Newsletter 4/4/18

A relatively smooth transition with lettuce available in all three districts. Rain forecast for this weekend could stall available supplies in the Northern Districts temporarily but expect to have good availability with proper planning. Quality is mostly fair with a wide range of defects affecting various areas. Mildew, Growth crack, Rib Blight, Weak Tip, Sun Scald , insect damage and Epidermal peel have all been visible. There are a few decent lots available in all areas.  Continue to expect variations in quality , availability and price through the end of the month. Las Cruces , NM will begin production in 2 weeks with anticipated excellent quality and conveniently located to Eastern markets.
Mix Leaf
​Romaine and Heart demand continue strong while supplies are improving with additional districts the overall supply still seems light enough to keep markets elevated . Rain forecast for the Northern areas will keep supplies sufficiently light this week but will help bridge the inevitable transition out of the desert next week. Expect continued variations in quality, availability and price through the full transition to Northern California production areas.The Green leaf and Red leaf markets continue steady with varying demand.
Brussels Sprouts
Production mostly from Mexico and Southern California​ continues with steady supplies.  Demand has fallen off from its’ Easter peak but remains strong. Occasional volume deals are available but overall market seems steady.  Quality​ continues to be mostly very good with a few shipments experiencing insect damage.
The market continues relatively steady with production from Mexico and Oxnard and Santa Maria. Some shippers are transferring product to their transitional facilities , adding cost for convenience resulting in wide ranging quality, availability and price.
Strawberries – the Oxnard area has been experiencing favorable conditions, which should lead to improved quality and better numbers by the first of next week. There is thunderstorms and heavy rain in the forecast in Salinas Valley on Friday and Saturday which may delay the expected increase in volume. Santa maria is expected to receive .25 to .50 of an inch and Oxnard will most likely be unaffected.
Prices will remain steady for the rest of the week. The only reason we could see a slight upswing in price is if the rain forecasted for the Salinas valley at the end of this week hits then it will slow harvest crews. Overall quality out of Santa Maria and Salinas has been fair, slight purple domes and branchier than we normally like to see would be the biggest issues. Volume out of Central Mexico is winding down. Quality out of Central Mexico is fair for this time of year. Domes are getting larger and we are seeing more hollow core.
No big changes with cauliflower this week. Prices remain steady and overall quality is fair. As with broccoli there could be a slight upswing in prices if the rain hits. Quality out of Santa Maria and Salinas has been fair, soft shoulders and yellow cast are the norm with most product.
Production continues mostly from Mexico with​ increasing production from Northern California. ​Warmer weather in Mexico has accelerated production and could signal the end of the Mexican season for some shippers . Domestic acreage has been limited the past couple years and is again expected to be light. The market is currently finding its way post Easter but appears to be settling at current levels for the next 10 days. Expect ​ supplies to tighten once Mexico supplies diminish. Organic supplies are expected to be​ moderate for the next week before tightening on limited domestic production..Quality has been excellent.
Production of the heirloom artichoke has begun to peak with improved quality as they emerge from the late Spring Frost “kissed” artichokes that were prevalent the past couple weeks. Heavy demand has begun to force prices up as the chokes have “cleaned”up ”  Moderate supplies of the “thornless” varieties are available with a few still reporting light to moderate frost damage.
Green Onions
Production from Mexico is expected to be steady. The market for iced firmed slightly while the ice less demand has been better. Quality has been slowly improving.
ORANGES: We are now in the late varieties of navels and eating quality is some of the best of the season. Size structure remains 72s/56s/48s. Small fruit supplies are limited and pricing is starting to increase as availability tightens. California Valencia harvest looks the begin toward the end of April
LIMES: Growers are just getting back to work after the Easter holiday. Supplies are expected to be limited until later in the week, as we wait for fruit to get packed and transferred across from Mexico. Demand continues to be strong and market prices have been high and firm. Shippers expect new harvest and quality to improve moving forward. We will see a increase in smaller sizes at first, with prices adjusting down over the next 2 weeks. Larger sizes are expected to remain limited as the growers work through new blossoms and allow the fruit to size up.
Little change this week. Offshore supplies were ample on 9s and jbo 9s and very light on 12s with virtually nothing smaller available. Quality continued to be good. Next week supplies look to be ample again with Guatemala and Costa Rica harvesting in full swing. Sizes could be a bit smaller, but still dominated by 9s then jbo 9s then 12s. Demand looks to continue to be dull in spite of the spring season taking hold. Post Easter leftovers and continued bouts of unseasonably wintry weather in the Midwest and East will keep consumer desires tame. Market should be basically steady next week with some discounting on 9s and more 12s becoming available.
Offshore supplies remained adequate to ample, peaking on 5s and jbo 5s with few 6s. Mexico supplies were light. The price gap between Mexico and off shore was narrower this past week as Mex prices rose and offshore prices were barely steady. Demand this week was dull as Post Easter/ Passover ennui was in force, along with the late wintry weather in some delivered areas. Next week offshore supplies should continue to be ample and it appears sizes will continue to run toward larger sizes. Demand should change little with no warming trend in the delivered markets on no real retail promotions set up. We look for price to be steady to a bit lower next week.
Green Grapes are in a two-tier market. New arrival grapes are terrific quality but are in the 30 dollar range. There is still storage crop available to ship in the lower 20 dollar market, but we are seeing more difficulties with quality and shelf life. Expect to see a more difficult green grape market for the remainder of the Chilean season.
Grapes (Red) The red grape market is steady with product still coming in, as well as sitting in storage. There is a wide range of variety and sizes, but quality is spotty, especially any grapes purchased cheaply. Splits and decay are the main issues we are seeing so make sure to check quality upon arrival.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower: Production has primarily transitioned to the North where improving conditions will help production. Supplies are still limited but rain this weekend with a little sunshine should help improve production next week.
Broccoli production has also started to transition North with better supplies anticipated. Quality has been improving with only occasional light water spotting from Coastal California production areas being reported.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Greens have maintained good production although transition North is expect to bring some volatility to supplies. The market is expected to strengthen with improved demand.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
​Leaf, Iceberg  as well as Romaine  supplies  are slowly transitioning to the Northern part of the state​.  Expect variable quality and supplies through the end of the month. Rain forecast for the weekend will further enhance the volatility.
OG Citrus
Lemons: The market continues to be strong with good demand. Production from both districts, San Joaquin and Ventura, continue to meet demand. The crop has been good quality with improving sizing profile. Wet weather this weekend could slow harvest but will improve quality going forward. The market is expected to remain strong through the month.
Oranges: Valencia’s have started in limited production with better supplies expected in a couple weeks. Recent rains have had a positive impact on quality and sizing profiles.  Demand continues strong.Limes: Quality was showing signs of improvement from Mexico and the market continues strong​.​ California production is limited but will improve in coming weeks.
Grapefruit:  Supplies have been steady with good quality and demand keeping prices elevated.  Mandarins:  Clementine production has improved with good quality and strong demand. Golden Nuggets and Pixies remain available with limited supplies.
OG Root Vegetables
​Carrot ​Production has been slow but warmer weather has helped improve supplies although advanced notice is still required with current heavy demand .
Potato Supplies continue to be steady from the Northwest Rocky Mountain region. Expect California production to begin by the end of the month.
Onion Demand has been very good with strong and steady pricing expected to continue.
OG Avocados
Mexico: Production from Mexico has been steady with strong pricing. California: New Crop Hass have started with good demand and elevated pricing compared to imports and other varieties.
OG Melons
​ OG Watermelons  Supplies on seedless are steady.  Quality has been good from Southern Mexico. Availability has improved and the market is good from Nogales and Texas.  Mini seedless ​supplies have slowed ​temporarily.
OG Cantaloupes and Honeydews production from  East coast offshore fruit now available with improving sizing profile.
OG Grapes
Green & Red : Offshore fruit from Peru is available on the East and West coast although supplies are expected to lighten by the end of the month.

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