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Last Update: April 22, 2014

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Offshore Honeydew and Cantaloupe running very large sizing. Very large spread on green grape prices depending on quality. Limes: We are seeing extreme shortages and markets out of Mexico brought on by bloom drop from tropical storms back in November and cool wet weather in February and March. Apples and Pears: The eastern supplies are drying up and Washington is in large fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes!

 

WEATHER: The high-pressure over the west coast begins to weaken today with a couple of approaching low pressure systems. Temperatures are expected to cool to the 50s to mid 60s near the coast with low 70s in the warmest inland regions into the weekend. These mostly dry low pressure systems will move into the region through the week with increasing marine layer and strong winds (20-35mph) with a slight chance of showers possible late this week.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in California are steady but should tighten up at the end of the week. Trucks in Washington are steady but Idaho remains extremely tight. The national average on diesel fuel remained steady again last week at 3.952 per gallon and should trend steady when it comes out later today. Crude oil continues to be over 100.00 per barrel and is now at 104.10 per barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES/PEARS
New York is still packing McIntosh, Red Delicious, Empires, and Red Rome’s.  The markets for all are steady on 100’s and larger and steady to higher on 113’s and smaller.  All the New York varieties are producing mostly larger fruit.  Washington is in a similar situation as New York with lots of size.  Washington Red Delicious is also peaking on 100’s and larger while 113’s and smaller are short.  The market for Reds is rising for on all sizes but the larger sizes are rising slower.  Washington Golden Delicious is also producing more of the larger sizes but they are more evenly spread out.  Gold’s are fairly steady on all sizes and grades.  The Granny-smith market is rising and is strong on all sizes.  There is better availability of smaller fruit in the Grannies.  Washington Gala’s are also on the rise and will continue to go up until they finish in mid May or early June.  The Galas also have more of the smaller fruit but most of it goes to retail bag business and never gets tray-packed.  Fuji’s in Washington are very large and the market is also rising as we approach the end of the season.  Many shippers are peaking on 80-size and larger Fuji’s. Washington pears are also on the rise as we approach the end of the Washington CA deal.  D’Anjou’s are peaking on 80/90’s and are short on 110’s and smaller.  Bosc is heavier to 100/110’s and has more of the smaller fruit but food-service is taking most of it.  Red Pears are still available and heavier to half-carton 45/50’s.

ASPARAGUS
This market is firm to start the week. There are light supplies out of Mexico. The production has picked up in Washington and California production is moderate. Expect this market to be active as we approach the Mother’s day pull in the next few weeks. The quality has been reported as good in all the growing regions. 

AVOCADO
Mexico is still the predominant supplier with75% of the supplies to the USA. Quality and flavor are very good. California growers have begun to harvest in earnest. The fruit is very good, with high maturity levels. Size currently peaking on 60’s and 70’s. Expect markets to firm as we approach Cinco de Mayo which is a heavily promoted promotion time.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells: Green bell market is steady and is still demand exceeds on larger fruit off grade and smaller fruit is settling.  Crops are currently shipping mostly from Sonora.   Sizing is heavier towards med and choice fruit; larger fruit is very scarce.  We are looking at some growers wrapping up or close to wrapping up in production sooner than seasonably customary.  New fields are expected to start soon but will be in lighter volume than Sinaloa. Southern California is has started but is mostly producing large fruit. Open field colored Red bell market is Steady but high FOBS but, some ranches are experiencing some minor gapping and/ or wrapping up.  Markets are higher as both Hot House and open field color bells are trying to find their spot. Quality is good in both open field and hothouse colored bells.  We do however see this market continuing light for the next couple of weeks and will be in demand exceeds for the remainder of the Nogales season. Gold bells markets continue steady availability depends on growing district.  Demand exceeds as Mexican production has started in earnest. We are starting to see some hot house product crossing but still light.
Eastern Bells: Green Bells are in good supply and actually have gone up some.

BERRIES
trawberries: The forecast is calling for slight chance isolated showers in the Salinas / Watsonville growing areas on Tuesday.  The storm system is suppose to stay north’s, so Santa Maria and Oxnard should stay dry.  Another storm system is forecasted to hit this Friday/Saturday, which will hit all growing areas.  This could affect supplies for the upcoming Mother’s day pull.  Only time will tell.  There is a split market between Oxnard and the northern growing areas.  Oxnard fruit is being discounted due to the small size and weaker quality.  Market is steady.  Quality is good out of Santa Maria and the Salinas/Watsonville growing areas.
Raspberries: Mexico is still the main growing area with some light supplies coming out of Oxnard and Watsonville.  This market will remain steady with moderate demand and slowing building supplies.  Quality is being reported as good.
Blackberries: Blackberry market is starting to get stronger again which is due to Mexico supplies peaking last week and local product not up to speed yet.  Quality is fair with a few good lots.
Blueberries: Supplies are limited out of Florida this week but will start to improve next couple weeks.  Florida and California have just started and should be up to full speed by first week of May.  Quality is being reported as good out of California. Georgia is expecting to increase supplies out this region next couple weeks.  The main pack is 6oz and 4.4oz with very limited supplies of larger packs. As they get up to speed larger packs will become more available. Market is steady.

BROCCOLI
Bunched product as well as crowns is firm to begin the week. Inventories are down with some suppliers up to 20% from the previous week. With this being said, pricing is steady as suppliers expect a little slowdown in sales before the Mother’s Day pull. They want to keep fresh product. There is a gap of production in the forecast in the next week on bunched product as well as crowns. Expect pricing to be more active by the end of the week with most suppliers. The production is mainly coming out of Salinas and Santa Maria.

CARROTS
Bakersfield crop is producing good volumes of good quality carrots.

CAULIFLOWER
This market continues to gain strength with all shippers. Demand exceeds supplies and this will continue throughout the week. The market is ranging from $25-28 fob and many suppliers are sold out to begin the week. Contract orders are getting priority with many suppliers. There have been issues of yellowing and brown spotting being reported. Santa Maria and Salinas are the main growing regions at this time for this commodity.

CELERY
Seeders are becoming an issue with many suppliers in the Oxnard region. This market is firm.  Inventories have tightened up with a few suppliers while others are having better production. This has caused a gap in pricing by three to four dollars amongst the different shippers. Oxnard continues to be the mainstay of production on this commodity. Santa Maria has light production and Salinas has not started.  

CITRUS
Lemons: Strong demand for lemons and slow growth due to lack of rain is keeping markets at high levels. The demand for 140’ and smaller sized is exceeding supplies.
Oranges: Navels are projected to through May, but most of these late Navels will be the larger sizes. The smaller sizes will remain very limited in availability. We have started the Valencia crop in a light way. Crop evaluation is ongoing for freeze and drought effects. Current pack outs show peaking on 113’s and 88’s.
Limes: Supplies are still very tight, but we are seeing just a bit more fruit coming available, mostly the very small sizes of 230’s/250’s/275’s. Cooler weather in February and March along with some rainy weather has affected the bloom, which could affect fruit supplies out to the summer months.

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is steady.  Markets are slightly unsettled due to holiday and truck availability.  Newer fields have started with good production. Weather for growing areas is expected to get cloudy and may slow down some production.
Eastern Cucumbers: Expect the market to stay steady with good quality. 

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: Market is expected go Steady. Demand is outpacing current supplies, current market unsettled due to holiday and truck availability.  Quality is good. We do expect demand to taper as Lenten season finished.  Cloudy weather may slow down some production.

Eastern Eggplant: Eggs expect the market to stay steady with fair quality until new crop arrives.

GRAPES
Chilean grapes are still available on both coasts.  Green Grapes are only fair quality on most storage product.  They is a very wide spread on price and quality.  Red Crimson is still available with good quality.  Nogales Mexican fruit and Coachella CA fruit should start up the first week of May.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is steady as demand is light to moderate at best. Production continues to be good out of the Mexico region. Supplies are expected to be good throughout the month of April with no major issues to report.

LEAF LETTUCE
Romaine supplies are stronger with many suppliers and this has softened this market. Romaine hearts has also had better production numbers compared to past weeks. Green and red leaf items are steady with ample supplies to fill all orders. A few suppliers have some labor issues and this may affect production next week, but as of now things are steady in the marketplace. The quality overall is reported as being good with romaine and all leaf items.

LETTUCE
Supplies are expected to be good through at least the middle of the week with many shippers. Weights are reported to be in the range of 43-46 pounds. Suppliers are looking to keep clean inventories before the Mother’s Day pull and a few are listening to offers on volume type orders. The market overall is steady to begin the week.

MELONS
Cantaloupe: There is good quality on the offshore fruit coming into both coasts but product is running very large still.  Nogales has some limited availability.  CA fruit is set to start in a very limited way at the end of this week.
Honeydew: Offshore fruit is still going strong peaking to 5ct.  Nogales has good quality and smaller sized fruit available.

ONIONS
Idaho/Oregon still has a few yellows and reds but most suppliers are looking to clean-up and are flexible on price.  Texas continues packing yellows they are just starting to hit their volume.  Mexico is still crossing yellows but the volume is starting to drop as they are close to the end of their season.  The California desert is just starting to pack today.  All areas are fairly steady since the Texas shippers are coming in with clean floors and its California’s first day, but expect lower markets by the end of the week.  Just buy what you need at this point with the exception of Super-colossal yellows, which remain limited in all areas.  Red onions also fairly steady.  They will stay higher for longer since California won’t have volume for a couple weeks.  Whites are steady to higher and much of The Mexican volume has cleaned up.  The quality in Texas/Mexico has been good for all colors.

POTATOES
The Idaho shippers are starting to have to run more bulk now that Burbanks are basically the only variety so expect a stronger market.  Most packers are up slightly from last week and will be slightly higher by the end of the week.  The availability of number-two’s is up and most shippers will deal for volume.  Washington is steady on all sizes.  Some suppliers there are heavier to the larger counts.  Colorado is steady to higher on all sizes.  Most suppliers have limited availability on the larger counts due to strong demand.  Wisconsin is steady on all sizes of russets. Colored potatoes are changing a little.  Western Washington is nearly finished with Reds but will have gold’s for a few more weeks.  Bakersfield, California is packing all colors.  The California reds are still large and peaking on A-size while the gold and whites are producing more B’s.  The California markets are steady for all colors and sizes.  North Dakota is essentially finished for the season.  Southern Florida is also packing all colors and they will go into May.  The Florida reds and Whites are producing more A-size now, while the Gold’s are heavier to B-size.  The Florida A reds and gold’s are slightly lower.

SQUASH
Western Squash: Market is steady on Italian yellow s/n.    Most production is from southern Sonora and Sinaloa and we are experiencing a lack of trucks and inventories are static.  Cloudy weather is in the forecast and may help slow production on Italian squash. Yellow straight neck is still light in production but new lots ought to start soon. We are starting to see Sonora product in good numbers. Some windy weather may become a quality factor.
Eastern Squash: Squash has started in the plant city area and quality is getting better as we move into the new crop on both colors.

STONE FRUIT
The California stone fruit season has begun.  Peaches, nectarines and apricots are not available and shippers are mostly packing trays with some volume fill available.  Quality is excellent.  Cherries are starting this week in a light way but prices are astronomical, most of the fruit will stay local. 

TOMATOES
Western/Mexico: Mexico has lowered prices this week as Florida moves into better supply in an effort to keep US demand on Mexican imports. Flat demand for Roma tomatoes is holding the market steady and growing regions are beginning to wind down. Cherry and Grape tomatoes are steady as most demand is shifting to domestic fruit. Overall yields are slowing down in Culiacan as Mexico begins moving to new growing regions in mainland and Baja over the next couple of weeks. As fields transition, prices will vary with multiple markets coming on.
Eastern Tomatoes: Florida yields continue to improve with ideal growing conditions causing crops to thrive. Prices have softened further this week with availability improving on all sizes. Demand is steady but expected to pick up through the end of the month. Roma harvests are also strong satisfying mostly the Southeast while the rest of America looks south of the boarder for cheaper fruit. The cherry and grape tomato market is steady this week and crops are bountiful. Increasing demand will dictate price as Mexico has light volumes on both items.

WATERMELON
Market is offering some buys but market is generally static.  Current Nogales crossings are improving and so is availability. Other districts have wrapped up. The spring crop will be mostly packed in bins and cartons will become lighter in supplies.

 

Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity

Quality

Market

Apples

Good

Higher

Asparagus

Good

Steady

Avocado (Mexican)

Good

Higher

Avocado (California)

Good

Steady

Bell Peppers (Western)

Good

Steady

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Raspberries

Good

Steady

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blueberries

Good

Steady

Broccoli

Good

Steady

Carrots

Good

Steady

Cauliflower

Fair

Higher

Celery

 

 

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Steady

Citrus: Oranges

Good

Higher

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Steady

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Fair

Steady

Grapes, Green

Fair

Higher

Grapes, Red

Good

Steady

Green Onions

Good

Steady

Lettuce: Leaf

Good

Steady

Lettuce: Iceberg

Good

Steady

Melons: Cantaloupe

Good

Steady

Melons: Honeydew

Good

Steady

Onions

Good

Steady

Pears

Good

Higher

Potatoes

Fair

Higher

Squash (Western)

Good

Steady

Squash (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Stone Fruit

Excellent

Higher

Tomatoes (Western)

Good

Steady

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Watermelon

Good

Steady

 

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