Newsletter 6/19/19

Weather continues to be the dominate factor affecting supplies. Growers have been well ahead budgeted harvest schedules and late Spring rains along with last weeks heatwave combined to delay and reduce yields. Even with reduced production demand remains moderate while prices continue to surge indicating strong food service demand . We expect supplies to remain light into next week with markets likely peaked at current levels with downside.  Quality is variable with a wide array of issues including tipburn, sun scald, mildew , color and solidity.
Mix Leaf
Romaine and Romaine Hearts have also been influenced by weather events and supplies are gapping with very good demand currently resulting in market spikes. Quality will continue to vary with Tipburn, seeder, mildew and twist prevalent. Green leaf and Red leaf prices, although varied among shippers, also surged mostly higher. Regional Homegrown production, including Eastern Canada is expected to begin which should lessen demand out West and keep prices from surging much higher.
Brussels Sprouts
Production from Mexico continues with domestic production increasing as well. Expect the market to catch at more sustainable prices but shippers are currently entertaining sharp deals to enhance demand. Quality has been variable with some insect pressure common in Mexico supplies.
Yields declined dramatically this weeks as high temps forced shippers to strip some plants and send some fields to the juicers. Some shippers are reporting that they are losing approximately 30% of the daily estimated harvest. At this point, they are not seeing any extensive damage to the green/white fruit or blooms which is a good thing. Most of what is being thrown down is red hanging fruit that has been affected by the heat and will not travel. Shippers are working diligently to produce the best possible pack, but with back to back days of over 100-degree weather, shippers will be quoting heavy bruising at shipping point. These conditions exist in both growing areas. Markets look to be steady and firm moving into the weekend with very little open market fruit available.
The majority of supplies are coming from California, Georgia and North Carolina. The quality has been good out of California. The Georgia product has struggled with some weather issues but still remains fair. The market will continue to remain firm into next week.
 Supplies will be out of California. Expect to see berries supplies on Mexican raspberries this week. Quality has been good, however we have just received a heat wave which could affect the fruit negatively. Look for possible defects like soft fruit, bruising and wet and leaky berries for the next few days.
Good supplies in California, Georgia, and North Carolina. Quality has been good in all regions. The California crop did receive some extreme temps over the past few days. market remains soft as the various regions vie for market share. Oregon will begin to increase volume next week.
Stronger markets this week as a result of last weeks heat wave. 100+ degree temperatures reduced yields and affected quality. Markets have strengthened and expected to continue into next week. Temperatures have settled back to normal June averages for the next 10 days, which will improve quality and help keep up with increasing demand.
Good quality reported on Italian and Yellow squash this week. Better volume is coming out of Santa Maria and Fresno as a result of warmer weather across the state. More deals are being made on Italian squash, as yellow squash production has been lighter over the past three days. Product is also coming out of Baja California and quality has been nice.
Volume is increasing daily in Salinas and Santa Maria. Oxnard is still in full production. Markets are softening from last weeks as expected. These markets should continue trending downward as demand slows and Salinas production increases. Some issues have been reported, including bowing, leafy tops and slight seeder.
Recent heat of the central coast has resulted in lighter volumes. Yields were impacted almost immediately after 100+ temperatures in the Salinas Valley. Markets have strengthened and some quality defects, including purpling and mechanical defects have been reported. Mild temperatures are in the forecast for the coming week, which should improve volume and settle markets.
Production has been decreasing as we enter Summer month but supplies are expected to jump on Seeded or thornless varieties especially larger sizes with continued limited supplies of the Heirloom variety.
California…Jumbo Yellow Onions are demand exceed supply. The Yellow onions being harvested this week are at best a hit and miss proposition. One shipper I talked to said he had a basil fusarin rot occurring in almost every onion they tried to harvest…they had to walk past a 30-acre block that was due to be harvested this week. Some shippers that didn’t get as much rain during the late May rains are getting decent arrivals but if you look closely there is some decay present. Market is running about $14.00 16 with delayed loading. Those who took contracts are feeling a lot of pressure to ship their commitments.
Jumbo Reds are in the $14 range and are also in a sold-out situation.
New Mexico has started shipping again this week and have jumped to the $15-$16.00 range and is also demand exceed supply. The varieties grown in New Mexico are more tolerant to rain than the varieties grown in California which are susceptible to rain conditions.
Whites Market is being quoted at quoted as low as $16-18 and are sold out too.
Stone Fruit
Come and get it. For the next 4-5 weeks, we are into the peak production period for California Stone Fruit. Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Apricots, and Pluots are all being harvested. Quality and condition is improving and and the fruit is eating well. All sizes seem to be readily available with aggressive pricing on small size fruit. We expect the market to be steady to slightly lower for the coming week.
Like expected, extremely heavy grape volumes are being harvest as we hit peak production from Mexico and Coachella.  Aggressive deals are made daily. This will continue as both areas look to move their bountiful crop in such a short window of time.  Quality is good. On the Red Seedless, more medium size berries are being packed but all sizes are available to load. All sizes are available on Green Seedless with the peak size being Large.
Green Onions
Production continues exclusively from Mexico with ample supplies. Reduced Summer plantings will eventually lead to tighter markets by the end of the month. Overall quality remains varied with heavy insect pressure and mechanical damage.
Oranges – We have only a few weeks left in the California Navel season. These late variety Navels are coming in large peaking on 72/56’s.  Other sizes are readily available except for 113/138’s.  Prices continue to creep higher. On 113/138’s, many customers have made the switch to Valencia Oranges. Valencias supplies continue to improve as more shipper are packing.
Lemons – No real change expected for next week. Ample supplies of 75’s and 95’s with some deals available on fancy and Choice. Mid range sizes (115/140’s) are hold firmer on good demand. 165’s and smaller are very tight and markets continue to trend upward. Quality is good with very little standard grade being packed. Mexican Lemons crossing into McAllen, Texas, are peaking on 140/165’s.
Limes – Volume on limes is good and all sizes are abundant at this time. The market on 110/150’s may move lower as supplies continue to increase. All other sizes should be steady next week. There is a wide range of quality out there with some lots showing oil spotting issues do to the recent rains.
Shipping locally grown as this juncture and will come back to California shipping Mexican asparagus from San Miguel de Allende Mexico.
After a siege of large size, both volume and sizing seem to be normalizing. Less Jbo 9s and more regular 9s and even a few more 12s have lead to a bit lower carton yield. At the same time the bargain basement pricing seems to have finally sparked some retail demand as summer began in earnest around the country with schools getting out for summer. Thus by this writing the worst seems to be over the lope market and prices began to stabilize and even rise a tad. It is hot in the desert which could lead to an earlier than anticipated wrap up of the harvest there, but there is still another 10 days or two weeks to go. Bakersfield and the Huron are starting next week, but scrapping, with the rest of the Westside coming online the week of the 4th. The July 4th pull will start next week. We look for a moderately stronger market next week with sizes continuing to peak on 9 count and good quality.
Production remained ample on dews this week, especially with Mexico continuing its production. Sizes peaked on 5s then 6s with fewer other sizes available. Quality was good to very good domestically with a range from Mexico. Next week little looks to change. However toward the middle or end of next week, we could see Mexico begin to abate and July 4th pull should begin. Bakersfield and Huron could star scrapping toward the end of the week. We look for a slightly improved market developing as next week unfolds.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower   Improved production has helped ease pricing although supplies are expected to level off and the market is expected to stabilize. Quality has been good with some variations in color due to heatwave last week which exposed some heads to the sun.
Broccoli    Production finally improved and the market retreated to more sustainable levels. Quality issues from the heat are starting to show with brown bead and increased insect pressure.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production remain varied with some quality issues affecting supplies but improved weather should help improve quality. Expect supplies to remain unstable as they grow through quality issues from recent heatwave.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine demand continues to be strong  Production is likely to be impacted by the recent heatwave in the Coastal growing areas of California. Expect volatility for the duration of the month.
OG Citrus
Lemons:   Steady, Light production with sizing profile continuing to lean towards larger fruit. The market continues to be strong especially the smaller, foodservice sizes.
Oranges  Valencia’s offerings continue strong as with most citrus  larger sizes continue to be prevalent. We expect prices to remain competitive on Larger fruit although smaller sizes will remain limited at elevated pricing.
Limes:  Supplies are improving with sizing profile increasing although quality continues to be fair.
Grapefruit:  Predominantly Large sized fruit continues to be available with limited smaller fruit due to previous rains and now excessive heat.
OG Avocados
Mexico: Strong demand with limited supplies are expected to continue through June when the seasonal production surge in late June is expected.
California: Season continues with limited production. Expect supplies to be much lower than previous years.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with improving supplies . Demand has been very strong. Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage. Some damage to the tops is expected from recent high temperatures.
Potato Strong demand and steady production on Gold and especially Red with Russet production  expected to improve by the end of the month
Onion demand remains strong although production is expected to improve in coming weeks
OG Grapes
Mexico: Supplies of Green and red grapes continue from Mexico with mostly Smaller sizing profile and reduced pricing.
California: Season is expected to have a bumper crop as it ramps up in coming weeks with pricing expected to settle .Quality has been excellent from Domestic supplies.

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