Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

July 20, 2009
Typically this time of year the growers will plant less acreage because they are competing with local crops from the East, Southeast, and Canada. Right now a delicate balance exists between supply and demand, but it wouldn't take much of an increase in demand to spark higher prices. Mildew continues to be an issue. Many shippers are peeling this off in the fields trying to eliminate what we see upon arrivals, but this is also resulting in the lettuce being short of weight or being light. 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 average.

Issues with burn and light weight are challenging the leaf market this week. Supplies look to get tight as the week progresses. Reduction in plantings, and extreme heat forecasted for the rest of the week will definitely take it’s toll on the quality. Low yields have been reported from many suppliers. 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. Romaine hearts are very tight in availability and this will continue throughout the week. The Romaine Hearts are 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 very tight. Suppliers will be holding customers to weekly averages

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 for this week. The quality overall continues to be strong.

This market is steady. Supplies are good with many shippers offering deals. The quality has been fair. There have been some complaints of yellowing and brown spotting 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. Michigan is slated to begin carrots around the end of this month.

This market is steady. Supplies are great with excellent quality out of the Salinas and Santa Maria. Michigan has begun production. The supplies will be good for the entire week with heaviest volume on the 24 count size celery

Strawberries: Production continues this week with low supplies. Most to all shippers continue to walk in sold out or over sold. Salinas / Watsonville growing area are now past their “peak” production window, and quality reports are seeing more over ripe and bruised berries. Heavy volume looks to be not as abundant as the weeks previous. Santa Maria continues to produce moderate to low volume with good to fair quality. The forecast is calling for a warming trend through this week, and this should have production somewhat, but as it sits we are in the same tightened situation.

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 are now seeing local Californian production in the Central Valley finishing and Salinas / Watsonville local production as it is moderate and steady. The Northwest has start producing decent volume with good quality.

Production in the Central Valley is finished. We are starting to see more volume coming out of the Northwest, building as this week progresses. North Carolina is finished with production. We are now looking at some new regions that are starting such as MI, BC, OR. New Jersey has moderate production but should be increasing.

POTATOES: Large size Russet potatoes remain extremely limited in Idaho with 40 and 50 count very hard to find. This will be the case until new crop potatoes start up around 8 /10/09. Shippers have deals available on 100ct and smaller cartons. New crop California Russets are available but limited large sized product as well, with good quality. Wisconsin is becoming more limited with availability. Colorado has good supplies and quality is still good. Colored storage potatoes are still available but limited out of Wisconsin. California new crop colored potatoes available with very good quality. Large sized reds are limited.
ONIONS: Supplies out of both Huron and New Mexico are improving. The market is still strong but is coming off slowly on yellows. Reds and Whites are still in short supply as Huron product is showing sun scald and New Mexico has limited supplies at best. There is better availability out
of Washington on new crop over winter yellow onions.


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.

Chilean Fruit – Containers of fruit have begun arriving, but the large vessels will not start arriving until mid-August. Until then volumes will be light.
California Fruit - California growers continue to pack good volume, but with this years light crop, growers are picking fruit that would normally be picked in August. Expect to see a big decline in supply as we move through July and into August.
Mexican Fruit – Mexican old crop is all but done. We should see some new crop in the next 7 to 10 days, but supplies will be very light until mid August. Please note that early new crop oil content will be low and require additional time for ripening.

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 crop estimates now look lower than first projected. Shippers are pacing their harvest to ensure steady supplies though October. Demand is very good, and the market is expected to continue to strengthen. Quality remains very good. Valencia production is good. Quality is very good, with sizes peaking on 88’s, 113’s, and 138’s.

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.

Supplies remain excellent for new crop Flame red seedless grapes. Green seedless varieties (Sugarone and Perlette) are in light supply, but with only moderate demand they are able to keep up. They are all available from the Fresno, Delano, Arvin and Bakersfield districts with excellent quality. Temperatures have been optimal in the new crop growing areas, and fruit is thriving. Production will remain high for at
least the next two weeks, but look for a rough transition to the Crimson Red Seedless as we move into the late summer months. Demand remains only light and grape prices remain very sharp.


CANTALOUPES: The Westside deal is going strong and most all of the players are packing large amounts of fruit. There are plentiful supplies of fruit especially in the smaller sizes and that is where the deals are. Desert production is only concentrated now to one major production area (Aguila/Harquahala)
which will continue throughout the summer months. There will continue to be a very good range of sizes available and fruit quality is excellent with high sugar levels. Warm temperatures are expected to continue for the next 5-7 days, and that will be optimal growing conditions for Cantaloupes. Although that is not the
case look for the large sized melons (9ct and larger)* to be in light supply and hold a stronger

HONEYDEWS: Honeydews are plentiful and there remains only light demand. Heavy production from the Westside districts has the supplies way out in front of demand, but there is excellent quality. Similar to Cantaloupes there is a wide range of sizes available. The market is steady at lower levels and there are
plenty of deals available so don’t stop promoting both Cantaloupes and Honeydews.

Watermelons will remain in very good supply for California production. Bakersfield is now the peak production area for new crop fruit. There are some Georgia seedless supplies available, but limited to day of pack out schedules. Markets will remain steady on seeded and seedless to finish this week with moderate demand and very good quality.

With Michigan and Ohio producing good volume now, alongside of the North East markets are falling to keep the product moving. The quality has been excellent from these regions while the marginal quality cucumbers will continue to trickle out of Tennessee and the Carolinas for just a few more days.

Western: Baja’s production is good and should continue through the month. Supplies from the Fresno area are starting to lighter .Baja’s production is good. Fresno, California is going with steady supplies over the next couple of weeks.

The northern growing regions continue to produce greater volume as the southernmost regions wind down. With decreasing volume out of the south and rain immanent through out the north, we could see
the market continue rise slightly in the next few days.

Bakersfield has lightened as they will finish up for the season by this weekend. Supplies look to be limited as we move into new growing areas that are just beginning in Huron and 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. coastal areas. Red and yellow bells from Bakersfield are holding with lighter, but steady supplies; increased supplies should start by
next week.

The primary volume on squash is out of the Northeast, Michigan and Ohio. The market on both green and yellow should remain steady for a few more days with the weekend bringing a slightly stronger market
resulting from mid week rains.

Baja continues with good supplies. The Fresno area of California is finishing. Santa Maria is into good steady production.

East – There are multiple growing locations going now from AK to the Carolinas and the Eastern shore areas are now going. TN, OH, NJ, and MI are right around the corner to star harvesting. There continues to be a lack of Roma tomatoes. We also have at this time Virginia, Arkansas, and The Carolinas, and Tennessee to help with supplies.

West – San Diego continues crossing good volume now and fob are reflecting it. Reports of Baja quality have been good. Central Valley is producing good supplies of cherry tomatoes.

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