Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

April 22, 2009
The lettuce market has softened a bit. Sizing continues to be an issue, as some suppliers continue to substitute 30 counts for 24s. Growers continue to be behind in scheduled harvesting in Salinas from anywhere between 7-10 days. This is due to cold temperatures and windy conditions in the Salinas Valley. Over this past weekend the Salinas Valley had extremely warm temperatures and is expected in the 90s to start the week. We will need to see what effect this has on this commodity in terms of quality. Yields continue to be low on this commodity.

This market has caught some suppliers heavy on romaine. Deals can be made on volume orders. Extreme heat in the Salinas valley has some effect on the product, we just have to wait to see how much. Some other quality defects include insects, fringe burn, tip burn, and wind burn.

This commodity continues to have heavy supplies. Broccoli crowns are at the bottom of pricing and availability should be good for the entire week. In the Santa Maria region, production is also strong. Pricing should remain competitive throughout the week. The quality on all broccoli items is very good.

Demand is low on this commodity. Many suppliers are looking to move some volume orders to alleviate inventory. Needless to say, the market is very soft. This market will continue to be soft throughout most of the week. Santa Maria and Salinas both will have good volumes throughout the week.

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 continues to be steady. Although a few suppliers are up slightly, celery continues to be in good supplies on most sizes. Smaller sizing continues to be less in production compared to the larger sizing. The quality is still very clean with good weights. Demand is also steady. Shippers are still promoting deals for large orders containing the18-24 counts.


Strawberries Strawberry production in California is starting a bit rough this week due to record breaking temperatures. This is producing over ripe and softer berries and small due to the heat and the plants responding by producing more fruit faster. We will see better volume and availability at the front of this week than we will at the end, due to growers picking heavy to keep up with all of the rapidly ripening fruit. The size in Oxnard is down with 1 lb clamshell counts in the high 20’s.

Raspberry production is very low and will continue to be snug with Mexico and California just not being up to speed. Overall production is close to nothing out of Mexico and just getting started in California. California is producing very small quantities but is increasing.

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 supplies are starting to increase this week. The supply pipe line looks to stay hand to mouth as demand is very good and is keeping shippers clean .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.

Market is strengthening on the navels as we are getting close to the end on regular season navels and are starting the late varieties. The overall quality is good on most lots but we are seeing a fair amount of puff and crease and we will begin to more and more dry cell as we have been experiencing some warmer than usual weather. The late varieties will be higher in price and should last until the first of June. We have started packing Valencia’s and will continue to do so as we go forward, the Valencia’s are starting to eat a little better and overall quality is very good.

Market has strengthened as we are finished in dist. 3 and winding down on the dist.1 fruit which will leave only dist two. The dist. 2 crop is of normal to slightly larger than normal in volume so we would expect prices to be at more of a normal level as opposed to the last few years. The overall quality of the fruit is very good and juice content is excellent.

The market is very strong in anticipation for the Cinco De Mayo holiday. Expect the market to continue to stay strong for about 3 more weeks and then we will see better volumes and prices come off to lower levels.

The market has strengthened as the marketing order went into effect on April 10th and movement has been good on both Red and green grapes. The fruit that is in the states is all we have to ship until we start our California and Mexican fruit around the first week of May. The red seedless that we have are of very good quality and the fruit is eating good. There is a wide range in quality on the greens and also a very wide range in prices. We expect the market to continue to strengthen and we will not have any major volume of the California or Mexican fruit until May 15th so expect price to stay on the higher side.


CANTALOUPES: The market has softened as Mexico has started and the offshore fruit continues to arrive. The overall quality is good with mostly a green cast and eating quality is fair to good. We expect to start our California harvest around the May 8th and expect good volume by May 15th depending on Mother Nature. We will have ample supplies of California fruit and look forward to promoting for the Memorial Day holiday.

HONEYDEWS: Market is steady as we have had some Mexican fruit arrive as well as the offshore fruit. The fruit quality has been very good and eating quality is excellent and the fruit is cutting very good. We will start our California Harvest around May 10th and will be in full swing by the end of that week. Again we will have good supplies of fruit for the Memorial Day holiday and look forward to promoting.

Market has started to soften as better supplies are coming out of Mexico and we will have excellent supplies out of the desert around May 8th and look for excellent supplies out of California from that date on.

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 expect 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.
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 is very light 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 is now in their 2nd week of harvest with some growers and we are seeing some steady production of very nice bells. It
still looks like the first week of May for pick volumes. Red and yellow bell supplies remain light out of Nogales. One grower out of Baja is going with new crop. 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.

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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