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April 17, 2019

Market News

Weather Update: High pressure builds out west midweek as an existing low-pressure system moves to the east. Seasonal temperatures and dry conditions are forecast through next week. Warm temperatures and gusty winds continue across the Southwestern Desert regions as seasonal storm systems pass to the north. Nice conditions look to continue across the growing regions of Mexico. Generally, dry conditions across Florida through the weekend with a strong system expected mid-week.
Asparagus: Not much change from last week out of Caborca. We continue to see strong supply and it is expected to continue thru this week. Next week we will start to see a decline in supply as growers start to close up fields due to seasonality in the Caborca region. Obregon is now starting up with production and is expected to be in production thru May. Markets on both coasts is lower due to less demand and more supply.
Avocado (California) As of March 25th, we saw the first report for 2019 on the USDA mid mostly. This is the “Perfect Storm” growers have been waiting on to ramp up the harvest. The crop is estimated at 160 million pounds, this is 50% less than last year. Fruit is trickling in as the majority of the fruit is being exported, Asia being one of the bigger players consuming the majority of the pack out and paying a premium. The rain has been good and the last time growers had to irrigate was back in January. With the small crop this year, some growers are strip picking. Strip picking makes for an even shorter season but helps strengthen the coming crop for 2020. We can expect light offerings for the next few weeks and volume will ramp up for the Cinco De Mayo pull.
Avocado (Mexican) Crossings are down from Mexico (combined with a light California crop) causing US inventory to be down by several hundred loads week over week. Demand remains high, as we are seeing prices spike between $5-$10 per box on all sizes. The growers have been asking for more money in the fields to make up the percentage of #2 grade fruit. #2 grade fruit makes up 20% of the pack out. Last Monday, the 18th was a no pick, no pack holiday in Mexico. The pipeline has cleaned up as we are seeing less fruit at the border. Last week ended with a slight curtail in the harvest volume in anticipation of higher prices for the coming week. There is plenty of fruit on the trees but, Mexico has slowed down the harvest to control the market at a higher price. Keep in mind the week of April 14th is Holy week and there will be little to no harvest going into Easter Sunday. The industry will ramp up for Cinco De Mayo shortly after.
(Blackberries) Blackberries continue to be in good supplies coming out of Mexico. Quality has been fair with some shippers running into problems when holding inventory too long. The market remains steady. The only shortages at this point are due to the transfer truck delays that are occasionally occurring.
Berries (Blueberries) The blueberry market is active with Mexico gapping and export numbers down due to the end of the Peruvian import peak. Central California and Florida have begun to produce in a light way but should steadily increase over the next few weeks. Look for the market to increase slightly through the end of the week . Quality on leftover imports is fair at best. Florida and Central California are producing very nice quality right now.
Berries (Raspberries) Raspberries are in moderate supplies with some shortages being reported due to weather and transportation difficulties. Prices took a modest upturn this week with quality being reported as good. We should see light but adequate supplies through the end of the week. All production is coming out of Mexico at this time.
Berries (Strawberries) Strawberries continue to be in high demand with California now being the primary source for shipping. Florida and Mexico are all but finished which is adding extra pressure on the California shippers to perform . We are experiencing spring showers but the major rain events seem to have subsided. Temperatures are warming and we expect the volume to steadily increase over the next few weeks. Look for a firm market through the end of the week with heavy demand . Next week should be similar but better supplies are anticipated which should ease market pressure downward. Quality is very good right now and improving daily.
Broccoli The broccoli bunch market has stayed steady with the nice weather in Yuma and Mexico while the crown market has picked up. This warmer weather the next several days in Yuma and Mexico is helping to spur growth. Look for supplies to stay steady with the improved weather. Quality is good with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast.
Cauliflower Cauliflower has come off this week with more supplies in all areas. The Yuma weather continues to spur the growth process which has brought the fields ahead of schedule. The fields next week are looking to gap with supplies becoming much tighter. Overall, the quality is good with minor bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for the market to get tighter going into next week.
Celery This market for this commodity continues to set unprecedented prices throughout the industry. Demand exceeds supplies. The strain on availability will continue throughout the end of this month as well as April. Some suppliers don’t expect this commodity to have normal availability until late May to June. Oxnard and Santa Maria are the growing regions for this commodity with little to nothing in production in Yuma. Mexico has been a region a few shippers have been harvesting in and this has helped with availability. Oxnard and Santa Maria does not have the availability to meet demand. The overall quality is fair, with pith, insect damage and leafy tops being reported upon arrival. Escalated pricing will continue with all shippers.
Citrus (Limes) The market continues to be active and is expected to continue on a weekly basis. Inbounds from Mexico have been very light and demand has increased. Peak sizes remain to be 200’s & 230’s. Industry-wide, we should expect 110’s & 150’s to be light in supplies. The rest of March will be a very short month on quantities. As we approach April some suppliers are thinking prices might come off, but realistically it’ll be a week to week deal if that stands. We are advising customers to avoid running lime ads for March due to unpredictable quantity and lack of commitments from the growers.
Grapes (Green) Import green grape supplies have started to slow down quickly. Fresh arrivals will become more and more limited as we move forward and shippers will be relying on storage fruit to fill the demand. Quality will become challenging as we get closer to the end of the import season. Market prices have started to climb this week and are expected to continue to increase moving forward. Unfortunately, Mexico and Coachella are still 4-6 weeks away from starting, so we can expect green grapes to become increasingly limited moving forward. Market prices and supply will be subject to change swiftly. We will monitor this situation closely.
Grapes (Red) Import red grape supplies remain consistent. Quality is good and markets have been flat. We expect to see continuous arrivals of fresh fruit from Chile through the entire transition period. Shippers are not expecting any disruption in order fill rates. Market prices have declined and leveled off. All sizes are available on both the east and west coasts. Mexico and Coachella are scheduled to begin harvest in the beginning of May. We expect a smooth transition with a slight overlap.
Tomatoes (Western) A warmer weather trend has helped boost production in new crops harvesting in Sinaloa to start the Spring season. After a slow start to the season and several weeks of elevated markets crossing AZ and TX, FOBs have returned to minimums. Tomatoes across all categories are widely available and quality is reported to be very good. Markets are forecasted to remain stable through the Easter Holliday barring a weather event.

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