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May 23, 2018

Market News

Weather Update: A strong late season upper-level low-pressure system moves into California late this week with light rain and drizzle expected across the Central Coast along with a deepening marine layer influencing most of coastal California. This cooler pattern with coastal drizzle looks to continue into next week. High pressure strengthens over Central Mexico with a few isolated showers and warmer conditions into next week. Regions to the north will continue with seasonably warm and dry conditions into next week.

Avocado (California) California production was steady last week and looks to stay at this level through the month before ramping back up early in June. Export demand remains strong. The crop is currently peaking on 48s & 60s. Fruit is ripening well and has good flavor.
Avocado (Mexican) Mexico’s harvest volumes are beginning to dip this week as the Mexican crop is beginning to wind down to its seasonal end of their normal crop toward the end of May / midJune. We anticipate levels to dip to around 20 to 25 million pounds through the month. Demand is strong, and we are still seeing tighter supply situation on 48s & 60s #1 fruit.
Berries (Blueberries) Blueberry supplies remain limited this week. Unfortunately, rain continues to affect all the southeast growing region, prolonging harvest delays and effecting yields. Florida is done with fresh harvest, and Georgia volumes are far below expected. In large part due to the recent wet and cold weather, but all varieties are being affected by early season freeze. We expect supplies to remain limited in Georgia for the next week. North Carolina has begun with light volumes this week and is expected to gradually ramp up production next week and start peak harvest the beginning of June. California production is finally increasing this week with fruit available in the central valley. We expect supplies to improve week over week moving forward. Quality on California fruit is being reported as strong with firm berries and good color. Market prices remain high this week with little movement due to limited supplies. We expect to see a very gradual decline over the next two weeks as more fruit becomes available.
Berries (Raspberries) Raspberry supplies continue to improve as domestic harvest increases. Santa Maria continues to see improved volumes, and Salinas / Watsonville has started to scratch the surface with harvest this week. Also, we have an overlap of Mexican harvest that is gradually winding down. Quality is being reported as strong in all areas, and market prices have been fairly steady. Most shippers have open fruit available to ship this week and are expecting better supplies next week. We will see market prices slowly decline.
Berries (Strawberries) Strawberry supplies continue to be good this week, but volumes are light are market prices are firmer. Most shippers have decided to focus harvest efforts in Salinas and Watsonville and use the Santa Maria fruit for freezer or juice. This is the result of a depressed market and overabundance of supplies. By diverting a large portion of fruit to processing, the fresh cut supplies are more in line with demand and help to stabilize markets. That being said, certain shippers continue to have good quality fruit available in Santa Maria, if that is a more convenient loading location for your truck. Market prices are starting to increase slowly. Salinas and Watsonville are stronger than Santa Maria, but shippers will simply not harvest for a loss. I expect to see some cheaper residual fruit from last week floating around the markets front part of this week and fade out by Wednesday. Moving forward, we expect to have consistent supplies, good quality, and stable markets.
Broccoli The broccoli market has seen its peak. Demand has fallen, and it seems as if there will be a decline in prices from all growing regions. Supplies have increased as well. Quality has remained good through this small supply gap with minimal dehydration, yellowing, or decay.
Citrus (Lemons) The Central Valley crop is near its seasonal end toward the end of June. Fruit in this are peaking on 115s and larger sizes. The Ventura/Oxnard areas are becoming the main growing area and is also peaking on 115s and larger sizes. Demand is improving, especially on the smaller sizes of 162s/200s. These smaller sizes are beginning to sell out daily, and supplies are tight.
Citrus (Limes) Lime supplies continue to improve across all sizes. Quality is being reported as good, and market prices are adjusting down as supplies increase. The weather forecast is calling for ranges between high 80’s to low 90’s over the next ten days. Shippers expect supplies to be consistent and larger fruit to become more available. This week, smaller size limes are seeing more aggressive prices as the volume continues to be greater than larger sizes. As we move forward, we will see promotable volumes on all sizes.
Citrus (Oranges) Navel crop is winding down with only 4 or 5 shippers still packing, and supplies are very limited. Demand remains strong and market firm for Navels. Size structure is mostly large sizes 72s/56s/48s. California Valencia harvest is increasing, and available is improving. The Valencia’s are very nice and peaking on 88s/72s/113s.
Grapes (Green) Green grape numbers are starting to improve. Nogales has a good supply, and the quality is being reported as excellent. Coachella has finally started, with limited supplies, but it is the first domestic product of the year. Quality is also being reported as excellent.
Grapes (Red) Red grapes are finally done out of Chile, with the last of the East Coast orders having been shipped. Nogales has a steady supply coming out of Mexico, and the quality is being reported as excellent. The Coachella season is beginning to ramp up, and supplies are becoming more consistent. Quality is also being reported as excellent.
Tomatoes (Western) Mexico’s imports are helping supply while Florida programs begin to transition north. There is a wide spectrum of fruit on the Mexican market with pricing equally representing what is paid for. It is not hard to find quotes for product listed at mandated minimums, but it is not priced without quality being factored in. Better product is selling for premiums a few dollars higher this week as Florida begins to slow down and buyers take into account the cost of freight against regional FOBS. Normally this time of May, Baja has supplies of romas to help meet demand but has been set back from weather and disease that has compromised crops. It is reasonable to expect FOBs to slowly climb each week while supply shrinks until the middle of June when both California and Florida break ground in new fields. Until then, the Roma market has also begun to lift off, climbing a couple of dollars since last week. Quality is reported as sporadic with size varying widely between shippers. There is also a considerable variance in the quality of grape tomato crops as operations begin transitioning and shippers pick between fields. Markets are forecasted to go higher through the begging of June as supply grows limited.

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