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Last Update: October 20, 2014

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Blackberries will be light availability through Oct into mid November Strawberry sizing is small. Special packs such as stems and pints are limited to unavailable Cantaloupes are virtually finished in the Westside and the desert is very limited causing extreme supply gaps and prices Apples and Pears-the eastern supplies are short and Washington is in large fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes Lemon demand is exceeding supplies on all size and grades

 

WEATHER: Temperatures cool slightly across Central California as an approaching cold front brings gusty winds and a slight chance of rain over the next couple of days. Another cold front arriving Saturday looks to take a similar northern track with just a slight chance of rain into the weekend. Temperatures in the upcoming desert regions will remain near seasonal norms (low 90s) with gusty winds (20-30mph) as these systems pass well to the north.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in California remain steady. Washington and Idaho trucks continue to be extremely tight. Please get your orders in as early as possible. The national average on diesel fuel dropped slightly again last week to 3.698 per gallon. Look for pries to trend steady when they come out later today. Crude oil is down again this week and is currently at 81.92 per barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES/PEARS
New York McIntosh, Gala’s, Macoun’s, Cortland’s, Honeycrisp, and Empires, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious are all fairly steady and mostly large.  The Reds, Golden’s, Mac’s, Gala’s, and Macoun’s are peaking on 80/88/100’s, the Cortland’s are peaking on 72-88’s, the Honeycrisp are peaking on 56/64’s, and the Empires are peaking on 88/100’s. Small size fruit remains limited for all New York varieties. Michigan continues to pack Cortland’s, Empires, Fuji’s, and Gala’s, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagolds, Jonamacs, Jonathans, McIntosh, Reds, and Romes.  Michigan has better availability of the smaller sizes but is producing more of the US extra-fancy grade.  Washington Red Delicious are still peaking on 80/88’s in the WX#1 and premium grades and have good availability on the larger sizes.  Small size Reds remain very short. The Red market is steady and limited on the smaller sizes and steady to lower with volume flex on the larger sizes.  The Golden Delicious market is steady and they are still evenly sized.  Granny-Smiths are steady and still producing mostly 80/88’s in the premium grade.  Washington Gala’s are mostly steady and continue to peak on 100/113’s with good color.  Some of the Gala suppliers will flex for volume orders.  The Fuji market is steady on the smaller sizes and steady to lower 80’s and larger.  Most Fuji shippers are still peaking on 48-64’s.  Braeburns, Sweeties, Jazz, Red Romes, and Honeycrisp are all available in Washington. There are light supplies of Pink Lady’s available now.  California is essentially finished with Bartlett pears.  Washington Bartlett pears are steady and still peaking on US #1 100/110’s.  Washington D‘Anjou pears are also steady and remain a couple dollars above the Bartlett’s. Washington Bosc is available and the market continues to slowly fall. Washington red pears are mostly steady on all sizes
.
ASPARAGUS
This market is steady to begin the week with most suppliers. Production from Mexico continues to be heavier to small and standard sizing. Extra large and jumbo are commanding a higher price. Production is expected to be moderate throughout the week. Production in Peru is moderate as well. Loading out of Florida continues to be an option. Jumbos and extra large also are commanding a higher price out of this region.
 
AVOCADO
California supplies are declining quickly with only very limited amounts available as we near the end of this year’s crop over the next couple of weeks. Mexico’s new crop is going well with volume stabilizing as we get into a normal flow of fruit. Remember that this New Crop will take longer to ripen, and have a tendency to remain green when ripe and ready to eat, and also have a thicker skin making it difficult to detect the degree of ripeness.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells:  Supplies are steady but will start lightening up in the next couple of weeks. California green and colored bells are currently transitioning to southern California. Current supplies are meeting demand but we anticipate with transitions, gaps in supplies to take place. Texas currently has good supplies in mostly hothouse colored bells with some open field bells available. We have some colored hot house bells in Nogales. We anticipate an active market in October/ November as we project the lack of production from Baja California due to hurricane Odile to press markets up. Nogales will have its traditional start in bell pepper production by November/ December. Gold bells markets are slightly higher as transitions and gaps will begin.  Some greenhouse gold bell peppers are crossing through South Texas.
Eastern Bells: The pepper market in South GA has strengthened a bit.  Mostly large sizes are available, with few off grades.  Quality is good.  Market should stay firm for the remainder of the week.

BERRIES
Strawberries:  Berry sizing is small, in the mid-upper 20’s count range.  Special packs are very limited to not available.
Salinas / Watsonville / Santa Maria districts are all reporting improved quality as evening temperatures have begun to fall into ideal ranges of high 40s – low 50s.  Fruit is more firm than in recent weeks.  Sizing is ranging smaller.  Some soft fruit and sunburn may remain in the packs from heat in the recent weeks.
Oxnard districts are reporting some quality issues due to heat and wind damage in the growing areas.  Better availability in this area and forecasted to increase volume moving into next week.
Raspberries:  Good availability this week as Mexican crop came in with stronger volumes than projected.  Good quality is being reported.
Blackberries:  Blackberry production continues to decline out of California and quality remains an issue – citing red cell, soft and overripe fruit.  We are heading into one of the lowest production times of the year as the domestic crop comes to an abrupt end and Central Mexico remains 2-3 weeks out before we have good volumes available.  Expect continued fill-rates and possible loading delays as product is being transferred to cover orders. 
Blueberries:  Some domestic crop remains in the marketplace with very light availability.  This is mostly controlled atmosphere storage product and quality is fair at best.  Offshore product is available from Central America and Central Mexico.  Availability will be volatile depending on where you choose to load as product is being transferred daily to meet order requirements.  Good quality is being reported with the offshore berries.

BROCCOLI
This market has started out stronger to begin the week, especially on crowns. Expect all broccoli items to tighten up in availability weekly. Traditionally, this commodity starts production late November to early December in Yuma. Mexico has moderate production available if needed. Currently, Santa Maria and Salinas are the main growing regions for this commodity.

CARROTS
Bakersfield crop is dropping in volumes on Jumbo size carrots and with good demand we are see markets firm up. Quality of carrots is still very good.

CAULIFLOWER
This market is up to start the week. Most suppliers are calling for moderate to light supplies throughout the week. Expect production numbers to be smaller each week as we head into transition. The market will get very active with all shippers. Salinas and Santa Maria are the main regions currently producing this commodity. The good deals Santa Maria was offering last week has gone away. The quality continues to be up and down with issues of brown spotting and discoloration.

CELERY
This market continues on a steady path with most suppliers. Currently, production is out of Salinas and Santa Maria. Oxnard will begin in the first week of November. Small sizing continues to command a higher price with most shippers. The quality continues to be good out of Salinas and Santa Maria.

CITRUS
Lemons: The market continues to be strong although an increasing supply out of the desert regions is helping to take the pressure off. The 140’s and larger continue to be difficult but we see an increasing supply on these as well. Overall, we expect the market to return to a more normal supply situation in November.
Oranges: Valencia’s are winding down rapidly as we approach the end of the month. Although still in short supply there appears to be enough fruit to cover orders in a timely fashion. This is   reflected in the market as pricing begins to ameliorate to more “normal” levels. Navels are beginning to come on as Sunkist and several independents have started in a very small way. We expect to see volumes steadily increase over the next few weeks with Navels supplanting the Valencia’s about the first week of November.
Limes: We are into latter part of this seasonal crop.  The market is rising on all sizes.  The overall quality continues to be acceptable with some yellowing and minor defects showing.  Rain is expected throughout the growing region this week which should decrease supplies.

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is settling slightly.  Production from Sonora is picking up pace and market is reflecting a settling of FOB pricing. Supplies should be adequate from here on out barring any weather issues.  Sonoran supplies are making up for the affected Baja production due to the past storm damage.
Eastern Cucumbers: With Florida now working cukes, the market has softened a bit.  However, rain is expected in Georgia over the next day or so and many growers there are going back over older fields which should yield less.  The market may firm back up toward the end of the week.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: California eggplant is settling. Eggplant has started out of Coachella growing areas.  Demand is still somewhat outpacing supplies. First few lots of Mexican eggplant crossing today and expect volume to increase in the next couple of weeks.
Eastern Eggplant: The eggplant market is up slightly and should continue that trend this week. 

GRAPES
The red and green grape markets are beginning to heat up. The daily harvest has been just keeping up with daily shipments but now we are seeing more fruit diverting to storage. This, coupled with increased pressure for product as the stone fruit supplies come to an end, has succeeded in pushing all grape markets up. The medium large red market is strong at $15.95 to $16.95 with larger fruit pushing up into the $18.95 to $22.95 range. Autumn Kings, the primary green variety, is now ranging from $20.95 to as high as $24.95 on the extra large fruit. The domestic harvest on green grapes should continue through the month of October on Autumn Kings and into mid November on the last of the green varietals. The Scarlet’s are looking to finish about the end of October. The Vintage Red’s are projected to continue until about November 15. The last of the Crimson’s should make it until the weather turns and quality fails.  We expect to be shipping out of storage about mid November on both colors.

GREEN ONIONS
This market has softened slightly as demand has fallen off. Small sizing is the most readily available pack that can be purchased. Production in Mexico has been hurt due strong rains in the growing regions in past weeks. Expect this commodity to be moderate in availability for the entire week. With any kind of push on demand, this commodity could get active again.

LEAF
The romaine market is stronger with all suppliers. The issue of fringe burn, seeder, tip burn and decay on romaine continues to be reported defects. These are defects that can be expected for the rest of the season in Salinas. These defects are industry wide. The weights on romaine have been averaging 32-36 pounds.  Green leaf and Red Leaf are steady with most suppliers, with only a few showing higher pricing. Colossal romaine hearts will continue to be very light in production. Regular romaine hearts are also light in availability. High temperatures in the growing regions have not allowed hearts to cup properly. The quality is average at best with all suppliers.    

LETTUCE
This market is stronger. Huron lettuce is starting at the beginning of this week, so please be aware. There are fewer shippers in this area compared to years past. Demand is expected to be active on this commodity throughout the week. Weights are fluctuating between 39-44 pounds in all the growing regions. There continues to be issues on this commodity. Pinking, seeder, rib discoloration, bottom rot and russet spotting are the main defects being reported out of Salinas. As of now, no major defects have been reported out of Huron. Supplies are expected to be lighter this week out of the Salinas valley.

MELONS: Cantaloupe: The current supply of melons overall continues to be extremely short.  The market is holding at the current high levels.  The Westside district is done.  The desert has started off extremely slow.  Supplies look to recover in the next week to ten days.  Quality is fair to good on the new crop from the desert.
Honeydew: The Westside district has finished.  Mexico and the desert have started and are heavy towards 4’s, 5’s and 6’s.  The market is steady on all sizes.    Quality is fair to good.

ONIONS
Demand is moderate on all colors and sizes which is keeping the onion market. Growers should finish harvesting their Onions for the season by the end of this week. There are some deal being made on small Jumbo’s so be careful on what you are buying. Quality is good out of all areas.

POTATOES
Idaho – Growers are finishing harvest and will have their potatoes in their storages by the end of this week. This has caused the market to firm slightly due storage potatoes not being ready to come out of the sweat. This should correct itself by next week. Quality is being reported as good. Washington – Demand and supplies are moderate keeping this market steady. Washington is still peaking on 80ct and larger with lighter supplies of 90ct and smaller. Quality is good.
Colorado – Demand and supplies are steady. Quality is being reported as good. Sizing is peaking on 70ct. Market is steady
Wisconsin – Market and demand is steady. Sizing is peaking on 70ct. Quality is being reported as good.  Market is steady.
Stockton, California has finished for the season.  Bakersfield, California has northwest reds, whites, and gold potatoes.  North Dakota reds and gold’s are steady.  The N.D. reds are heavier to A-size while the golds are peaking on B-size.   Idaho continues to pack reds and gold’s and both colors are steady.  The Idaho reds are peaking on A-size while the golds are peaking on B’s.  Wisconsin reds and gold’s and is also both steady and both colors are heavy to A-size.  B-size reds are shorter than they were in Wisconsin and the market is slightly stronger.

SQUASH
Western Squash: California squash is currently shipping out of Santa Maria and Fresno.  Supplies are improving. Demand is being met by current supplies and market is on its way to settling slightly. Nogales production is improving.  Sonoran production ought to pick up pace from here on out.

Eastern Squash: Squash is off with Georgia in very good supplies after the full moon.  Florida will be starting up this week as well so market should continue to drop.

STONE FRUIT
Red and Black plums are essentially done although a few shippers continue to harvest limited numbers of late season varieties. Many shippers are now calling this season done. With limited availability we are seeing mostly large size fruit left to clean up. You will see 50’s through 30’s in the $21.85 to $26.85 range.  Expect plums to finish the season (for the most part) during the coming week. That leaves us waiting for the off shore stone fruit. Chilean cherries are expected to start showing up as early as mid to the end of November. We should see the rest of the Chilean stone fruit starting to hit the U.S. around January of next year.

TOMATOES
Western/Mexico: We are experiencing a typical transition period coupled with the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms passing through the Mexican growing regions. We believe the market will continue to trend upwards in availability will remain light until supply improves, likely in November. California continues to have rounds, but quality is more of an issue as the plants show the effects of a long season. Prices are on the rise for vine ripened tomatoes as well. Availability is very light from Baja as weather has impacted all the growers in the region. Eastern Mexico is just beginning and production has not ramped up yet. Romas are officially in a shortage with growers prorating contracts causing the market to rise sharply. From our perspective, the market will remain light in supply and high in price at least for another month as La Paz, the region typically supplying the lion’s share of current production, was wiped out by Hurricane Odile. Grapes have tightened as well. California is winding down in a hurry. The grape growing operations in Mexico are adjacent to the romas, so again Hurricane aftermath has been a major impact. Cherries are gaining some strength, but still lighter demand.  
Eastern/Tomatoes: Eastern tomatoes are in very short supply. Virginia/Maryland and Alabama are finished or about finished for the season. Quincy, Florida is in production; however an extremely hot and wet summer has left this growing region with major quality problems and low yields. Storms in the west have cause FOB markets to react sharply. There is very heavy demand for the tomatoes that are coming from Florida. Prices are also up on this product and for the most part they are sold out for the week. Florida’s farms are still in the early stages of production and are not expected to be in full volume until mid-November when Ruskin gets going. Volume is tight on all tomato types and quality has been inconsistent.

WATERMELON
Current crops are mostly packed in bins and cartons packed by request. Very light supplies in all growing areas. Current production is in South Texas and some in Sonora.  We ought to see watermelon crossings in Nogales to increase in the next couple of weeks. Extreme demand exceeds.

 

Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity

Quality

Market

Apples

Good

Steady

Asparagus

Good

Steady

Avocado (Mexican)

Good

Steady

Avocado (California)

Good

Steady

Bell Peppers (Western)

Good

Higher

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Raspberries

Fair

Lower

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Higher

Berries: Blueberries

Fair

Steady

Broccoli

Good

Higher

Carrots

Good

Steady

Cauliflower

Fair

Higher

Celery

Good

Steady

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Lower

Citrus: Oranges

Fair

Steady

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Steady

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Good

Lower

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Grapes, Green

Good

Steady

Grapes, Red

Good

Higher

Green Onions

Good

Lower

Lettuce: Leaf

Fair

Higher

Lettuce: Iceberg

Fair

Higher

Melons: Cantaloupe

Fair

Higher

Melons: Honeydew

Fair

Steady

Onions

Good

Steady

Pears

Good

Steady

Potatoes

Good

Higher

Squash (Western)

Good

Steady

Squash (Eastern)

Good

Lower

Stone Fruit

Excellent

Higher

Tomatoes (Western)

Fair

Higher

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Fair

Higher

Watermelon

Good

Steady

 

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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