Newsletter 2/28/19


More of the same with weather setting the market tone. The past couple weeks have seen a return of daily frost and intermittent rain in the desert causing quality issues throughout all commodities. Epidermal peel and mildew are among the biggest issues affecting iceberg. Most cases eroding significantly during transit.  Temperatures are expected to finally return to normal although it will be at least a couple weeks before quality will improve. Expect markets to remain  volatile through the remainder of the Winter season and even more so during the Spring transition.

Mix Leaf

Romaine market has pushed higher as frost delays limit harvest.  Quality continues to be fair at best and will further erode as  epidermal peel worsens. Shippers are quoting all product with Epidermal peel and related discoloration.  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
Production mainly from Mexico continues steady with improving quality leading to improved demand. The market has also begun to stabilize with narrower price range .

Active celery markets continue this week. Cooler than normal temperatures in growing regions are slowing growth, creating a demand exceeds supply scenario. Pith has been the main issue plaguing quality on west coast product . We expect supply shortages to continue through next week.

The markets continue to be active even with a decline in demand last week. California is still experiencing colder temperatures with chances of light rain on Wednesday and a heavier front on Friday. The harvest remains light in Oxnard and Santa Maria has just started to scratch the surface of the upcoming season. Look for markets to increase moving into the region with fewer numbers of open market fruit available. Quality is nice and improving as we look for rains to subside and temperatures to increase next week. Florida markets are experiencing an uptick due mostly to the placement of ad commitments coming into effect and the decline in yields. This decline has been caused by adverse weather in previous weeks. Quality is still good although plants are producing lower yields. look for this market to continue to be stronger into the week. Mexican fruit coming into the Texas area for distribution is declining in numbers as quality begins to be an issue. Rains in some of the growing areas combined with the natural aging of this crops growth cycle are the reason for the higher number of lessor quality fruit in the marketplace. This reduction in production has caused the market to go up in Texas and has also incurred greater demand and firmer markets in the other berry growing regions.

Blackberries are in steady supply crossing into Texas from Mexico. Quality has started to improve after some shippers were reporting a good amount of red cell defect caused by rain. Look for the market to increase slightly as production and crossings slowly decline.

Raspberries continue to be in good production out of Mexico with quality being good. Delays in transfers arriving from the border are causing some temporary shortages. The market remains steady

Blueberries are in good supplies out of both Mexico and Chile. The market remains steady and there are several pack styles to choose from. Quality remains good while Mexican fruit is commanding a slight premium due to less transit time eating away at shelf life.

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.

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
The market is generally steady to lower as arrivals/supplies have increased from both coast. A good selection of peaches, nectarine, and plums are available.  The fruit continues to peak on the larger sizes. Quality reports are reporting good quality on high color.  Expect more of the same for the coming week.

Prices have started to gradually decline as supplies from both coast have improved as we begin to fill the pipeline. We looking for the importers to get more aggressive in pricing as supplies continue to pick up. Early to mid March will give us the most aggressive ad opportunities since we finished domestic production. Quality has been good with very few lots exhibiting issues like mold or wet berries.

Green Onions
Production from Mexico has been slow to return especially on iceless supplies. Cooler weather has kept prices steady although there has been deals available on smaller sizes. Expect supplies to improve as temperatures are expected to return to normal heading into next week. . Quality continues to vary although showing signs of improvement there is still some arrival issues.

Slightly lighter supply this week on Italian squash, a result of transitioning growing areas in Mexico. Supplies are keeping up with demand however and quality is improving. There are still deals on Italian and yellow squash this week. Supplies are expected to remain fairly consistent into next week.

Oranges- More of the same this week. Rainy conditions continue to persist and effect harvest. Shipper are therefore trying to work ahead and we suggest placing your orders 2-3 days in advance. The Navels continue to peak on 72/88/113’s. Export demand has increased recently and has firmed up the domestic market. 138’s have become less plentiful as the market has dropped below growing cost. Quality and flavor continue to be excellent with the Navels brixing 13-14. Overall, the market is expected to be steady for the next week.

Lemons- Overall supplies are good as we finish up the Desert Crop (District 3). From the Central Valley (District 1) the crop is peaking on 115/95/140’s. The market is expected to remain steady for this week. As we get deeper into the month of March, smaller sizes 200/235’s will become limited as the fruit has continued to grow and size up with each rain storm. Quality remains strong.

Limes- The market seems to be holding steady this week. The peak sizes are still on the smaller sizes as we are into the transition into the next crop cycle. Supplies are expected to be limited during this transitional period. Supplies will be unpredictable at times and we suggestion being very cautious on doing any ads. This situation is expected to last for the month of March.

Supplies surged and the market slowly retreated but with the cooler weather production stalled and the market to firm with many ad promotions . As the temperatures are forecast to warm expect supplies once again push forward. There appears to be plenty of product available once the weather improves heading into next week.

Cantaloupes finally awoke from their slumber this week. Supplies were still

ample with good quality and sizes peaking on 9s followed by jbo 9 s and 12s. Demand has picked up as retailers began spring promotional activity as we head into March. Quoted markets were steady but with less discounting. Next week this trend looks to continue as Spring approaches and retail promotions should continue.

This market has weakened as supplies and quality have improved as a result of hot weather in the Caribbean and warmer temperatures in western in Mexico. Demand remains rather stagnant due to legacy of high prices especially compared to cantaloupes. This dynamic should remain into next week. Expect steady to lower markets next week with abundant discounting.

Organic Items

OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower   Weather slowing supplies and pushed prices higher . A return to normal weather should start to push supplies by the end of next week . Expect better pricing to follow

Broccoli    Production on broccoli has also stalled with much cooler weather in the desert. Supplies in Central Valley and the coast have seen extensive amount of rain diminishing quality to the point of not harvesting. Improved weather in the desert will help improve supplies  but quality issues from Northern California growing areas will continue limiting overall volume.  The market is expected to remain elevated through early next month and beyond.

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 .   Wet weather has increased mildew pressure past the point of production , leaving supplies very limited. Improved weather will begin to help begin improving supplies but 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 steady

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 much 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 the Spring crop to begin in coming weeks .

OG Asparagus
Mexico: Production from Mexico has slowed temporarily although weather is expected to improve with temperature above normal heading into next week.

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