Monday, January 1, 2001

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

February 18, 2009
The lettuce market has a little more strength than the previous week. Supplies seem to be average but some shippers are beginning the day sold out. Strong winds left debris and dirt on most lettuce lots. Also there will be epidermal peel due to the lettuce ice from last week. There is above average quality from most shippers. Mexico has product available as well. In Florida, the lettuce fields in Belle Glade were hit hard by the freeze. Most quality reports are stating fair to poor.

This is another market on the rise, and showing some strength. Supplies on all leaf will be tight for the week. Most shippers are ahead of their projected harvesting times on the leaf fields. Quality continues to be above average. Some quality defects showing up will be epidermal peel, fringe burn, tip burn, and wind burn. In Florida, the lettuce fields in Belle Glade were hit hard by the freeze.

The broccoli market has started the week similar to the end of last week. Cold temperatures and rain has supplies limited in all of the growing regions. Cold weather and rain is expected this week. Weather will dictate who has supplies and who doesn’t. There continues to be good availability of broccoli crowns out of Mexico. Florida is also harvesting with moderate supplies.

Again, cold weather and rain has altered the harvesting plans of this commodity. Pricing could get stronger daily. This market is active with supplies getting tight, and expected to be all week. Some shippers are already buying on the outside to cover business. Some quality defects that have been showing upon arrivals have been black spotting, off white color, and yellowing. For east coast options, Florida is back in business on cauliflower.

California Carrots are in good supply for all cuts, packs, and sizes with quality being good out of Bakersfield and Coachella. For the East Coast options, Georgia has fresh carrots available.
Supplies are still short on all sizes of celery. Strong rains and high winds in the Oxnard region have made this commodity very difficult to grow and harvest, pushing the market even higher. Expect product to be tight throughout the week. Florida is in full swing production as an east coast option.

Strawberries: Rain had the California production at a stand still over the weekend, although some shippers had harvested on Sunday with the break in the weather. There is very little to no fruit currently available in California. We can expect low to no production out of California for the duration of this week (weather permitting). Quality of what fruit California can harvest will be poor with a variety of problems such as, pin rot, decay, white shoulders and overall water soaked berries. McAllen should be slowing down and coming to the end of their deal very soon so expect a drop out of that area by the end of February. Florida has been experiencing much warmer weather than the past few weeks, and this is helping production significantly.

Raspberry production continues tight this week due to declining transfers from Chile and Mexico. There are significantly less raspberries crossing currently. There has been some local California production, but with the current rain patterns the numbers have fallen greatly. We can expect tight supplies for the foreseeable future.
Blackberry production has been steady and continues steady with the exception of a couple of shippers that are in lower supply. There are consistent transfers from Mexico and reports of quality remains good.
Blueberry transfers are slowing down from Chile and some shippers are looking for higher fobs. We are also seeing fruit getting held up at the ports due to USDA holds on vessels, which in turn is slowing the release of fruit and keeping supplies thin. Reports of quality have been mixed, some good, some with mold.

With February being “Potato Lovers Month” maybe it can bring a little life back to the market? Shippers are testing higher markets with some success, to a limited degree. Processors are now starting to offer a more lucrative price then what the fresh market is bringing and growers are trying to limit the potatoes to the fresh market. Also some shippers are starting to run out of the Norkotah variety, leaving only Burbanks. Wisconsin and Colorado still have good supplies and quality. Colored potatoes are loading out of Washington, North Dakota and Wisconsin with good supplies and quality. California is going with all varietals available.

There are good supplies of all colors and sizes of onions in Idaho and Washington. Mexican product is now in Texas with good supplies of all colors, quality is very good. The market is flat with the lack of demand. Load volume deals are still available.


Inventories continue strong on all apples, with 100’s and 113’s being the most abundant. Most all varieties are available and quality is very good on all apples right now. Due to the abundant supplies, there are a few shippers that have decided not to pack some grades, sending more fruit to processing for juice than they have in many years. Regional production areas including Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York and North Carolina continue shipping light supplies of storage apples; demand remains only light for those. With Pears, Bartletts out of WA are pretty much finished up. Anjou, Bosc, and Golden Bosc, are available, as well as a few other varieties.

Pineapple demand has been very good—as supplies are below forecast due to adverse weather in Central America. Look for this to continue through February. Quality is good to very good.

Mexican growers have cut back on shipments in an effort to raise the market. Demand is very strong. Chilean season is coming to its end. Supplies are limited. In California rain has slowed the harvest this week. Growers will resume as weather dries, but no heavy harvest is expected until April.

Midseason and Hamlin Juice Oranges are finishing. Valencia’s are just getting started. The early Valencia’s are large. We are getting very few 100s and 125s. Quality is excellent. Temple and Orlando Tangelos will finish this week. Red Grapefruit is plentiful and quality is good. Grapefruit will run through April 5th. Honey Tangerines are plentiful and the quality and color this year has been excellent. We will run through early April.
Market steady to strong, due to the current rains we have experienced and we are forecasted for clear weather from tomorrow to the weekend and then another storm coming in. The fruit quality is excellent and is eating wonderfully, but you will see a tinge of green due to the gibbed fruit, but over all fruit is strong and firm. Market should keep steady and will firm on the smaller fruit as we go forward.
LEMONS: Market has softened with heavy volume on 115’s and larger which are the sizes that most shippers are dealing on. The 140’s and smaller are not as soft. The overall quality is good with some excellent quality out of dist. 1.Look for good volumes of lemons through the month of March and things will strengthen after that due to dist. 3 finishing their fruit. The overall quality should stay good if weather cooperates.
LIMES: Market is steady with good supplies of fruit on all sizes and fruit has excellent color and good quality with excellent juice content. Look for market to keep steady as supplies will remain the same as we go forward and color will stay good as well.

Market is still strong due to good demand and lighter supplies entering the States. The overall quality of the fruit has been outstanding with good color and finish. The reds have been eating very well and we are starting to finish up on flames and will now move into the crimsons and rubies. The greens will remain Thompsons and expect the market to stay steady.

CANTALOUPES: Market has softened due to better supplies from the offshore fruit and better supplies out of Mexico. The fruit quality has been fair with some weaker fruit due to lighter than normal sugar levels. The fruit is not as strong as we would like to see and you will see the green cast and some varieties with a light straw color. The fruit is eating fair at best.

HONEYDEWS: Market has also softened due to better supplies of fruit from both regions as well. There are good supplies of all sizes and overall quality has been good to fair with some scarring, but fruit is cutting very good and eating very good a swell. Look for market to keep steady and supplies to also keep steady at this point.

WATERMELONS: Slight improvement this week in watermelons, but still supply is low over all. Mexico is coming into some very light supplies of both seedless and seeded melons, but the pipeline is still very empty. Market continues very strong with a demand exceed situation on seedless and seeded. Honduras has started watermelons but it is just daily supplies at this point. We expect these conditions to stay this way for the next few weeks as supplies are on the light side.

Honduras and Mexico continue to supply the markets in the east as all of what was left in Florida was lost to the freeze. Expect the markets to remain tight for another couple of weeks.

Western Cucumber: Cool weather in Mexico is slowing production crossing into Nogales. Volume and quality will be down for the next couple of weeks.

Bells: The pepper market strengthening this week as demand increases and supplies diminish due to weather. Two weeks in a row of near freezing temperatures, in addition to a spell of wet weather should be enough to keep supplies tight for a couple of weeks.

Green bells from Mexico continue to cross into Nogales in lighter volumes. Demand is good. Red and yellow bell supplies remain off as older fields finish and new fields are slow in coming into production.

Very Light supplies. Quality is fair to good. Markets are strong. Heavy losses are being reported from South Florida.

Nogales supplies from Southern Mexico are fair on Italian, but Yellow is very tight with some lots showing very poor quality.

East – Tomato production is now going to be more on the smaller sized fruit. We will see a lack of big fruit due to the past freeze damage. We should expect a gap in production as we approach the spring picking due to some growers having to replant fields.

West – Tomato supplies in Nogales are plentiful with many shippers selling at minimum prices. Shippers are looking for as much business as they can get. It does not look like supplies will diminish anytime soon.

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