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Last Update: March 2, 2015

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Issues of quality contine to come up on many row crop items. Past weather conditions has created mediocre quality for many commodities. Apples-Washington is into larger fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes especially Granny Smiths Heavy rains in the Yuma region over this past weekend have slowed production to begin the week with many commodities.

 

WEATHER: The second in a series of low pressures systems will move through the Southwestern growing regions with widespread precipitation today from Central California to Northern Mexico. These systems have brought much needed rain and even some snow to the upper elevations throughout California. Mid range forecasts expect another strong high pressure ridge to form over California mid-week with substantial warming into the weekend. Strong winds will continue in the desert regions today diminishing as the system moves out. Temperatures in the low 60s today will moderate to the upper 70s late this week.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in CA and AZ continue to be plentiful. Washington and Idaho trucks remain steady as well. The national average on diesel continues to rise and will trend up from last week’s price of 2.900 per gallon when it comes out later today. Crude oil remained steady and is currently 50.44 a barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES / PEARS
New York continues to pack McIntosh, Empires, Red Romes, Red Delicious, and a few Fuji’s.  The markets are all steady but there is a little flex on some sizes.  Most of the New York fruit is still large.  Michigan continues to pack Braeburns, Empires, Fuji’s, Gala’s, Golden Delicious, Ida-reds, Jonathans, Jonagolds, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and Red Romes.  Most Michigan varieties are peaking on the larger sizes. Michigan is short on Gala’s and Golden delicious, all other variety’s are steady but they will flex for volume on some sizes. Washington Reds are steady on 100’s and smaller and steady to lower on 88’s and larger.  The volume flex for the larger sizes is still there.  Red delicious continues to peak on 80’s and larger in the WX#1 & premium grades.  Golden delicious are steady on all sizes and continue to peak on 88/100’s but all sizes are available.  Granny-smith is steady on all sizes. The availability of 80’s and larger is good while the 88’s and smaller remains limited.  Grannies are peaking on Washington extra-fancy 72/80’s. Washington Gala’s are steady and are still are peaking on 88/100’s.  Fuji’s are also steady and continue to peak on 64/72’s. Braeburns, Jonagolds, Jazz, Red Romes, Honeycrisp, Cameo’s, Pink Lady’s, and Lady Alice are all available in Washington.  Honeycrisp are generally higher with light availability.  Many packers will finish shipping them within the next month. The Honey’s are still peaking on 48/56’s.  Washington D‘Anjou pears are steady & continue to peak on 80/90’s while 120’s and smaller are short.  Washington Bosc are steady and continue to peak on 80/90’s.  Small Bosc is also short. Washington red D’Anjou’s are steady on all sizes and they are peaking on 45/50 half-cartons.

ASPARAGUS
This market is firm. Supplies look to be moderate on standard and large sizing throughout the week in Mexico. Standard and large sizing will be the main packs regions and will command a higher price. Peruvian product is available out of Miami. The quality is good from all growing areas.

AVOCADO
Supplies from Mexico have dropped. Mexico’s growers are currently in clean up groves with lighter supplies and have raised their field prices to the shippers and market prices moving higher. 48’s and larger continue to be short. California fruit is coming to market with light supplies. Overall supplies are light; quality remains good and market firm. 

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells: Colored bells are steady in production and supplies meeting current demand. Market is slightly higher due to demand and supplies leveling out. Green bells are getting active with larger size becoming short and quoted at a premium. All other green bells are following suit. Gold bells market is steady.  Some greenhouse gold bell peppers are crossing through South Texas and Nogales.
Eastern Bells: Florida’s recent freeze did not damage the crops in the way many had expected.  Pepper supplies remain good and with light demand, the market remains unchanged.

BERRIES
Strawberries:  Currently loading in three primary areas:  Southern CA, Central FL and McAllen, TX.  Market is steady, quality is fair to good.  Central and Southern CA received some moderate rainfall over the weekend with some shippers reporting disruption in production in the Oxnard region.  Chance of showers continues though today and through tomorrow afternoon with possibility of another 0.50” precipitation.  This may disrupt production on the front side of this week depending on the severity.  We will have a better idea this afternoon once crews and supervisors get in the fields and all assessments have been made.  Water related quality issues will likely follow this event including bruising, soft spots and possible pin rot.  White shoulders will be more evident in coming weeks following this weather event as well.  McAllen fruit is sizing down and shippers are monitoring for quality out of MX.  Several shippers have ended their McAllen program shipping MX strawberries for this season.  Florida is reporting dry conditions and warming through mid-week before the next cold front and scattered wet weather Thur/Fri.  Mixed reports on FL fruit quality.  Some shippers are already diverting product into freezer markets, others still reporting good quality with inconsistent sizing.        
Blackberries:  In recent weeks, Central Mexico received both heavy rain and hail in the blackberry and raspberry growing regions.  The percentage of damage was decreased after more recent assessments to total about 20% rather than the 40% originally being reported.  Most damage was to blackberries.  Some quality issues being reported are mold and red cell.  Harvest volumes have been reduced.  Shippers will be managing quality at both the field and cooler levels to divert as many issues as possible.  Market is steady, quality is fair.
Raspberries:  MX Raspberries do not seem to have been affected as much by the recent weather but some shippers reported reduced production.  CA production on raspberries is slowly increasing.  Market is steady.  Quality is improving with more local production. 

Blueberries: Supplies are limited in all pack sizes (4.4 oz, 6 oz and pints.)  There are several factors with blueberries that could be leading to a tight period.  Chilean blues season is coming to a close in about 2-3 weeks and domestic fruit out of FL, GA, then CA will not be available in good volume for 4-6 weeks.  The recent CA port shutdown was leaving vessels carrying tons of Chilean blues out on the water.  Many vessels bound for CA ports have since been diverted to FL as well which delays the planned transit and arrival time by several days.  Once they arrive, transfer trucks will be waiting to bring some of the fruit over to the West coast.  Between the seasonal declines of fruit coming out of Chile, their own set of challenges with weather in transit and border crossing/inspections.  Market is split with MX fruit getting a premium over Chilean.  Domestic fruit is beginning in a light way in CA, limited availability.

BROCCOLI
This market is active. Heavy rains in Yuma over the weekend, coupled with the fact that supplies are beginning to dry up in the desert has made for stronger activity in the marketplace. Multiple suppliers are harvesting in Salinas as well. Demand is up. Santa Maria, and Scottsdale are also producing this commodity, supplies are moderate to light however. This market looks to gain strength throughout the week.

CARROTS: California desert crop is going well with fair size on coming out of the fields. Jumbo size carrots availability has improved. Quality of carrots is good.

CAULIFLOWER
This market is stronger. Heavy rains have caused some shippers to be sold out to begin the week on this commodity. Supplies are expected to be moderate to light throughout the week. Santa Maria and Yuma continue to be the main growing regions for this commodity. Multiple shippers are harvesting out of Salinas as well. Issues on quality include rough curd, brown spotting and yellow casting out of the Yuma region.

CELERY
This market is steady, overall. Some suppliers are better off than others. Large sizing continues to have the best availability. Oxnard and Yuma are the main growing regions at this time. Santa Maria has been in and out in terms of availability. There are a few issues on quality such as slight bowing, leafy and light insect damage. The complaints have been minimal.

CITRUS
Lemons: The market is steady. The Desert crop is done. We are now into the Ventura crop growers are only slowly working this new crop. Smaller fruit remains very tight on supplies.
Oranges: Navels are in full production. External color is very good. Internal maturity is good and eating quality is excellent. Size is currently peaking on 88’s/72’s/113’s/56’s/138’s. The 138’s are beginning to get tight.
Limes:  The market has lifted and looks to continue picking up.  Supplies have weakened a bit and demand is good.  New crop is trickling in but not enough to stop the upward pressure.  The forecast of lighter supplies March and April will probably support these higher prices.  The overall quality continues to be acceptable with some yellowing and minor defects showing.

CUCUMBERS:
Western Cucumber: Market has started to settle at current quotes.  Production from Sonora is lower volume with the majority of the production now coming from Sinaloa.  Cool weather may keep production steady and market firm or climb depending on demand. Expected mid-week rain may slow down harvesting.
Eastern Cucumbers: Cucumber market remains steady with excellent quality.

EGGPLANT:
Western Eggplant: Market is showing signs of settling slightly.  Production has been steady and warmer weather should keep pace with demand. We are seeing some adverse effects of the warm weather on some lots of eggplant. We foresee a demand exceeds for the next couple of weeks. Expected mid-week rain may slow down harvesting.
Eastern Eggplant: Supplies are very limited and decent quality is difficult to come by this week.

GRAPES
Red seedless grapes are showing a split market now based on quality. The late season flames are showing some quality issues (splits, light mold and early decay). The newer Crimson’s, Royal Red’s and miscellaneous varieties are arriving with much better condition but in limited quantities. Consequently, they are commanding a higher price than the flames. The green seedless market is about steady with adequate supplies of all sizes.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is steady, overall. There continues to be sporadic complaints of light color and burnt tips. The complaints however have been much less compared to the prior week.  Most sizing is available, with the predominance sizing being in the small and medium sizing.

LEAF LETTUCE
The market on romaine is steady but expected to get stronger by the middle of the week. A pricing gap exists depending on the shipper. The quality of romaine, green and red leaf continues to have issues of blister and epidermal peel.  Weights on romaine are ranging from 30-38 pounds. Green and red leaf pricing is steady with most suppliers. Please emphasize that ALL suppliers continue to declare the issues of blister and peel. 

LETTUCE
This market is steady for now. This market looks to get stronger by the middle of the week.  The weights range from 41-46 pounds. Blister, misshapen heads, mildew, weak tip,   and epidermal peel continues to be seen upon arrivals but the percentage is less than in past weeks. Supplies look to be lighter by the end of the week. Rain over the weekend in Yuma has slowed harvesting to begin the week.

MELONS
Cantaloupe:  Melons supplies are lower this week and demand is remaining good.  The market is continuing to rise.  The sizing once again continues to peak on 9’s and 12’s with fewer 15’s and even fewer 18’s.  Offshore melons are arriving on the west coast in light volumes and 9’s and 12’s are available.  Quality is good on all lopes.
Honeydew: Offshore dews are peaking on 5’s and 6’s.  Supplies are going to remain below normal until the end of February to first week or two of March.  Rainy weather during the planting stages and abnormal overcast weather has caused low yields.   The market is rising on all sizes.  Good demand and lower supplies have begun to bump up prices.  Quality has been good and looks to stay this way.

ONIONS
The northwest Onion market is steady on Jumbo and smaller in both yellows and reds. Supplies of Yellow Colossal and Super are starting to tighten up which has this market starting to firm up. White supplies are winding down and the market is firm. Quality is still being reported as good. Storage supplies out of Idaho should last into the end of April. Mexico Yellow Sweet and White onions have started crossing in a very light way loading out of McAllen, Texas.

POTATOES
Idaho –The market is firming on 70ct and larger as most shippers are in small storages currently. Idaho 80 count and smaller are steady. Idaho 40 count and 50 count are still very limited with most shippers.  Most suppliers are still packing both Norkotahs and Burbanks, but will finish with Norkotahs the middle to end of March.  The quality is being reported as good.
Washington- Demand and supply are moderate which has this market steady on most size cartons. Quality is being reported as good.
Colorado/Wisconsin – Light retail demand has the carton market tight out of these areas. Most shippers are only running limited hours. Market is steady but firm. Quality is being reported as good.

COLORED POTATOES
Bakersfield, California – Reds, Gold’s, and whites are steady on all sizes and the availability has improved as they are packing their own raw-product.   All three colors are peaking on A-size.  White supplies are more limited.
Western Washington – the market for Reds is steady while the Gold market is higher. Both colors are still heavy to A-size but the Gold supplies are light as we approach the end of their season.  North Dakota - reds are mostly steady on all sizes but there is some volume flex on A-size.  The reds continue to peak on A-size.  Gold’s are steady to higher with light availability.    
Idaho - reds and gold’s is both steady and are still peaking on A-size.  Idaho has good availability on A-size reds.  Gold’s are supplies are limited as some suppliers have finished packing.
Wisconsin - reds are steady to higher and still peaking on A-size.  Gold’s are also steady but limited in volume.  Florida - they are packing reds, gold’s, and whites.  The reds are peaking on A-size while the Gold’s and Whites have more B-size.  Gold’s and Whites are steady while the red market is slowly adjusting down.

SQUASH:
Western Squash:Markets are unsettled with some growers selling at higher FOBs on Italian squash and yellow squash. Yellow squash is unsettled and are showing signs of climbing also.   Some lower quoted yellow squash is of inferior quality due to some past rainy weather.
Eastern Squash: Squash market us up a bit and green is a bit more difficult than the yellow as a result of the recent freeze. We can expect prices to hold for the remainder of the week.

STONE FRUIT
The peach market has firmed up as supplies have lightened up. Supplies of peaches look to be light for the next 10 – 14 days with sizing heavy to the larger tray pack 30’s and volume fill 50’s. Nectarines are more readily available with a wider range of sizes. Plum volume is currently heavy to the red varieties. We expect this to continue for the next 2 weeks when supplies of reds will lighten up and the Black’s will increase in availability. The market remains about steady on both.

TOMATOES
Western/Mexico: Growers in Eastern Mexico see minimal amounts of fruit cross the border as they await the beginning of their spring yields. Production in Western Mainland Mexico has slowed as they faced rainy weather over the weekend. With the rain, quality could have lingering effects on the supply of rounds are expected to pick back up by the end of the week. Like Round Tomatoes, Florida growers continue to see limited yields of Romas due to their typical seasonal decline and colder weather. Eastern Mexico is seeing handfuls of fruit as growers anticipate their spring production. Roma production is beginning to see a slight decrease out of Western Mainland Mexico as rain has hit their crop. Growers are beginning to sort through the fruit to find quality issues from the rain. Yields are expected to pick back up to full force by the end of this week. Growers in Mainland Mexico are past their peaks in production and still working through challenges from the ever changing weather they have been dealing with over the last 3-4 weeks. Grape production is dwindling in Nogales as March approaches. Keep an eye on quality as there are more splits, and softer fruit surfacing.
Eastern/Tomatoes: Florida continues to struggle as they are declining in production and battling the challenges the weather has presented over the weekend. The extreme cold front that most of the eastern US has been experiencing is helping to keep demand down, easing the pressure slightly. Cold weather last week in Florida did minimal damage to plants. It did cause a bloom drop that will show a skip in the tomato production in about 40 days.  Florida volume is very light right now and rain is forecasted for the rest of the week. Florida has shorter supplies, but the quality is very good.  Production should really slow up later this week due to rain in the forecast.  After the rain, production will pick up because the higher temperatures will bring some more fruit on. Grape supplies are short in Florida.  They are in production, but not with major volume.  They will this week because rain is forecasted every day after Wednesday.  The temperatures are warming up this week and if they do not pick for a few days, that should mean high volume when they go back in.

WATERMELON
The current production is Jalisco.  Watermelons are becoming short due to fields running their course with lighter production out of Jalisco. The northern crop will not be in production until mid-March; Jalisco will be the main source of watermelons until the spring.  The market will continue short although there is slight increase in production. We don’t foresee markets settling any lower unless it is inferior fruit.

 

Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity

Quality

Market

Apples

Good

Steady

Asparagus

Good

Steady

Avocado (Mexican)

Good

Higher

Avocado (California)

Good

Higher

Bell Peppers (Western)

Good

Steady/Higher

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Raspberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blueberries

Fair

Steady

Broccoli

Good

Higher

Carrots

Good

Steady

Cauliflower

Fair

Higher

Celery

Fair

Steady

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Steady

Citrus: Oranges

Good

Steady

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Lower

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Excellent

Steady

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Fair

Higher

Grapes, Green

Good

Steady

Grapes, Red

Good

Higher

Green Onions

Fair

Steady

Lettuce: Leaf

Fair

Steady

Lettuce: Iceberg

Fair

Steady

Melons: Cantaloupe

Good

Higher

Melons: Honeydew

Good

Higher

Onions

Good

Steady

Pears

Good

Steady

Potatoes

Good

Higher

Squash (Western)

Good

Steady

Squash (Eastern)

Fair

Higher

Stone Fruit

Excellent

Higher

Tomatoes (Western)

Fair

Steady

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Fair

Steady

Watermelon

Good

Higher

 

Recent Events


 

Royal Food Service Joins Georgia Organics

Royal Food Service is a member of Georgia OrganicsRoyal Food Service is now a member of Georgia Organics, an organization recognized state-wide and abroad for its expertise in local, sustainable organic agriculture. We believe this affiliation will help us to better support local organic farming, our customers in healthcare whose patients depend on certified organic produce for treatment, and increase visibility to our expanding line of organic fruits and vegetables. Learn more about Georgia Organics


 

Newton County Schools Chooses Royal

The Newton County School System is preparing to feed its students in the 2014-15 school year, approving various contracts at the Board of Education. Among them was Royal Food Service of Atlanta who was selected as the vendor of choice for providing produce and fresh eggs, with the contract becoming effective on June 25 and ending June 24, 2015. Romaine lettuce, apples, oranges, onions, nectarines and peaches are just a few of the produce items that Royal will provide.

It was determined by the Newton school district that Royal Food Service offered the lowest cost to the school district. (Newton Citizen, June 5, 2014, Ryan McKenzie) Read full article.


 

Royal Joins to Support Georgia SHAPE'S Healthy Child Initiative

Georgia SHAPEGeorgia SHAPE is an exciting initiative to improve Georgia’s future, beginning with our state’s most vital and important asset: our young people. We know all children can benefit from knowledge of their current health-related fitness levels, along with a capacity to develop and implement strategies for personal improvement.  Read more about Georgia SHAPE.

Below: Georgia SHAPE team poses with Governor Nathan Deal. image placeholder

 

 


 

Compass Group North America is Newest Greener Fields Together™ Hospitality Partner

Compass GroupCompass Group North America, the leading foodservice management and support services company, is the newest hospitality partner in Greener Fields Together, the sustainability and local produce initiative created by the PRO*ACT produce supply-chain management company. Read news release.

 


 

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