We are in the midst of extreme markets. California is literally on fire and suffering from record heat, Texas and Mexico are getting tropical storms and tons of rain, and the southeast is still recovering from Hurricane Sally.
California – Romaine, Iceberg, Green Leaf, Broccoli, Oranges, Strawberries
Extended record high heat and dry air have given life to widespread wildfires throughout California and into neighboring states. We are actually seeing ash within cases of lettuce! Compounding these fires, we are also battling diseases and thrip which decimate the crops before they ever make it to maturity. We rely on the west coast lettuce crop in California to last us through November with a seasonal transition to Huron in the south and then the big shift to Arizona for the winter. In a perfect world, these regional crops overlap in production and ensure a steady supply of affordable products. With California yields dramatically falling due to fires and disease we will likely experience a gap with very limited supplies before the crops in Arizona are ready. Prices are already extremely elevated and will remain so throughout October and into November.
Southeastern U.S. – Green Beans, Squash, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Peppers, Corn
Rains from Hurricane Sally that came through the southeast growing regions and the after-effects of the weather in the north earlier in the year have severely tightened up supplies and caused a major shortage. Many growers and shippers are prorating orders to ensure a steady albeit lower supply of beans for the coming weeks. The recent rains wiped out product coming from TN, and new fields in GA have not started producing volume. We are hopeful things will settle down by the end of the month.
Central America – Asparagus, Limes
Market shortages are driving growers to reach further into fields to pull the product. In order to fill the supply gap shippers are forced to fly products into the US which drives up costs even further. The rush to get the product into the supply pipeline will keep prices high as the next loads due to arrive from cargo ships will be delayed. This should equalize and return to normal near the end of October.
Brazil – Mango
Prices are steady and we have made the seasonal shift to Brazilian fruit. Supplies are steady but due to the longer transit time, it is picked greener and the fruit is inferior quality compared to the Mexican product we get for the majority of the year.