Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

April 15, 2009
As have been the story in weeks past supplies continue to come up extremely short in the Huron growing region. Some shippers will be leaving Huron behind and moving on to Salinas this Monday April 20th, where supplies and quality are expected to be better. Look for the market to adjust down as the volumes improve.

This market will also adjust with the move from Huron to Salinas this coming week. Continue to avoid liner packed product for now as it could accelerate the dehydration process. This will allow for better arrivals. Some quality defects continue to include insects, fringe burn, tip burn, and wind burn.

Santa Maria, and Salinas are both producing Broccoli now, which has resulting in increased supplies and the falling market. Prices will continue to adjust through the week as shippers deal for business. No issues with quality right now.

The high prices in past weeks slowed demand drastically, now with the Salinas Valley in great supplies we have an abundance of product available. Supplies have increased from most shippers, and they need to find homes for this product. The market will most likely be flexible this week as shippers deal to try to move volumes of cauliflower.
Harvesting has started in new fields in the Imperial Valley. Size is running small right now as cool weather has slowed growth. This has lightened supplies of jumbo sized carrots. Size is expected to improve as we move thru the month of April. Quality remains good. Georgia still has some availability and quality on the East Coast.

This market is steady for now with plenty of supplies available in 18’s to 24’s and that’s where the deals are. Prices have picked up a little on the smaller sizes. The quality is still very nice with good weights in Oxnard. Demand is also steady. Some shippers have offered deals on 18 and 24 count celery for volume orders. The Salinas valley expects to begin production in the early part of June.


Strawberries There are some aggressive fob’s to start the week. Weather forecast looks good with
mild to warm, consistent outlook for the week. Strawberry production in California started off really strong this week, as all areas are producing fruit. Easter has come and gone, so there are plenty of supplies and deals available.
Raspberry production is very low and will continue to be tight with Mexico encountering hot weather and California just not up to speed yet. This market has been ridiculously high for the last few weeks. Quality and overall production is close to nothing out of Mexico. We can expect to see orders cut and loading dates to be affected as well. There should be a second push from production by mid April that should increase volume significantly.
Blackberry supplies are steady with greater consistency in transfers arriving from Mexico. We are now looking for local California production to come into play. Some shippers are offering aggressive pricing anticipating a big push over the next couple of months.

Quantities on blueberry transfers from Chile are dwindling down, mostly air freight from this point forward. Shippers are seeking higher fobs. There are small quantities of local Californian blues with great size and quality. There are reports of Floridian Blueberries (new crop) now available, but commanding a premium price. We may see a gap as the eastern early varieties where affected by early frost damage.

Burbanks are now the only variety available and are running small. The quality is still very good. Wisconsin and Colorado have good supplies and quality. Colored potatoes are loading out of North Dakota and Wisconsin with Washington still with some light supplies. California has good quality but light supplies on some varietals which are getting filled with product out of Washington or Florida.

There are still supplies of all colors and sizes of onions in Idaho and Washington, available from cold storage. Some shippers are starting to close down for the season but a few shippers expect to go into May. Washington should run well into May as well. Mexican product is now beginning to wrap up a very short lived crop, and Texas is in good supply with domestically grown onions of all colors and sizes.


There are deals available on smaller apples, and lower grades in most all varieties. Remember, lower grade is not necessarily lower quality, just less than full color. Washington remains the leading production area for apples and will be through the spring and summer months. Regional production areas including Michigan and New York continue shipping light supplies of storage apples; demand remains light for those. Washington and Oregon Pears continue production from storage including mainly the Anjou, Bosc and Golden Bosc varieties.

Pineapple demand has been very good—as supplies are below forecast due to adverse weather in Central America. Quality is good to very good.

Mexican fruit – Mexican shipments are expected to be short for the week as workers return to work from a long holiday. Demand remains strong, and the market is up.
California Fruit - Growers are looking to slowly increase their harvest during the month of April.

Valencia’s are going strong, and more to the large size. We are seeing very few 100s and 125s. Quality is excellent, and should be available through May. Spring Navels will continue through April. Grapefruit will begin to wrap up. Honey Tangerines are finished.

Oranges are fairly steady with lighter supplies of the 88’s and smaller and better availability on the larger fruit. Overall quality is good with some puff starting to show due to the warmer weather, we will have to keep a close eye on the quality as we go forward. Few Valencia’s being packed at this point primarily for export and fruit does not eat as well as the navels. We should have navels through the month of May and we will have good supplies of Valencia’s through the summer and we will peak on smaller sizes.

Market has started to strengthen with district 3 finished, but we should have ample supplies of fruit from district 1 and 2, with lighter supplies of the smaller fruit and heavier supplies of the 140’s and larger. Overall quality is good with some very good juice content out of both districts. We expect the market to stay steady through the summer and we should see more normal prices opposed to the last 3 years. The trees have recovered from the freeze’s we had 3 years ago and we will have normal volumes as well as Chile and Mexican fruit.

The market is up on the 175’s, and larger sizes. 200’s and smaller are steady. The overall quality is very good with excellent color and very good juice content.

Market is starting to firm up on greens and is steady on the red seedless. There are good supplies of the red seedless and green seedless, but the greens are going to be from the storage fruit and the reds will be fresh crimsons. The fruit eats very well and color is excellent. We will begin our California and Mexican fruit around the first week of May. The crop out of Mexico and Coachella will be lighter than normal so expect prices to start out high and by the first of June prices should soften.


CANTALOUPES: Lighter demand pressure has pushed the markets down slightly, although supplies are still relatively light from all areas. There is still only sporadic size availability from shipper to shipper and this will continue into next week. There will be lighter supplies over the next 7-14 days with the finish of Guatemala and Honduras begin the last part of the offshore season. They could be lighter in supply than originally anticipated and the finish of the deal could prove to be short. The East Coast (Florida) ports continue to dominate the supply line and the West (L.A.) supplies remain low with very little direct vessel shipments. Nogales has started Cantaloupes in a light way; supplies are still very light and are not enough to have an affect on the current Cantaloupe market. Sugar levels and eating quality remain high.

HONEYDEWS: market is steady with fair supplies peaking on 5’s and 6’s look for better volumes as we get into next week. The overall quality is fair to good. The fruit is cutting very good and eating excellent. We will start our California fruit by the first week of May and should have good volumes as go through the summer.

Watermelon supplies are building as high markets have caused a serious hit to demand. Warmer weather trends continue and should prevail well into next week.

The cucumber market is dropping fast in Florida as domestic supplies become more readily available. Central Florida should be in decent supply in another few days and we can continue to see a declining
cucumber market in that time. Quality has improved from fair to good.

Western Cucumber: Northern Mexico is getting good supplies from their new fields. Volume should continue to increase over the next couple of weeks. Baja is going with some light production. Northern Mexico has begun to harvest increased supplies from their new fields. Volume should continue to increase over the week. Baja has begun with some light production also.
Post holiday demand had dropped off causing the market to stumble. Deals are happening mostly on the smaller sizes and off grades. Central area of Florida will be starting in another week or so and should push the market down even further.

Nogales volume and quality is very low. The few small spring deals that are producing in the northern growing areas in Mexico are very light. Size and quality continue to be a problem. The California desert has started with a clean up pick this week, but no volume until the first week of May. Demand is good. Red and yellow bell supplies remain light. One grower out of Baja has started. The California desert looks to start mid May.

The squash market overall is declining as Plant City is beginning to see decent volume. There is plenty of dealing on the medium sized squash as the warm, sunny weather is causing the crops to size up quickly.
Quality overall has been good. The squash market is mostly steady with the exception of some spot deals being offered in Homestead. Quality overall is very good, but some irregular sizing being reported.

Mainland Mexico is still coming with good volume from new fields in the North. Look for volume and quality to continue into next week on Italian and Yellow.

East – Early cooler weather had slowed production and growth. There is more of the bigger fruit than smaller due to the fact that smaller fruit has been affected by the recent cold temps more so than
the larger fruit. Roma tomatoes are very tight. Grape tomatoes are starting to get a bit tight.

West – Mexican production is steady with supplies of larger sized tomatoes but lacking 6x6 & smaller sizes. Pricing has been very inconsistent and has varied from day to day. Color has been a bit of a challenge, but preordering helps avoid issues. Shippers are looking to take fobs up. Roma tomatoes are
very tight and look to continue to be for the near future and Grape tomatoes are active and tight.

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