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Weekly Market Review
March 19, 2015
Market Alert

 

 

  • Bananas
  • Bell Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower**
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic-Peeled
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes (Red)
  • Limes
  • Peas (Snow, Sugar Snap)
  • Pineapple
  • Spinach (baby, bunched)
  • Squash (Yellow, hard shell)
  • Tomatoes (Roma)
 ** For your information and reference regarding expected extreme market conditions for broccoli and cauliflower: gaps in growing transitions are expected to negatively impact supply and price in the coming days and weeks. Broccoli supply is decreasing drastically as the growing season in Yuma, Arizona ends sooner than anticipated. Availability in Salinas and Santa Maria is not expected to keep up with this year's significant increase in demand. Relief can be expected by early - mid April when the Salinas region's growing cycle is improved, Cauliflower supply is becoming low as the growing season in Yuma comes to a close earlier than anticipated. Product supply in Salinas has commenced, but fields are behind schedule. Demand is beginning to exceed supply, and will continue to do so for some weeks, thus negatively impacting price. Relief may also be expected by early - mid April once the Salinas Valley's growing conditions are more robust.

 

Transition Schedule
Below are tentative dates to help you understand transition.  Due to warmer temperature crops, most growers are ending and starting earlier than planned.  Dates are tentative and will be updated weekly and subject to change.


LAST DAY IN 
  YUMA / HOLTVILLE


FIRST DAY IN 
SALINAS /SAN JUAN BAUTISTA

Processing
MARCH 25-28
MARCH 29
Iceberg Lettuce
APRIL 1-6
MARCH 20
Romaine Lettuce
APRIL 1-6
MARCH 20
Broccoli
MARCH 22-25
FEBRUARY 27
Cauliflower
MARCH 22
FEBRUARY 23
Celery
MARCH 27
JUNE 7
Overview
With the exception of iceberg (lighter supplies and fair condition), most California lettuce is average in supply with great quality.  We are anticipating lighter supplies of limes in March and April.  Most all herbs remain steady and in fairly good supply and quality.  Rain is in the weekend forecast for Southern Mexico, which will affect late-season blackberries and strawberries.  Cooler weather in Florida and a seasonal decline have reduced yields in Florida on rounds, romas and grape tomatoes.
Transportation

Availability has improved in California and Arizona; freight rates are firm. Strong pre-Easter demand is expected to materialize sometime next week.

Weather

Generally clear skies and above average temperatures will continue in the coastal and inland districts of Central and Southern California. Highs will be in the 70's along the coast, and 70's & 80's in the San Joaquin Valley. A warming trend is in the weekend forecast for the desert districts of Southern California, Western Arizona, and Northern and Central Mexico, with a chance of showers predicted on Wednesday and Thursday. Highs will reach the 90's by the weekend, with 99 degrees in Northern Mexico by Tuesday. Berry growers in Southern Mexico are beginning to recover from rain and cold weather that have slammed the region during the past two weeks. Highs have been well below average, dropping to the low 60's early in the week, warming to the low 80's by early next week; returning to seasonal averages in the mid 80's late next week.


Fruits and Vegetables
Avocados

Good availability and favorable prices on smaller sizes (60s, 70s) from Mexico; #2's also. The California harvest is well underway; quality is excellent with great flavor and oil content.  

 

Bananas

In Central America, last December brought cooler than normal weather patterns, rain and less solar radiation negatively impacting the growing conditions and yield of bananas in Costa Rica. In addition, in the month of January, the Atlantic region suffered extreme high winds in the growing region. Our growers lost thousands of banana plants. Guatemala suffered two extreme cold fronts, causing a significant loss in product. Problems are also being experienced with the government of Ecuador. They are enforcing a policy where growers cannot sell more than a certain percentage of their bananas on the open market, which is an "auction market" for the industry. This, combined with the strong demand from Russian companies, has led to extremely high prices for spot market bananas. This is estimated to continue through March. Please be aware of a shortage in the banana market and an increase in price.
Berries

Blueberries: The market on blueberries is lighter in supply than normal due to recent cold, wet weather conditions in Southern Mexico.

Blackberries: The weather has also affected the production of blackberries in Southern Mexico with continued light supply. 

Raspberries:  Weather conditions in Mexico have not had as great an adverse effect compared to blueberries and blackberries; good availability from California and Mexico.

Strawberries:  Plentiful supplies, with numerous districts in production (Southern Mexico, Baja California, Oxnard, Santa Maria, with Salinas-Watsonville starting up). High yields and excellent quality will continue in all California districts. Only unexpected adverse weather conditions would derail this favorable scenario.
California-Arizona Citrus

Grapefruit:  California Star Ruby is available; the Rio Star harvest in Texas is winding down.



Lemons:  Prices are steady for most sizes, with production heavy to large sizes and tight availability on small sized fruit (165s, 200s, and 235s). The harvest in the desert (District 3) will be finished next week, leaving Ventura County (District 2) as the primary district. In early April we can expect the price trend to begin a prolonged seasonal advance that will continue through summer.

Limes (Persian):  Demand exceeds supply during the current growing area transition in Mexico. Cold weather has compounded the shortfall in supply. Prices will continue to advance to extreme levels next week, with continued tight availability through April.

Navel Oranges:  113s and smaller are somewhat limited.  There are good supplies on 88s and larger.



Texas/Florida Citrus: Rain in Texas has caused a drop in production on Valencia oranges.

Pineapple:  Tight availability will continue through Easter. Inbound vessels from Costa Rica have made late arrivals due to adverse weather conditions along the East Coast. The supply situation will not improve until mid-April.

Specialty Citrus Items:  Cara's, Murrcotts, Minnies, Roy Man, Sweeties and Gold Nuggets are all in good supply.  Bloods are available through mid to late March.  Pummelos are in final supply. 
California Lettuce

Green and Red Leaf:  The harvest transition is underway, winding down in Western Arizona and production is now underway in the coastal districts of Central California and in the Central San Joaquin Valley. A wide range in quality and appearance exists among the various districts.

Iceberg Lettuce:  Steady availability and brisk demand for iceberg, with Western Arizona and the Central San Joaquin Valley being the primary districts; early season harvesting is now underway in Santa Maria. Late season iceberg in Yuma shows sun scald, mild stain on outer cap leaf, misshapen heads, with medium head size and a wide range in carton weight (34-42 lbs.). The harvest in Salinas will be underway by mid-April.

Romaine:  Numerous districts are currently in production, from Western Arizona to Salinas. Prices remain firm and demand is strong. A wide range in quality exists; warm, humid weather conditions in the Desert Southwest have caused mildew and seeders to appear. Carton weights range 30-38 lbs.

Romaine Hearts:  Steady availability, strong demand and firm prices for romaine hearts. Good quality, with good cupping and bleach, with occasional twisted head that is the result of rapid growth caused by warm weather in Yuma. Romaine hearts from Salinas are characterized by more open and leafy heads.
Eastern and Western Vegetables

Green and Red Bell Peppers:  Recent price strength has stabilized on green bell peppers, with a wide range in quality. Prices are higher for red bells, particularly for large size, 15 lb. cartons. Yellow bells are in extremely tight supply.   Good availability in Florida on green bells; the size profile is heavy to extra-large and jumbo. Quality varies between old and new fields.

Cucumbers:   Production has dropped during the harvest transition from Central to Northern Mexico.  Prices will remain high through late March.  By early April, Northern Mexico and Baja California will be in full production, when prices will ease.  Intermittent vessel arrivals in South Florida from Central American contribute to variable supply, demand and price swings in the market.  With the season winding down in Honduras, and limited production for early-season Florida cucumbers, strong demand will continue for cucumbers from Mexico.  

English Cucumber:   Late-season production is winding down, with fewer shippers in Nogales; prices have firmed.

Green Beans:  The harvest in Mexico will be finished by early April. Prices advanced last week in Florida and Nogales, and have now stabilized at substantially higher levels. Cold weather has caused a decline in yields in Florida.

Zucchini & Yellow Squash:  New crop production in Northern Mexico has contributed to increasing supply; zucchini prices have begun to ease. Tight availability and high prices will continue for yellow squash. A wide range in quality and shelf life exists, depending on growing area in Mexico. Recent cold weather has created a shortage on zucchini and yellow squash in Florida, with better availability expected by late March.

Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti:   New crop hard shell squash from Northern Mexico is now primary in the market, however light supplies and high prices will continue through March, followed in April by lower prices.
Grapes

New crop on green grapes has begun, and quality is good.  Red grapes are experiencing quality and size issues.
Herbs

The Herb market is stable.  Local fields of rosemary are feeling the effects from the freeze that we had at the end of 2014, however they are getting much better. Some of the fields had to be cut back, so supplies will be slightly limited for the week or so.  Basil supplies are getting tighter out of the growing regions of Southern Baja due to rain from a few weeks ago and the on-going battle against downy mildew. However, we are seeing improvements in that overall.  Thai basil supplies are tight due to the recent local rains and the downy mildew in Baja.  We will watch closely for any quality issues.  All other herbs are steady, and there is good demand as March continues.
HERBS
SUPPLIES
QUALITY
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Arugula
Steady
Good
USA
Basil
Limited
Fair
MEXICO
Opal Basil
Steady
Good
MEXICO
Thai Basil
Steady
Fair
MEXICO
Bay Leaves
Steady
Good
COLUMBIA
Chervil
Steady
Good
USA
Chives
Steady
Good
USA/MEXICO
Cilantro
Steady
Good
USA/MEXICO
Dill
Steady
Good
USA/MEXICO
Epazote
Steady
Good
MEXICO
Lemongrass
Steady
Good
USA
Marjoram
Steady
Good
USA
Mint
Steady
Good
USA/MEXICO
Oregano
Steady
Good
USA
Italian Parsley
Steady
Good
USA
Rosemary
Limited
Fair
USA
Sage
Steady
Good
USA/MEXICO
Savory
Limited
Fair
USA
Sorrel
Steady
Good
USA/MEXICO
Tarragon
Steady
Good
MEXICO
Thyme
Steady
Good
MEXICO
Lemon Thyme
Steady
Good
USA
Lavender
Steady
Good
USA
Melons

The market on cantaloupes remains active, larger sized fruit is in light supply. Honeydew supplies remain light. We expect to see improvement over the next few weeks.
Watermelons

Rains in Mexican growing regions have affected supplies and size of available melons.  Size profiles are heavy to 60 and 80 count bins.  Production is very light.  Most watermelons are coming from Central America and the Dominican Republic.  There are currently no domestic watermelons due to the recent weather in Florida.  The Florida crop has been delayed due to the recent cold weather.
Mixed Vegetables

Artichokes:  Steady supplies are forecasted this week and for the coming weeks.  The chokes are frost free with excellent quality.  Sizing is estimated to be heavy to 12s, 18s, and 24s.  Prices should be steady to higher this week.

Arugula:  Supplies of regular arugula are good.  Expect some yellowing and frost damage.  Supplies of wild arugula are also stabilizing with some yellowing and frost damage.

Asparagus:  Supplies from Mexico are running low; we are seeing a shortage on larger sizes. Peru has volume but not as high as we anticipated. We are expecting to see an increase in price over the next few weeks.
Bok Choy:  Tight supplies, high prices.

Broccoli:  Availability has improved and the upward trend in prices has stabilized, as new growing areas in Central California come into increasing production (Salinas, Santa Maria, and Central San Joaquin Valley).  

Carrots:  Availability has improved for jumbo carrots in California.  Quality is good.

Cauliflower:  We have reached peak price levels for this harvest cycle. We expect to see elevated prices for the next several weeks. Quality issues include yellow tinge.

Celery:  Celery supplies are plentiful. Quality is good in both growing regions with weights of 58-61 lbs., dark green color and large meaty shanks.  Demand is fair, with the market remaining steady while fields are producing large sized celery.

Fennel/Anise:  Good supplies at steady prices. The harvest has moved to the Salinas Valley.

Garlic:  The garlic market has improved, although we are still facing issues with getting product from China.  We are still seeing some Chinese pounds that have become available in the market.  Although pricing still remains high, it has come down from where it was.  It is anyone's guess whether more pounds will continue to become available or if "the pipeline" will run dry again.  Time will tell.  On the domestic side, the demand continues to remain high/moderate, and supplies are still tight.  However, we are seeing it ease up.

Ginger: There is a supply and demand situation that happens from time to time with ginger.  The crop in storage remains tight.  This is causing a lack of supply and very high prices, although they are not as high as they were several months ago.

Green Cabbage:  Good supplies and favorable prices from numerous districts in California, Texas and Florida.

Green Onions:   Increasing supplies and favorable prices for green onions from Mexico.

Kale (Green):  Plentiful supplies continue.  Overall quality and appearance continue to be superb.   Bunches are averaging 14-16" in length with dark green color.

Mache:  Adequate availability.
Napa:  Limited supplies, high prices.

Parsley (Italian):  Steady availability in coastal Southern California and Western Arizona.

Red Cabbage:  Continued light supplies and high prices in California, Texas and Florida.

Snow and Sugar Snap Peas:  Snow peas and sugar snaps are in tight supply   (Peru, Mexico, and California).  Prices remain in the highs for both.  Quality is poor, and limited availability will continue through next week.

Spinach (baby): There are good supplies of baby spinach and clipped spinach.  Quality is fair due to frost damage.

Spinach (bunched):    Tight supplies and high prices during the harvest transition to Central California. Yields have dropped due to issues with mildew.

Spring Mix:  Spring mix supplies are very good.  Product is showing quality issues of yellowing and possible freeze damage.
Onions

Storage crop availability has finally reached a balance between supply and demand. Some storage sheds are nearly finished for the season. No surprise that availability will get tighter asmore sheds finish for the year. Warmer temperatures in the Northwest have had a negative impact on long term storage; shrink and cull numbers are up significantly. Typically around this time, Mexican onions begin crossing through South Texas. Cold temperatures and rain have delayed these shipments to the U.S., with crop damage in Mexico as high as 30 percent. Mexico will pick up their shipments into the U.S. in the near future but will not affect domestic pricing anytime soon. Majority of Mexican onions will remain near the Southwest and not make it into the Midwest, Northwest or Northeast markets for another couple of weeks. No price dips are expected with many sheds asking for higher prices. Similar to potatoes, the larger sizes are tighter than smaller sizes. 


Potatoes (Idaho)

Very tight supplies on 70 ct and larger.  Distributors need to stay ahead and order earlier than usual if their orders call for larger sizes.  Shippers have raised their prices in order to slow demand for the 70 ct and larger.  Smaller sizes are readily available.  There is an enormous price difference between large and smaller sizes.
Tomatoes

Round, Roma, Plum, and Grape:   Cooler weather in Florida and a seasonal decline have reduced yields in Florida and Mexico on Romas. Expect to see shorter supplies and some quality defects. We are seeing light color and weather related quality issues on Romas. Round, cherry and grape tomatoes have good quality and volume.
Tree Fruit

Chilean Stone Fruit is now available, please call for details! There are good supplies on persimmons, pomegranates and Asian pears.  Granny Smith apples are starting to clean up on small sizes and bags.

Kiwi:  Chile is the main supply area.  California is starting.  Italian is available off the East Coast and will be available on the West Coast in a week.
Washington Apples and Pears

Great promotional opportunities remain on 88s and larger red delicious, 72 larger on fujis, goldens, cameos, pink ladys and braeburns, and demand is steady.  Small red delicious are easy to obtain, but shortages continue on other varieties.  Quality remains exceptional.  Pears (especially 110x and smaller) continue to exceed supply.  Supplies are tight, mostly on fancy grade, and crop is running heavy to U.S. #1, peaking 90s and larger.
COMMODITY
PRICES
EXPECTED PRICE TREND
QUALITY
Avocados



Avocados-California
Moderate
Steady
Good
Avocados-Mexican
Moderate
Steady
Good
Berries



Blackberries
Moderate
Steady
Good
Blueberries
Moderate
Steady
Good
Raspberries
Moderate
Steady
Good
Strawberries
Low
Steady
Good
California-Arizona
Citrus



Grapefruit
Moderate
Steady
Good
Lemons
Moderate
Steady
Good
Limes
High
Up
Excellent
Oranges-Navels
Moderate
Steady
Good
Pineapple
Moderate
Steady
Good
California Lettuce



Green & Red Leaf
Low to Moderate
Steady
Good
Iceberg
Moderate
Steady
Good
Romaine
Moderate
Steady
Good
Romaine Hearts
Moderate
Steady
Excellent
Eastern & Western Vegetables



Cucumbers
Moderate
Up
Fair to Good
Green Beans
High
Up
Good
Green Bell Peppers
Moderate
Steady
Good
Red Bell Peppers
Moderate
Up
Good
Yellow Squash
High
Steady
Fair
Zucchini
Moderate
Steady
Fair
Grape & Tree Fruit



Grapes-Green Seedless
High
Steady
Good
Grapes-Red Seedless
High
Steady
Good
Plums
Moderate
Steady
Good
Melons



Cantaloupes
High
Steady
Good
Honeydew
Moderate
Steady
Good
Mixed Vegetables



Artichokes
Moderate to High
Steady
Good
Arugula
Moderate
Steady
Good
Asparagus
High
Down
Good
Bok Choy
High
Steady
Good
Broccoli
Extreme
Steady
Good
Carrots
Moderate
Up
Good
Celery
Low
Steady
Excellent
Frisee
Moderate
Steady
Good
Fennel/Anise
Moderate
Steady
Good
Garlic, Peeled
Extreme
Steady
Good
Green Cabbage
Moderate
Steady
Excellent
Green Onions
Moderate
Down
Good
Kale (Green)
Low to Moderate
Steady
Excellent
Mache
Moderate
Steady
Good
Napa
High
Steady
Good
Parsley (Curly)
Low to Moderate
Steady
Excellent
Red Cabbage
High
Steady
Excellent
Snow & Sugar Snap Peas
High to Extreme
Steady
Poor to Fair
Spinach (Baby)
Moderate
Up
Good
Spinach (Bunched)
High
Up
Excellent
Spring Mix
High
Steady
Good
Onions



Red
Moderate
Up
Good
White
Moderate
Up
Good
Yellow
Moderate
Up
Good
Potatoes (Idaho)



Idaho Russets
Moderate
Steady
Good
Tomatoes



Round, Grape, Plum
Moderate
Steady
Good
Roma
Extreme
Steady
Poor
Washington Apples & Pears



Red & Golden Delicious
Moderate
Steady
Good
Granny Smiths, Galas
Moderate
Steady
Good
Fujis
Moderate
Steady
Good
Braeburns, Cameos
Moderate
Steady
Good
Bartletts
Moderate
Steady
Good
D'Anjou
High
Steady
Good
Red Anjou
Moderate
Steady
Good
Atlanta
5400 Laurel Springs Pkwy
Suite 1002
Suwanee, GA 30024
678.947.3000
Buffalo Grove
100 Lexington Drive
Suite 201
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
847.808.3030
Chicago
230 W. Huron Street
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654
312.573.7610

Nashville
One Vantage Way
Suite B-440
Nashville, TN 37228
615.259.0290

Salinas
60 West Market
Suite 130
Salinas, CA 93901
831.455.7800

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