Newsletter 2.20.19


Weather continues to be the overriding factor on ALL Western Veg.  A return of frost and intermittent showers is eroding quality rapidly with Epidermal peel and varnish prevalent. In addition there is a disconnect between growers shrinking supplies and rising prices in the face of fair demand. With the weather forecast to remain cool and unstable through next week expect markets to escalate.

Mix Leaf
Romaine market has begun to push higher as frost delays have returned to the desert. Overall demand has remained steady although demand for better quality has pushed the markets ceiling higher. Quality has been fair and will further erode following rain and frost. Shippers have begun strengthening their stance enforcing epidermal discoloration so expect to see a substantial increase in poor quality arrivals and be prepared to have little recourse with shippers . Keep orders light and inventories low Green leaf and Red leaf prices have elevated above Romaine with uneven supplies among shippers. Quality is variable but showing fewer issues than Romaine.

Brussels Sprouts
Domestic production from Northern Coastal region is about finished with the recent heavy rains in Northern California pushing marginal quality over the edge. Mexico has started to pick up volume to meet demand as the market continues to be strong for better quality.

Strong markets continue this week industry wide. Cold temperatures in on the coast and in the desert are slowing growth and tightening supplies in production areas. Cold weather is expected to continue through the weeekend, followed by warmer temperatures next week. Quality is marginal as product recovers from freezing temperatures and rain.

Our forecast for California weather predicts the recent wet weather will be diminishing and giving way to slightly warmer temps , but still colder our than our historic norms. Temperatures are expected to be in the high 50’s to low 60’s during the day. The nighttime lows are expected to dip to near freezing temperature over the next 7 to 10 days. The daily shipments out of California were averaging 72,000 flats. Compared to 192,025 flats shipped this time last year out of California. Expect the daily pack-outs to increase with the lack of Rain forecasted for California in the short term. Mexico is still producing enough fruit to help cover any shortages occurring in California for the time being. Quality has been good, but most growers are looking at peak production and quality to gradually diminish over the next few weeks. There are some volume spot market deals to be had in Texas due to diminishing demand after the Valentine’s Holiday.  Florida’s volume has been increasing, post Valentine’s holiday pull and an increase in daily temperatures. The rains have diminished which will help overall production and quality in the area. Florida shippers are looking to promote volume at discounted prices this week as they see volume increases that will continue into next week.

Strawberry fun fact: As of 12/31/2018, Strawberries account for 63.5% of berry pound sales. Blueberries are 2nd at 21.6%. Raspberries are 3rd at 6.7%. Blackberries are 4th at 5.6%

Demand is steady, but supplies are on the lighter side. Over the next few weeks, we will hit our low in the growing cycle and expect yields to increase into the beginning of April. This decrease in supply will be more noticeable in the conventional as the growers out of Central Mexico enter a transition period between mid and late season varieties.

Even with a slight increase in production, prices remain strong as strong demand continues this week. The higher production is mainly coming from the Central Mexico regions as they are experiencing excellent weather conditions. We expect the next peak production cycle to be the week of March 18th. This would be a great time to promote Raspberries.

Watsonville will have some very light volume next week on specific and limited varieties. Oxnard is expected to increase their light volume going forward. The volume continues steady to slightly higher on the Mexican Blues. There are more 6 oz. and 18 oz. coming into the States. Florida will continue with very light volume over the next few weeks. Consider the Peruvian deal finished for the season. Soft berries have been an issue with some of fruit from Peru as their seasons winds down.

Prices have increased the last few days as we find lighter supplies out of the Desert growing regions. Some of the seasonal shippers out of the Imperial Valley are either finished or winding down for the season which is taking some volume off the open market. Market will remain strong as we finish out the week.

Market has strengthened due to better demand and cooler temperatures in the California and Arizona growing regions. Look for prices to continue increasing as the week finishes out. There is limited volume as well coming out of Central Mexico thus dropping the amount of crossings into Texas. Central Mexico is expected to have limited supplies both this week and next. Overall it looks like we will see above normal pricing over the next 10 days.

Production continues steady with improving demand especially on the Heirloom variety.  Most varieties currently are seeded or Thornless. at reduced prices. Production has shifted towards larger size profile as the weather improves in the desert.. Frost and Freeze damage can be found on most Artichokes for the duration of the month although mostly cosmetic it can slow demand

Stone Fruit
Supplies have improved with most all items now available in pallet quantities or more. As the arrivals increase, the market prices are gradually coming down as demand for stonefruit has been moderate..  On nectarines and peaches, tray packs are running in the 40-50 count and volume fill are in the 60 size range. On red and black plums, tray packs are running in the 40-50 count and volume fill are in the 60 size range. Quality remains good at this time.

Tight supplies have started to ease on the red seedless as multiple vessels have arrived. With that being said, there has been only a slight decline in the market price as the pipeline was bare and needed to be full. Green Seedless are still in a demand exceeds supplies market. This should steadily improve over the next two weeks. The quality of the grapes remains strong with only the occasional report of soft berries.

Green Onions
Production from Mexico has been slow to return especially on ice less supplies. Cooler weather has kept prices steady although there has been deals available on smaller sizes. Expect supplies to remain steady through next week before we finally start to see supplies exceed demand. 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.

Good quality and supplies in Nogales AZ this week. Shippers are looking to move product. Run offers by us on zucchini and yellow squash.

Oranges- More rain is forecasted for California and we don’t estimate too much of a change going forward. The weather along with exports increasing in volume will continue to firm up the market. Navels continue to peak on 72’s and smaller. Supplies of 56’s and larger will remain limited. Flavor of the fruit is excellent with brix climbing up to 14. Until this current weather pattern breaks, we recommend placing your orders 2-3 days in advance.

Lemons- Good supplies from all districts. The market is expected to remain steady for the next 7-10 days. As District 3 finishes look for the smaller sizes to tighten up as District 1 is peaking on larger fruit (95/115’s). Quality remains strong.

Limes- The lime market continues to be active. The climb to higher prices has slowed and prices are holding at these higher levels. Quality is excellent on good green color.  Looking ahead, most growers expect by the end of February large sizes will see a large premium over smaller sizes.

Supplies surged and the market slowly retreated but with the cooler weather expect production to stall and the market to firm.. There appears to be plenty of product available once the weather returns to normal , early next month. Most shippers are still offering promotions but at elevated pricing at this time.

Organic Items

OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower   Weather Weather Weather  slowing supplies and pushing prices higher. Expect better supplies to return early next month.

Broccoli    Production on broccoli has also stalled with much cooler weather in the desert. Supplies in Central Valley and the coast has seen extensive amount of rain diminishing quality to the point of not harvesting. The market is expected to climb through the end of the month.

OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production has been steady but has seen some delays and quality issues with the recent weather. Quality is likely to remain varied as will supplies until a Normal weather pattern can bee established.

OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg demand continues to be strong as well as  Romaine. maCool, Wet weather has increased mildew pressure past the point of production , leaving supplies very limited.  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 available .

Oranges  Navel production has been strong as well as sizing profiles. Rain temporarily slowed harvest but most growers picked ahead in anticipation. with overall supplies expected to be plentiful. The rain will help improve sizing profile and prices to remain competitive.

Limes:  Production has slowed and the market has firmed . Quality remains variable with lower sizing profile .

Grapefruit:  Production continues to be good from the desert and Mexico

Mandarins:  Production  has been strong as well as demand . Prices have been edging higher with tightened availability.

OG Avocados 
Mexico: Production from Mexico continues to be strong meeting strong demand . Supplies should continue to be good barring any manipulation from growers.

California: Season will begin in coming weeks but expect supplies to be lower than previous years .

OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with average supplies . Demand has been very strong. Supplies will remain moderate until temperatures moderate. 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.

Leave a Reply