Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

July 8, 2009
Lettuce market started the week just about where it left off last week - steady. The supplies actually are lighter this week which is a good indication that some growers may attempt to raise or firm up their prices. The weights on the lettuce have been a bit heavier than normal. With the weather in the growing regions being so sporadic, look for mildew and puffiness to be possibly seen upon arrivals in the upcoming weeks. For now, the quality is good.

The leaf market is very sloppy right now, with prices all over the board. Supplies look to remain steady for the week. Low yields continue to be an issue for some shippers, and fringe burn is being seen with all suppliers on romaine at harvesting time. There continues to be reports of browning inside the internal parts of the leaf. We would not recommend switching to hearts right now as romaine hearts are very tight in availability, and having serious issues with cupping and not having the true romaine heart shape.
They are having problems with internal burn also. Some suppliers are worse off than others, but supplies are light all over.

This market is steady with good supplies from all growing regions. Suppliers are still willing to make deals on volume orders in an attempt to keep movement on this commodity. Supplies continue to be strong out of Salinas and Santa Maria growing regions. The quality overall continues to be strong.

It’s funny what a difference a week makes. Supplies have rebounded this week causing the market to be in a state of flux. Shippers need to move this cauliflower and they are willing to deal to make it happen on volume orders. There have been some complaints of yellowing upon arrivals with different suppliers. 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.

This market remains steady. Salinas’s production has picked up with multiple suppliers. Oxnard production should be finishing up this week. Santa Maria also has good production. The problem of seeder has not been an issue in the harvesting in the Salinas Valley. Quality has been nice from all growing regions. Supplies are expected to be good for the week. Look for Michigan to begin with celery in late July.

Strawberries: Production this week is starting off snug as many shippers are walking in with little or nothing to sell today. There are some significant ads eating up some volume, and some shippers have reported quality issue with berries not holding up. The better quality berries seem to be coming out the Watsonville area. The weather has been favorable so it is a bit odd to have such a lack of production. We should expect by mid week production to pick up and the market to loosen up a bit.

Raspberries: Raspberry production has tightened up as we have passed the “peak” production window. We may get one more little shot of product but will decrease again. There will continue to be moderate to light supplies of Californian fruit, until the Northwest gets going.

We continue looking at local production as it is slowly increasing. Watsonville is producing fair quantities, and is inconsistent at this point as we are currently experiencing a slight gap in production as growing regions transfer from Mexico to California. Some shippers in the central valley area of California are reporting good quantities. Look for the Northwest to get started up in the next 2-3 weeks.
Production in the central valley is getting close to the end. We can expect to see more volume coming out of the Northwest, building as this week progresses. North Carolina is wrapping up. Mississippi will continue to pack this week, bringing in approx, 2,000 cs of pints a day. New Jersey will have a decrease in volume this week, due to unfavorable weather. Next week should be better.

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 remain tight as we get deeper in to storage supplies. Availability of 100 ct or smaller and 6oz #2 has increased and shippers are willing to deal on those sizes to move them. 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: Supplies on yellow onions are improving in Huron and New Mexico, helping to ease the supply issue. Expect the market to come off very slowly. Looks like red onions are going to take a different path, and have had a lot of interest lately. California red onions are dealing with sun scald, putting additional pressure on already tight supplies in New Mexico.


There are plentiful supplies of Gold Delicious Apples available and there are deals on smaller sized fruit. Fuji, Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples are all coming out of CA Storage in high color and peaking on 100’s and smaller. This is putting a strain on the 88ct and larger market and they are currently very tight, especially going into the 4th of July weekend. Braeburn Apples are very tight and are all but finished shipping from the state of Washington. Pink Lady and Cameo apples only have approximately 2+ weeks left for the balance of their storage season. Washington Pears will go through the next 2-3 weeks with the Anjou and Red Anjou varieties only.

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

Mexican fruit – Mexican crop continues to lighten as the old crop winds down. New crop will begin in late July / early August. Supplies will be spotty to begin and oil content will be low, so please plan additional time for ripening.
California Fruit - California growers continue to pack good volume, but expect to see a big decline in late July on supplies.

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.

Valencia production is good. Quality is very good, with sizes peaking on 88’s, 113’s, and 138’s. Market is steady to firming on all sizes as pack outs are very low due to the small size. Also there are several packers who have stopped packing in hopes that fruit will size up a bit. The fruit is eating excellent and has excellent juice content. We will start to have some re-greening, so you may see a tinge of green on the fruit.

Supplies are projected to be good for July and August. Best availability looks to be on 140’s, 165’s, and 200’s. Summer demand is picking up with prices firming also. The market is still very strong and firm on all sizes. 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 fruit quality is good, juice content is excellent, and color is very good 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.

Market steady with good supplies of all sizes, we are seeing some lighter color fruit as we are in between regions this should straighten out by the middle of July as a new region begins. Juice content is excellent and fruit is strong.

New crop Flame red seedless and three different early green seedless varieties (“Earli Sweet”, Sugarone, and Perlette)* are available this week from the Arvin/Bakersfield district and there is excellent color and sugar levels. Coachella and Nogales are down to their last shipments and they are dropping prices
dramatically to try and move fruit. Beware of old crop product.


CANTALOUPES: The transition is all but complete to the Westside deal with the exception of a few shippers and there are plentiful supplies of fruit to start the deal. There is still fruit from the desert deals, but mostly confined to the central Arizona growing districts. Desert production is coming to a close this week the exception of one major production area (Aguila/Harquahala) which will go throughout the summer months. Small sized Cantaloupes have loosened up and are more readily available this week, even from the first harvests of the new crop fruit. There will be a very good range of sizes available this week and fruit quality is excellent with high sugar levels. Warm temperatures are expected to continue this week, and that will be optimal growing conditions for Cantaloupes.

HONEYDEWS: Honeydews are plentiful from the Arizona desert, and California’s Westside district, but there is not much demand as we move into the first major week of July. There are still light supplies from Mexico. Small sized fruit will remain in relatively light supply through the transition to new crop but warm temperatures are bringing on the smaller sizes.

Watermelons remain in only moderate supply from the CA/AZ desert production areas and Bakersfield now going on their new crop production. Markets will remain steady on seeded and seedless again this week with moderate demand and very nice quality.

With Georgia finishing up on their cucumber supplies and Michigan hot quite into volume, this market continues to tighten up. Look for high prices to hold on a few more days the start to back down.

Western: Baja’s production is good. Fresno, California is going with steady supplies over the next couple of weeks.

Georgia is coming to the end of their pepper deal but the northern growing regions are beginning to get going, which has increased supplies. However rain the growing areas may increase the market for the weekend. Mediums and off grades continue to be the more difficult sizes to come by but overall quality in all regions is good.

Bakersfield is the new growing area, which is going with good supplies. Red and yellow bells from the California desert are in their seasonal decline. Lighter supplies are keeping the market firm.

There is currently a two tiered market on squash as Michigan / Ohio areas are producing more volume, dropping the market there and Georgia is working off of their limited, end-of-the-season supply and demanding more money in that region. By the weekend, this market will have stabilized and should hold at the lower level.

Baja is coming in with good supplies. The Fresno area of California has good production, and looks to increase thought the month. Santa Maria is also into good production.

East – The tomato market (all tomatoes) seem to be adjusting down as more supplies become available. Central Florida is finishing up early due to past wet weather. North Florida is just getting started with very light production. Quality is only average, there is a lot of damage to the fruit. We also have at this time Virginia, Arkansas, and The Carolinas, and Tennessee to help with supplies.

West – San Diego is crossing better volume now and fob are reflecting. Reports of Baja quality have been good. There continues to be a lack of smaller sized fruit and nothing crossing with much color. There have been reports of California Central Valley picking up volume and increasing as the week progresses. Roma tomatoes are very plentiful.

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