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Last Update: April 23, 2015


COMMODITY ALERT: STRAWBERRIES: DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY POTATOES: Idaho 40-60 count are in a demand exceeds supply situation LEAF LETTUCES: Green and red leaf light supplies for 2 weeks...gap in production ASPARAGUS: Jumbo sizing is scarce, supplies from Mexico and Salinas will be light on all sizing throughout the week. CAULIFLOWER: Light supplies for a minimum of one week. COLORED POTATOES: South Florida will finished with gold potatoes this week and will not start packing in the Hastings area until May 7. We will have approximately an 11 day gap on new-crop in the east


WEATHER: The series of weak low pressure systems along the West Coast will continue moving south into Baja California through the week. As these systems roll through they will bring a heavy marine layer (drizzle) and cooler temperatures to the coastal regions of California through the week. Temperatures will remain in the 50s to upper 60s near the coast with 70s in the warmer inland valleys. In the Southwest and across the border temperatures cool to below average (70s to low 80s) in most northern locations as these low pressure systems move into Baja and Northern Mexico this week. Scattered showers and a chance of rain remain in the forecast as temperatures quickly rebound under high pressure over the weekend. The Southeast will see scattered showers as a couple of weak cold fronts slowly move through this week. Dry conditions are expected over the weekend in front of the next more powerful system arriving late Sunday.


FREIGHT: Trucks in CA are adequate but look to tighten up as the week progresses.  Trucks in ID are steady while WA and Western Idaho are tight due the increased shipments of nursery stock.  Crude oil is steady and is currently at 56.53 per barrel. 


Commodity Updates

New York continues to pack Empires, Red delicious, Red Romes and McIntosh.  Some suppliers have also packed a few Cameos and Fujis.  Most varieties are still peaking on 100's and larger.  The quality has been good.
Michigan continues to pack Empires, Ida-reds, Jonagolds, Jonathans, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and Red Romes.  The Red Rome's, Red Delicious, and Jonagolds continue to peak on 88's and larger.  The Empires, Jonathans, Ida-reds have better availability on 100's and smaller.  The quality has been good.
Washington red delicious are peaking 88's and larger in the higher grades.  Most packers have plenty of the Wash extra-fancy #1 and Premium 88's and larger and will discount for volume.  Small reds remain relatively short.  Golden delicious are steady on all sizes.  The goldens remain fairly evenly sized but 125's and 138's are somewhat shorter than the other sizes.  Granny-Smith continue to peak on 64/72's and have very limited availability of 100's and smaller.  The Fujis are fairly steady but are peaking on the larger sizes.  Galas are also steady and peaking on 88/100's.  The Galas have better availability in the smaller sizes.  Honeycrisp are still available but supplies are light and the market is high and strong.  Opals, Jazz, Jonagolds, Pink Ladys, and a few other varietals are still available.  
Pears: Washington continues to ship D'anjou pears and red pears.  The D'anjous are still heavy to the larger sizes and have limited availability on 11's and smaller.  The red pears will be available through May but supplies are light.
On the Import side we have both Chilean and Argentinean fruit.  The Chilean fruit Bartletts are cleaning up and they are smaller in size.  The Argentinean fruit is bigger as they are peaking on 100's and larger and that market remains very strong.

This market is firm. Jumbo packs from all the regions continue to be light in production and commanding a premium price. Demand exceeds supply. Mexican product will be on the light side of production for about three weeks. Standard and large sizing are the main packs available on eleven pound cases. Shippers are not packing 28# cases.  Salinas and Mexico continue to be the main growing regions for this commodity.  Peruvian product is available to load out of Miami direct. Standard and large sizing are the main packs from Peru.

Mexico is over 70% harvested for their season. Good supplies continue to come in, and still heavy to 60's and smaller. 48's and larger remain tight, but are showing some improvement.
California growers are harvesting good volume. They are peaking on 60's and smaller. Quality and flavor are both very good.

Eastern Bells: The bell pepper market is continuing to ease up as many growers in the Plant City area begin to ramp up with excellent quality.  They are still heavy in crown picking but the off grades are coming on fast.  South Florida is still working pepper but the quality is marginal.  This market should remain steady for the next several days.
Western Bells: Colored bell are increasing in supplies and market is softening slightly.  We expect Red bells to get back to better numbers soon.  Green bells are also coming off although some growers are close to wrapping up. Sonora supplies are increasing in supplies also but their run will be wrapping up soon also.  Large fruit in both green and colored bells remain short and at a premium.  Off grade green bells easing up a little on FOB's.
Southern California has started and production is increasing.

Blackberries: Some quality issues being reported for soft berries, red cell and some mold especially with MX berries.  Supply and quality have improved this week although some marginal fruit remains in the market. Santa Maria, CA has started with light volume and the fruit is sizing larger than MX.  Some shippers have not begun with CA crops and are looking closer to mid-May.
Blueberries: Chilean season has ended and there continues to be less of this fruit in the market, quality issues present with generally tired/dated fruit showing shrivel, moisture, some mold.  CA blues have been limited so far but looks to be increasing with more volume this week, mostly 4.4oz clams although some larger packs are being packed at request.  FL blues are available out of Miami, Dover and Plant City.  Mostly 6oz clams though some larger packs are being packed at request.  Market has come off some on both CA and FL blues.  Mainland Mexican supplies have been limited by rain and cooler weather but looks to increase this week as weather has cleared. Varying levels of pricing and quality based on country/region of origin.
Raspberries: Raspberry volumes continue to decline out of both Central Mexico and Oxnard, CA growing regions. Santa Maria, CA volumes have increased some recently. We should begin to see Watsonville fruit by the end of April with decent volume. Some reports of soft and overripe berries.  Some current seasonal varieties are darker in color; this does not mean they are overripe.  This is their color profile by variety.
Strawberries:  DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY. We are in a seasonal supply gap period after Oxnard ended most major production for fresh market and the Santa Maria and Salinas/Watsonville districts are not putting out enough volume yet to cover the loss of the southern region. Shippers are quoting oversold/sold out each day.  Orders are being pushed into the following date and/or fill-rated from shippers daily as well.  Expect volume to be limited through Mother's Day pull and lower volumes than recent years.

This market is active with most shippers. Crowns have tightened up in production.  Supplies have tightened up on bunched product as well.  The best quality remains in the Salinas Valley.  Santa Maria has light to moderate supplies with good quality.  Production in Mexico is light to moderate.  The quality in all of the growing regions is reported as being strong.

California desert crop is going well. Size is only fair coming out of the fields. Jumbo size remains snug.

This market is active. Supplies look to be light for the rest of the week from all suppliers.  Demand exceeds supply. Escalated pricing is in effect. Salinas and Santa Maria production is gapping.  As for the quality, reports indicate all regions to have good color and sizing on this commodity. A few shippers are claiming to be sold out for the rest of the week.

This market is firm.  Small sizing; thirty-six count in particular commands a higher price from all shippers. Fewer deals are being offered for bulk purchasing in comparison to past weeks. Large sizing continues to have the best availability.  Shippers are willing to load out of Salinas but a higher cost is being tacked onto the fob price so please be aware. Loading in Oxnard/Santa Maria continues to give the best fob price.

Lemons: Crop is peaking on 140's and larger. 165's and smaller are tight with springtime demand picking up for these sizes.
Oranges: California Navel crop is beginning to drop off and peaking on 72's/56's. Demand is exceeding smaller fruit, 113's/138's. California Valencia's have started in limited volume and picking up some of the short fall of smaller fruit. Quality on Valencia's is very good, color is nice and brix are 10.5-12.00 average
Limes: The lime market is currently steady. Supplies are increasing on smaller sizes and decreasing slightly on larger sizes this week and for the next few weeks. The forecast of lower supplies from April through mid May will more than likely keep the market from tanking to the bottom although it will be a choppy ride. The overall quality is good on the new crop that is being harvested.

Eastern Cucumbers: Recent rains in the Plant City area have caused this market to firm up just slightly.  South Florida is finishing up and Georgia is still a couple of weeks away so this market could continue to strengthen through next week.
Western Cucumber: Market is steady.   Production from Sonora is steady volume with Sinaloa getting close to wrapping up the growing season.  Warm weather has promoted higher production from Sonora.  Markets will continue steady with increased supplies.  With the past warm weather cucumber production will begin to taper off.

Eastern Eggplant: Plant City has now started working eggplant and South Florida continues as well.  The market is off a few dollars today but rain is expected in both regions which could drive it right back up. Western Eggplant: Market is higher as some growers are starting to wrap up. Production had been steady and warmer weather has helped but, market continues demand exceeds. We anticipate market to continue strong as some growers are slowing in production. Light production has started in southern California with excellent quality.

The Chilean green seedless market has leveled out as demand remains steady. Storage fruit prices are strong but we are just beginning to see the start of the Coachella and Mexican deals. This has no significant affect on the current supply situation but it has helped to modify the shipper's short term outlook on pricing. The new deals are starting and they are modifying prices to remain attractive to the trade.
The red seedless Chilean grapes continue to be readily available with a stable market. We are beginning to see the extra large fruit supplies tighten up but the market, for this week, shows no signs of reacting to this. We still expect to see a relatively stable market through the rest of April.

This market is firm. Overall, supplies are moderate to light with most suppliers. With any kind of push in the marketplace, this commodity could be more active quickly.  Demand overall, is on the light side on bunched product. There continues have been some issues with crossing the border of Mexico. These holdups have resulted in trucks arriving late by a day or two.  Most of the production continues out of the Baja region of Mexico. Light supplies are being harvested in Salinas. Small and medium sizing continues to be the main packs available.

The market overall is firm. Demand is moderate at best. Most supplies are being harvested in the Salinas Valley. The weights are ranging from 42-46 pounds with good quality.  Santa Maria will have light to moderate production throughout this week. Demand will dictate where this market goes towards the end of the week. Supplies are moderate out of the Salinas Valley.

The romaine market is active.  Salinas continues to have good quality but availability is moderate at best. Weights on romaine are ranging from 32-36 pounds. Green and red leaf pricing is active as well. Both of these commodities are on escalated pricing. Green leaf in particular is going to be extremely light in availability for two weeks as suppliers are gapping in production. Demand exceeds supply. Open market purchases will be difficult throughout the week as suppliers cover contracts first.

antaloupe: Cantaloupe supplies are a bit lighter than previous weeks.  Demand is somewhat better than previous weeks, which is causing the market to perk up a bit.  Cantaloupe 9's are in tight supply with sizes peaking on 12's and 15's.  Arrivals of offshore melons on the west coast continue to arrive in limited volumes with 12's being the peak size with some 9's being available.  Nogales is shipping lopes from Mexico with the peak size being 18's.  Quality is good on all lopes.
Honeydew: Offshore honeydew supplies continue to remain lighter than previous weeks.  Demand is better now than earlier in the week which is causing the market to move slightly higher.  The peak size is 6's on both coasts.  Supplies out of Mexico are increasing now with good volume on dew 8's which is going to help generate demand for loading in Nogales.  The Mexican supplies are beginning to take up the lowering volume of offshore dews.  Quality has been good overall with the Mexican dews being very nice with high sugar contents too.  The dew 8 market is coming down while the dew 5 and 6 market is steady to higher.

Idaho - We are getting close to the finish of the Idaho/Oregon storage season. We are down to a handful of shippers still packing. We will be down to one starting next week and they will finish up the week of May 4th. Market is steady with light demand. Quality is being reported as good.
Washington - Is also getting close to finishing for the season. Most shippers will finish the week of May 4th/May 11th depending on Demand which is moderate currently. Quality is still being reported as good. Market is steady.
California - This is the first week of harvest. Quality is being reported as Excellent. One thing to keep in mind is the new-crop onions don't have the skin that the northwest onions have. They also tend to be topped shaped and are generally uglier than storage onions. Good supplies of Jumbo and Colossal yellows onions. Medium yellow onions are limited. Supplies of Red and White onions are very limited but will improve next week. Market is steady.
Mexico - Supplies are hit and miss on all color and sizes depending on shipper. Quality is being reported as good. They have about two maybe three weeks left before they finish for the season. Demand is light with a steady market.
Texas- The heavy rain this growing area received a week ago has supplies limited. It also hurt the quality, with reports of staining throughout the packs. Demand is light with a steady market.

Idaho - Large cartons continue to be in an extreme demand exceeds supply situation. This was caused by the heavy rains the middle of this last year's growing season. I do not see this changing till the end of July beginning of August when new crop starts up. To cover these sizes shippers are buying product from Washington and transferring them over to load in Idaho. Please allow extra time to cover orders with large size cartons. All shippers are sold out 4 to 5 days in advance for the larger counts. Demand on 60 and 70ct has increased as customers are starting to drop a size or two due to the limited availability of the larger cartons. Smaller cartons 80 count and smaller have moderate availability. Quality is still good. Market is active.
Washington - Demand is good on 40 -70 count potatoes with a firming market. Washington has better size in their storage potatoes than most other states. Quality is good.
Colorado/Wisconsin - Supplies are limited due to light retail demand which is making it hard for the sheds to run full days. Large cartons are very limited. Market is firm. Quality is good.

Bakersfield, California continues to pack all colors.  The golds and whites are still smaller in size and they both have better availability of B-size while the reds are peaking on A's.  All are limited on Premiums and Bakers.  The quality has been good.
South Florida is also packing all colors but they will finish on golds this week.  The golds and whites are still peaking B-size while the reds are heavier to A-size.   Whites are somewhat limited and they will finish the middle of next week.  Northern Florida will start the week of May 4th will all colors.  The quality has been good.
North Dakota continues to pack a few reds but they are close to end of the season.  They are still peaking on A-size.
Idaho is still shipping a few reds and gold's but they are also close to the end of the season.

Eastern Squash: Despite recent heavy rains moving through Central Florida and South Georgia, this market remains at the lower levels.  Georgia growers have good volume and Plant City continues to ramp up their deal. However, with rain again in the forecast for the weekend and front part of next week, look for this market to be higher come Monday.
Western Squash: Italian squash becoming more active as some growers are wrapping and some cool weather has slowed down production. Yellow squash is steady with a wide range of pricing with better quality selling on higher end.
California has started with squash coming out of southern California and Fresno.   

Peaches and nectarine numbers are improving. Demand for the early fruit is limited as the crop is heavy to the smaller sizes. Pricing is about steady on the larger sizes but dropping on the small volume fill fruit. Quality is reported as generally good with limited quotes on utility grade fruit. Red plums have started in a very light way with limited quantities available at high prices. Most red and black plums are several weeks away from harvest. Apricots have also started with extremely light supplies and a small size profile. Pricing is strong with limited supplies. Cherries: Cherry production is ramping up with better availability. That said, numbers are still limited and quality is still questionable. We do not see promotable volumes and a reduction in market price until the first week of May. Yields and quality for the early season fruit will continue to be a significant challenge for the next few weeks.

Eastern/Tomatoes: Round and roma Florida tomato volumes continue to grow this week with Palmetto/Ruskin beginning harvests in new fields. Eastern demand continues to be filled as the winter fields in Immokallee/Naples overlap with the newer regions where quality is reported to be good. Even while fields are transitioning with less overall acreage, demand has not exceeded supply and the market remains steady. Grape production similarly is increasing with expectation of good availability through June.
Western/Mexico: New fields have started round and roma tomato production in Eastern Mainland Mexico and expect to remain in good supply through June. Western Mainland will continue to see good quality and supply out of Culiacan until their yields begin to taper off in the next few weeks. The Baja growing season is still expected to begin with new crop hitting early May. Grape tomato Production crossing into Nogales from Mainland Mexico continues its seasonal decline as many growers have finished for the season. Baja still is not much of a factor as they are coming on slow.

Most production is coming from Sonora.  Mostly bin crossing and cartons are available upon request.  Market is softening slightly but not dropping off drastically.  Other districts are lined up to start within a week or two.


Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity Quality Market
Apples – MI Good Steady
Apples – NY Good Steady
Apples – OR/WA Good Steady
Asparagus – CA Good Steady
Asparagus – Peru Good Steady
Asparagus - MX Good Steady
Avocado (Mexican) Excellent Steady
Avocado (California) Excellent Steady
Bell Peppers (West) – N MX Good Steady
Bell Peppers (West) – S MX Good Steady
Bell Peppers (West) - CA Good Steady
Bell Pepper (East) - FL Fair Lower
Bell Pepper (East) – W FL Excellent Steady/Lower
Berries: Strawberries – CA Good Higher
Berries: Raspberries - MX Fair Steady
Berries: Raspberries – S CA Fair Steady
Berries: Raspberries - Cen Ca Good Steady
Berries: Blackberries - MX Fair Steady
Berries: Blackberries - Cen Ca Good Steady
Berries: Blueberries - FL Good Steady/Lower
Berries: Blueberries - CA Good Steady
Berries: Blueberries - Chile Fair Steady/Lower
Broccoli – CA Good Higher
Broccoli – MX Good Higher
Carrots - CA Good Steady
Cauliflower – CA Good Higher
Celery - CA Good Steady
Cherries - CA Good Steady
Citrus: Lemons - CA Good Higher
Citrus: Oranges - CA Good Higher
Citrus: Limes - MX Good Steady
Cucumbers (Eastern) FL Fair Steady/Higher
Cucumbers (Eastern) W FL Good Higher
Cucumbers (Western) MX Good Steady
Eggplant (Eastern) FL Good Lower
Eggplant (Eastern) West FL Excellent Lower
Eggplant (Western) MX Good Steady/Higher
Grapes, Green - Chile Fair Steady
Grapes, Red - Chile Good Steady
Green Onions - CA Good Steady
Green Onions - Baja Good Steady
Lettuce: Leaf - Salinas Good Higher
Lettuce: Leaf - Cent CA Good Higher
Lettuce: Iceberg - Cent CA Good Higher
Lettuce: Iceberg - Salinas Good Higher
Melons: Cantaloupe - S.A.  Good Steady/Higher
Melons: Cantaloupe - MX  Good Steady
Melons: Honeydew - S.A Good Steady/Higher
Melons: Honeydew - MX Excellent Steady/Lower
Onions – CA Excellent Steady
Onions – OR/ID Good Steady
Onions – MX Good Steady
Onions - WA Good Steady
Onions – TX Fair Steady
Pears – OR/WA Good Steady
Pears – Chile Good Steady
Potatoes – ID Good Steady/Higher
Potatoes – WA Good Steady/Higher
Potatoes – CO Good Steady/Higher
Potatoes – WI Good Steady/Higher
Potatoes Color – CA Excellent Steady
Potatoes Color – ID Fair Steady
Potatoes Color – ND Fair Steady
Potatoes Color – FL Good Steady
Squash - Eastern, FL Poor Steady
Squash – Sarasota, FL Good Steady
Squash – Eastern, GA Excellent Steady
Squash (West) MX Good Steady/Higher
Squash (West) CA Good Steady/Higher
Stone Fruit – CA Good Steady
Tomatoes (East) FL Good Steady
Tomatoes (West) MX Fair Steady
Watermelon – Sonora MX Good Steady/Lower


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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