July 11 – Market Alert – Lettuce, Avocados, Asparagus, Strawberries

Shortages continue for the following items:

Lettuces/Romaine

All lettuce markets are active and supply is short. The Salinas Valley saw excessive rain at the end of May and  record heat a few weeks ago.   There are several micro-climates in the Salinas Valley that all experienced different combinations of rain and heat.  As a result of these extreme weather conditions, the crops overall yields have been drastically reduced. We have seen internal burn, decay, stunted growth, and uneven maturity,  all leading to lighter supplies.  Growers are being very selective when harvesting, but there simply is not enough good acreage to assist in the industry wide supply gap.  Green Leaf, Romaine, Hearts, and Iceberg are expected to be in short supply through most of July. Of course supply issues are fluid and things can change, but for now all field reports are showing a gap and reduction in the total budgeted supply. We will keep you posted as we receive updated                     information.

Avocados – Mexico

  • Current Mexican crop no longer has sufficient volume to meet demand.
  • We anticipate shortages for the next few weeks and, will possibly gap on this current crop.
  • New crop of Flora Loca variety has begun harvest, but supplies will remain tight until volume increases.
  • Mexico is expecting rain for the next few days in the growing region of Michoacan. This could delay and set back the harvest on an already short market.
  • Late season fruit does not look as nice externally as does early season fruit but the eating quality is good. This fruit has been on the trees since October and has seen lots of sub-par weather.

Asparagus
Larger sizes of asparagus, which includes Large, XL and Jumbo, will be in short supply for the next 4-6 weeks.  This will mostly affect XL and Jumbo, but all 3 sizes will be affected.  This is due to cold weather in the south of Peru where most of these sizes are grown.  Northern Peru supplies the smaller and standard sizes.     Mexico is experiencing the same sizing issue to due to rain.  Customers that normally order jumbo will likely be subbed with XL as this is the only option available to cover orders.  That being said, XL will also be very tight. This short supply will increase the asparagus market across the board.

Strawberries
Quality issues continue to hinder the crops.  For best results please take extra care in maintaining proper temps at all times.  Try not to over order and keep your pars as close to your actual needs as you can. These quality issues are being dealt with by every strawberry grower in California right now. There will be  issues to some degree albeit some a little less than others.

The main problems are bruising, overripe, leakers, and some mildew.
Please be aware that this is an industry wide issue and is expected to last at least 2 more weeks.

Please reach out to your sales rep if you have any questions.