up in the coming weeks.  Quality is good as cold nights have improved sugars.  Sizing structure continues to be smaller in the 88/72/113 count peak with larger fruit more limited. Markets is steady to slightly lower.
Caborca is in the process of cutting in a very lite way and will start shipping a few loads 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 $52-56 range on large, a few dollars less on standard.
The cold temperatures seem to have subsided in the forecast for next week and should improve crossings in the short run…28/1’s are on the distant horizon…maybe the 1st week of February.
The sad supply story seems to never end for honeydews. Arrivals from off shore locations were quite sparse and running small (mostly 6s and smaller). Mexico was down to 9 count only, leaving a shortage of 5s and larger. Appearance remains an issue with scarring and netting. But the fruit cuts good making it less than ideal for retail but good for processing. Demand has been hampered by winter and prices. Next week the supply and quality struggle looks like it will continue keeping spot market supplies light and prices high.
Production increased and Guatemala as Honduras wound down. Costa Rica joined the lineup as well this week keeping supplies ample. Quality was generally very good, sizes were spread out with less jbo sizes and more 12s and even some 15s and smaller around. Mexico is done. Prices drifted downward to compensate for the extra supply as demand remained tepid for spot market fruit. Next week the supply picture looks much like this week with more fruit coming from Costa Rica. Bookings are a bit more robust as we get past the holiday disruptions, but the country is still in winter’s grip keeping demand on the tepid side. We look for the market to continue to drift moderately lower with discounting off quotes on less popular sizes and on slower demand days.
Markets this week are higher due to lack of labor to run storage product. Jumbo Yellow Onions are in the 7.00*8.00 range up from the $4…4.5 we have been paying. Reds are available but are in the $6.00-$7.00s. Colossal and Supers are generally a dollar to. Mexico has not crossed any measurable amounts yet. Transportation continues to be a problem in the northwest.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower   Production has slowed with the cold temperatures last week . Generally it takes a couple weeks for the planted to respond after a heavy frost . Expect better supplies by the end of the month. Quality has been very good.
Broccoli  Production on broccoli has also reversed course with the cold wet weather in the desert. The market has firmed but expect better supplies by the end of the month barring any heavy precipitation.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production has slowed with the cold , wet weather in the desert and Northern Mexico. Supplies are expected to rebound with improved weather. The markets are expected to remain strong through middle of 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 last week weren’t critically cold to cause damage. Possible rain in the forecast this week will likely delay harvest but expect supplies to stay strong 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. 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 to improve with prices stabilizing but expected to head higher as demand ramps up for Superbowl season. Possible rain forecast may interrupt production but supplies are projected to be strong through the month but book in orders to ensure full coverage.
California: Season will begin in by the end of the month.
OG Grapes
Green & Red  California storage supplies are finishing and demand remains strong for imports. Delays on shipments have put pressure on demand and have pushed pricing higher. Expect improved supplies in coming weeks.
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.

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