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February 20, 2019

Market News

Weather Update: A cold low-pressure system moves into California Wednesday with rain and cold temperatures across the state. The very cold system will bring freezing morning temperatures throughout California and the southwestern desert locals into the weekend. High pressure builds behind the system with a warming trend next week. Seasonal temperatures continue across Central Mexico with a slight cool down and a chance of rain across Northern Mexico as the storm track passes to the north.

Apples: Washington Demand is moderate with steady pricing across all varieties with the smaller foodservice sizing getting premium. Good supplies of 48-64 are available in the Red varieties. Granny Smiths and Golds are still leading the pack with the strongest pricing on the smaller sizing. Pricing feels like we could have finally hit the top. Or is this the calm before the storm when the weather warms up in the coming months. Only time will tell. Gala demand continues strong across all sizes. Quality overall is still being reported as good upon arrivals.
Asparagus Not much change from last week, the weather in Caborca remains cold and yields are still lower than normal due to the cold weather. We are expecting better weather conditions going into next week which in turn should help fields yield better volume. We are expecting to start peak of season production late next week. Markets remain steady with lower demand as markets continue to come off.
Avocado (Mexican) Harvest from Mexico remains steady and the demand is keeping pace. Field prices have strengthened triggering a strong demand for 48s and smaller, which remain very tight based on the size curve. The expectation is for stable harvest for the balance of the month while demand steadily increases. Mexico is currently harvesting the “Aventajada” crop and will run into June. Come July, the harvest of the “Flora Loca” Variety will start up.
Berries (Blackberries) Blackberries are still coming from Mexico in steady supplies. There was a slight market uptick last week as some shippers reported loads being turned back into Mexico due to water damage fruit. As reported last week recent rains in Mexico have caused some loss of harvest but much of the crop is under hoops and we are not seeing any major overall shortages. The market should continue to stay firm with no real excess of open market fruit available.
Berries (Blueberries) Blueberries continue to be shipped into the U.S through Texas from Mexico as well as ocean freighted in from Chile. Supplies are adequate and the market is fairly steady. Quality has been good out of both countries although the Mexican fruit is commanding a slight premium due to the shorter transit time and increased shelf life the product has. There are some indications that the export container numbers out of Chile may decrease in the near future causing a slight increase in price next week.
Berries (Raspberries) Raspberries will remain in steady supplies out of Mexico with little to no fluctuation in pricing moving through the week. Quality has been good overall and demand is steady. The product is being shipped primarily out of Mexico into McAllen Texas and distributed to Oxnard and Santa Maria CA, Yuma AZ, and Dover Florida to accompany the other mixed berries and strawberries.
Berries (Strawberries) The Strawberry market is a real mixed bag at this point. California is drying out from recent rains but near freezing temperatures have continued to hamper plant growth. Expect light supplies out of the Oxnard and Santa Maria locations for another week at least. Quality is improving but there will be the occasional white shoulder and some cases of water-related issues with some of the fruit. Mexico is still producing enough fruit to help cover any shortages occurring in California for the time being. Quality has been good but most growers are looking at peak production and quality to gradually diminish over the next few weeks out of Mexico. There are some volume spot market deals to be had in Texas due to the mild demand we are experiencing after the Valentines day holiday pull. Shippers are struggling to keep inventory moving especially out of Mexico.
Broccoli The broccoli market continues to pick up with the colder and wet weather we’ve recently experienced. Weather looks to be cooler the next few days in all areas slowing down the growth process. Next weeks weather in Yuma looks to warm up to the mid 70’s. Look for supplies to get a little better with improved weather. Quality is good with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast.
Cauliflower Cauliflower continues to be extremely short. The market continues to get stronger as suppliers are battling lower yields. The Yuma weather has been cooler resulting in a slower growth process. Overall, the quality is good with minor bruising and some yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for this market to continue to be tight going into next week.
Citrus (Oranges) California is at the center of multiple storms bringing heavy rain, snow, wind, and flooding across the state – The Central Valley is no exception. Due to the wet weather, we are experiencing challenges with the harvest. Unable to get into the fields, supplies are very limited and we are experiencing shortages on all sizes and grades. With export demand being very strong, our domestic supply will continue to be limited as long as we have rain in the forecast. February is a great month for CA Citrus – We are harvesting some of our best varieties/fruit of the season. Once the weather clears, we will be back to harvesting and packing daily. Fruit continues to peak on 72/88/113. Supplies of XL fruit will continue to be limited for the next few weeks. We expect the market to go up some, as most shippers will see limited supplies to finish February. Most suppliers are holding off promotable opportunities until they build inventory supplies. We encourage orders to be placed at least 48 hours in advance to help allocate orders. Color and flavor are excellent, brix averages are climbing to 13-14 as we are into some of our best varieties of the season with great quality. The pack has been majority fancy grade with limited choice grade availability.
Grapes (Green) Green grape supplies are still limited. This week, we are seeing slightly better availability on the west coast, but the east coast is still very limited. Although the industry is in a better position than we have seen over the last 4 weeks, supplies are still too light to fill the pipeline. Market prices are still firm and we expect things to remain the same for another 7-10 days. We will see markets slowly decline as better supplies arrive late next week. Quality is being reported as strong and sizes are in the Large to Extra Large range. We anticipate things to smooth out by late next week and hope to see consistent supplies over the next 4-6 weeks as we move through the import season.
Grapes (Red) Red grape supplies are gradually improving week over week. This week’s supplies are better than last week’s and we expect even more availability next week. We have not seen the markets react as quickly or severely as we initially expected. Rather, there has been a very slow decline across the industry. We saw red grape prices come down $2 this week and expect an additional $2-3 drop next week. Most shippers are expecting more arrivals later this week with good availability starting Monday. Supplies seem pretty even on both the east and west coasts. Quality has been good with occasional soft berries being reported. Sizes are still in the Large to Extra Large range. We expect to see consistent supplies over the next 4-6 weeks as we move through the import season.
Tomatoes (Western) Mexico is in full swing production working through winter crops with steady volumes crossing AZ and TX. Nearly all items are at Suspension agreement minimums. There is a good supply of large rounds and plenty of volume spanning all varieties. Roma tomatoes have strengthened by a dollar or so following a series of scattered showers in Mexico while farms rotate. With mostly dry weather conditions in the coming week, markets should continue into February near minimums with healthy supply through both McAllen and Nogales facilities.

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