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April 1, 2020

Market News

Apples: Retail markets seemed to have cooled this week (vs. previous weeks), while foodservice remains depressed with most states extending their ‘shelter in place’ time frame. Even though retail continues to see better movement than its foodservice counterpart, things have slowed this week due, in part, to logistical challenges and a suppressed labor force. Markets should level out with good availability on all apples with the exception of domestic Honeycrisp.
Berries (Blackberries) Blackberry supplies remain limited but steady. We have both Mexican and California fruit available. California harvest is slow due to the cooler weather, but we should see improvements with the warmer temps over the next several days. Retail demand is still very strong and it’s keeping the market prices firm. Quality is good and we expect to see improvements in supply and better prices as we move forward.
Berries (Blueberries) Blueberry supplies are increasing as new regions are starting up, but market prices have remained firm this week. The import season is winding down with limited availability of Chilean and Peruvian fruit left in the market. However, domestic production is ramping up with new harvest in Florida and Georgia. The weather has been ideal in these growing regions and we expect to see increased production for the next 4 weeks. California has been slow to start due to cooler weather, but with the warmer temps expected this week, we may see some incremental increases in harvest. Mexico is also expected to pick up production over the next several weeks. Although the drastic increases have yet to fully impact the supply flow, we do expect things to improve consistently as we move forward. We expect markets to remain steady this week and possibly see some more aggressive prices later in the month (barring any weather events).
Berries (Strawberries) We have several growing regions in play at the moment. Some are finishing and others are just starting. Florida is now done with production. Mexico is phasing out with little fruit remaining out of McAllen. Quality on the last of the Mexican product is fair, but prices are a little sharper. Oxnard continues to have regular production and numbers are climbing. Santa Maris is gradually picking up pace, but still limited. Salinas / Watsonville has not yet started, but we expect the first harvest to get going by the weekend and slowly build momentum. Most of the fruit is coming out of the Oxnard area and that is where our main FOB point is at this time. We did see some light rain over the last 2 weeks. This will have some residual effect on quality this week.
Broccoli: The broccoli market continues to adjust lower as we move through transition from Yuma to the Salinas Valley. Quality continues to have slight purpling caused by the recent cold weather, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast. Look for Broccoli to continue to adjust as supplies pick up in the Salinas Valley.
Cauliflower: The cauliflower market has recently come off with product coming on in the Salinas Valley. Yields have picked up with most shippers given the improvement in weather the last couple weeks and with demand falling off. The quality is good with slight bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for the market to continue to adjust going into next week as we make our way through transition.
Grapes (Green) Green grape supplies are limited. Availability will continue to be a challenge through transition. We expect Mexico to get started in the next 2-3 weeks with limited production. What shippers are utilizing at this point is storage fruit from Peru and Chile. Retail demand is still very strong and suppliers are trying to hold onto the little fruit remaining to cover contracts and pre-commitments. As a result, market prices continue to climb and availability is spotty. Quality on the storage fruit is good with reports of darker color and occasional soft berries.
`Grapes (Red) Supplies of import red grapes remain steady on both coasts. All fruit is still product of Chile or Peru. Most shippers are now working off of storage fruit, but we anticipate having plenty of inventory to carry us through the transition period for the next 2-3 weeks. Quality is good with occasional soft berries.
Potatoes Consumer bags along with carton 90 count and smaller remain in high demand with the current retail surge across the nation. Retail demand has slowed but remains active with consumer bags extremely scarce. Larger size 40 count through 80 count markets have shown decreases in pricing over the last couple of weeks due to light demand.
Tomatoes (Western) Western Mexico has begun harvesting spring crops in the north, adding to harvest that has been ongoing in the south. Production is well in excess of U.S. demand and the market has reached the mandated minimum for all items. There is plenty of product available across all categories. There has been a wide concern since September over the newly imposed Suspension Agreement Inspections set to start this month disrupting the flow of imports into the U.S. At least, for now, the current lackluster demand will greatly lighten the load for new inspectors providing more time to acclimate to the new standard.

July 25, 2012

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