Monday, June 29, 2009

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

June 17, 2009
The market began the week more aggressively then last week. There was some speculation that it may go higher, but it actually has just kind of held steady. Supplies have slipped some. Expect the market to remain steady and supplies will be tight all week. Mildew damage is always an issue when the weather goes from fog to heat, and that certainly will be the case this week. This change in weather remains to be seen on how it will affect the lettuce crop. The weights for palletized lettuce continue to be reported at 42-44#s.

This market is also up on all leaf items. Fringe burn is being seen with all suppliers on romaine at harvesting time. Some areas are being hit harder then others, but most have it to some degree. Alternate source sites may include Ohio, and New Jersey.

Broccoli demand has increased the last few weeks, and supplies are lighter, resulting in the market going up. The quality out of the Salinas valley and Santa Maria growing regions continue to be good. Supplies are expected to be tight all week, especially in Santa Maria.

No weakness shown yet in the cauliflower market. Supplies are fairly light, and expected to remain light all week. With suppliers cutting back on acreage of cauliflower, this has created a shortage of product in the industry. The overall quality of this commodity has been better compared to previous weeks. Santa
Maria and Salinas continue to be the main areas of production.

Harvesting has shifted over to new fields in Bakersfield. Sizing has improved over what we were seeing out of The Imperial Valley. Quality remains good. Georgia still has some availability and quality on the East Coast.

This market is pretty steady to start off the week. Salinas and Santa Maria have both started up lightly in production and Oxnard still has a few weeks left on production left. The seeder issue is not as much of an issue in Salinas.

Strawberries: California production is starting this week with decent volume. Both quality and quantities have improved and there are some deals taking place to move volume. There are some shippers that have better production in Santa Maria and some shippers with better production in Salinas. You will find lower pricing in Santa Maria versus Salinas, but you will give up some sizing loading in Santa Maria.

Raspberries: Californian production continues to be very strong. Both Salinas / Watsonville
are producing and we are seeing great availability as more shippers have increased production in the northern growing areas with new fruit and fob are reflecting this. With a large volume order you can achieve an aggressive fob.

Mexico has pretty much finished, and we can expect all Mexican products to clean up within the next week. We continue looking at local production as it is increasing. We are experiencing a little bit of a gap with Watsonville producing only fair quantities, Mexico wrapping up. We are seeing far less availability and can expect this trend to continue through this week.

Blueberry production continues to increase in California and is getting stronger. The Central Valley is the primary area of production and we are seeing some better production in Oxnard and Watsonville. Fruit is starting to transfer over from the valley. This week we are seeing a better variety of pack sizes, 4.4, 6oz, pints and 18oz. Florida and the Carolinas are now producing good volume and seem to be out of the problems that where related to the past rain.

POTATOES: The quality is still very good on the Idaho storage crop. Retail volume has slowed down so carton packing has slowed for shippers. 80ct and larger sizes did experience an increase in the market as large potatoes continue to get tighter. Wisconsin is becoming more limited on availability as well. Colorado has good supplies and quality is still good. Colored storage potatoes are still available out of Wisconsin. California new crop colored potatoes available with very good quality. New crop California Russets have started in a light way with better availability next week. Northern and Southern Florida now with availability on new crop colored potatoes.

ONIONS: The market has strengthened significantly on yellow onions. Huron availability is very limited due to a combination of rain and colder weather and Imperial Valley California have finished up for the season. This has eaten into any extra volume out of New Mexico. In conjunction with our own shortage of product, Canada has begun to pull heavily from the US. Expect the market to remain high another 2 weeks or so.


The Red Delicious market is strengthening ever so slightly. We expect to see the trend continue (slowly) for the rest of the summer. This season we saw an overabundance of 100ct and smaller Reds (as can be seen with the small size apples priced roughly 1/2 of what it was last summer). This years Golden Crop is also much larger last years crop. The golden market should be steady for the near term as there is still plenty available. Condition has been good and is expected to stay that way.

Pineapple demand has been very good. Quality is good to very good also. No issues to mention.

Mexican fruit – Mexico is 95% shipped for this year’s crop. No increase in volume will come until new crop begins sometime in late August. Supplies will be short until that time.
California Fruit - California growers are packing good volume, but still lighter than years past. Growers are trying to make their crop last until new crop Chilean and Mexican begins in August. Until then, it looks like a demand exceeds supply situation.

Valencia’s are about the only thing left in Florida except for a little bit of grapefruit in the river district. The Valencia’s are more to the large size. We are seeing very few 100s and 125s. Quality is excellent, and should be available through July. Next season will start along late September.

Market is steady and strengthening due to low pack outs numbers and some houses only packing about 20% of normal. The overall size of the fruit is peaking on 138’s and 163’s and about 30% smaller than that which goes to juice. The crop is large in volume but small in size and maybe within a month we may gain a size and this would help the situation. The overall quality is fair to good, we are having to gas the fruit as it has started it’s re-greening process. The fruit has excellent sugar and juice content which should hold through the summer.

The market continues to be very firm and strong, the overall quality is fair to good with excellent juice content. The fruit is all from Dist. 2 and as said in the past this is the only district supplying all of the domestic demand. The Chilean fruit should start to show up with some good volume in the next two weeks, this should take some pressure off of dist.2 and get the market settled down. We expect good numbers from Chile and also from Mexico which will last through the summer until we start dist. 3 around the first of Sept.

Supplies are beginning to increase this week. Sizes are showing some growth now, and we will start to see more 110’s and 150’s and less of the smaller sizes..

Market also very strong and firm with fair quality and color, the Mexican and Coachella Valley fruit is normally on the small side, but with a market that has been exceptionally firm the overall quality is just fair. We expect to start the Arvin district around July 4th and we will see good volume by the second week of July. We have good volumes of all varieties in the Central Valley and prices will then start to ease. Expect excellent quality and good availability through the year from the Central Valley.


CANTALOUPES: Market strong with some very nice quality coming out of the desert, expect the market to ease on the 9’s and larger but stay very strong on the 12’s and smaller as most fields peaking on 9’s and 6’s some very large fruit coming in now. The smaller fruit will begin to ease in about 2 weeks when the Westside and Bakersfield areas start up. We are seeing about 3% total 15’s on a daily pack out so you can see they are extremely scarce.

HONEYDEWS: Market steady and firm with good quality out of the desert and Mexico. Fruit is peaking on 4’s and 5’s and this is making the 6’s and smaller very strong. Expect the market to stay strong until Bakersfield and Westside districts start in the next two weeks. Fruit is cutting excellent and eating very good with high sugars.

Watermelon supplies continue to be very good for the CA/AZ desert production and Mexico has also ramped up production giving way to steady market conditions and much better availability in both the seeded and seedless fruit. Demand remains only moderate on watermelons and watermelon quality is very good from the Yuma, AZ and CA desert growing areas.

Supplies and quality are improving in Georgia. North Carolina and Tennessee are about to get started, the cucumber market should continue on a downward trend.

Western Cucumber: Last few weeks of the Mexico deal. Baja is past their peak and supplies will start lightening as we move into June. California is starting with very light production and is looking at steady volume by the first week of June.

Florida is now finished with pepper and has given way to Georgia. Recent heavy rains have delayed the picking but as the weather dries up in the coming days, good volume is expected. Quality will be fair for the next several days.

The California desert deal is almost wrapped up and the remaining supplies will be done this week. There are some transition supplies coming out of the Yuma, AZ area. The next growing area is Bakersfield, which has started this week. Demand remains good.

Squash is now readily available as far north as New Jersey and volume and quality out of South Georgia are improving. Demand will stay strong for the next few days but the increased availability throughout the
east will bring the market down through out the week.

The Fresno area of California has good production this week on Italian, and yellow is going with decent supplies as well. Santa Maria has started and see better supplies coming this week.

East – The tomato market (all tomatoes) is going to be a great deal higher this week compared to last. Central Florida is finishing up due to past wet weather. North Florida will start next week with very light production. Quality is only average, there is a lot of damage to the fruit. The shippers are grading extra hard however there are still some shoulder problems and rain check. Food service will be very limited.

West – Mexican production from Nogales is finished. San Diego is crossing fruit now, but has not picked up the volume yet. Reports of Baja quality have been good. There is a lack of smaller sized fruit and nothing crossing with much color. There have been reports of California Central valley starting small production by the end of next week, but there will be no fruit with color until the second week of June if they harvest.

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