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August 7, 2019

Market News

Weather Update
A cool low-pressure system stalls off the California coast this week. It will bring cooler temperatures and keep a continued marine layer along the coastal valleys. The low moves inland late this week with gradual warming over the weekend into next week. Isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms along with seasonal temperatures look to continue across Mexico through next week.

Washington-Stressful times in the world of apples with lean inventories and higher prices. Most shippers are struggling on Golden Delicious and the overall market availability is gapping next to NONE AVAILABLE. Ginger Golds should be available next week with a light inventory. Many shippers are reaching the end of their stored product (ie. Golden Del., Granny, Fuji, and Gala); the need to sub sizes, varieties, and increase the number of picks (2-3) is, for the most part, unavoidable.
Schools are re-opening in some parts of the country and we will continue to see smaller shippers ‘clean up’ on certain va¬rieties—adding pressure to the large shippers who have year-round fruit. Pre-booked orders are increasing and so are FOB/ Delivered prices. Some shippers are holding off on selling to other shippers in an effort to fill regular orders and increase market value.
Wildfire Galas have started, but the few shippers who have them do not have many. Of course, this will change in the com¬ing weeks. Ginger Gold apples and early Honeycrisp to start the week of August 12 (light volume). SEND ORDERS EARLY. Flexibility on subbing sizes/grades/varieties is essential—espe-cially on smaller, foodservice sizes (113ct, 125ct, and 138ct).
California: The new crop, CA Gala apple is now available and commands lesser money than its Washington counterpart. CA Fuji apples are expected mid-August and Granny Smith apples should start late August/early September.
Central Mexico (Guanajuato) production is better this week and will continue to increase for another 2 weeks. Production is still limited on the larger sizes and will continue throughout the remainder of the season. Southern Peru (Ica) still has low production due to colder temperatures in the region. Northern Peru (Trujillo) has a little warmer weather and better production than the south. The larger sizes are also limited in Peru due to the cold temperatures. Markets on both coasts are still active, especially on the larger sizes.
Avocado (California)
As we approach the tail end of summer, we are seeing the California crop taper off. As the month progresses, we will see less fruit in the pipeline. With Mexico’s new crop on the market and Peruvian still available, domestic fruit will cover the demand on the west coast. Quality remains excellent as fruit cuts good and eats excellent.
Avocado (Mexican)
The growing region on Michoacan, Mexico continues to get hit with rain. This does not affect the quality of the actual fruit itself but can delay the harvest at times. Rainfall is expected throughout the month. Pack outs on this new crop fruit are heavy on smaller and #1 grade fruit. The fruit will retain green skin color as it ripens. Color is not an indication of ripeness. Gently squeeze the fruit to determine the stage of the fruit. Peru- The season will wrap up mid-August as arrivals will con¬tinue into early September.
Berries (Blackberries)
Blackberries are in light supplies as we rely almost entirely on the West Coast production to satiate demand. Some product is arriving from Guatemala in a small way to help fill orders. Quality has been good with some problems of leakers and breakdown being reported on arrival on some older fruit. The Market should begin to ease up as production begins to pick up slightly next week.
Berries (Blueberries)
Blueberries are plentiful with several growing regions to choose from. Quality has been good and demand has been steady. Look for this market to remain easy as several dis¬tricts compete for business.
Berries (Raspberries)
Raspberries are steady with light supplies coming out of Baja Mexico and Central California. Quality has been fair as some lots have been arriving looking aged along with having transfer damage.
Berries (Strawberries)
Strawberries remain steady with quality expected to improve as we finally move away from the weather events of early June. Which caused bruising and limited shelf life. Plants in the field are showing much better potential for quality.
The broccoli market has leveled out as the recent warm weather has brought fields forward the last couple of weeks. Quality is fair with slight purpling, some mechanical damage and occasional yellow cast.
The recent gap we experienced has now started to close as fields are now current and supply is back to filling de¬mand. The quality is good with minor 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.
Many shippers are done packing cherries for the season. The few shippers remaining will finish this week.
Citrus (Limes)
Lime supplies will continue to be snug for the next two weeks until the new crop begins. The market is steadily increasing due to lower crossings and decreased availabil¬ity. Expect markets to continue to rise, especially if importers continue to have issues with replacing existing supplies.
Grapes (Green)
California green grapes continue to be in excellent sup¬plies. The recent heatwaves have caused some amber color and soft berries, but that fruit is being separated and sold at a discounted price. Most shippers have moved past that rough patch and are into the new harvest. We expect cooler weather and good quality moving forward. All sizes are currently being packed. We have a few different green varieties available at this time, but Ivory is the leader. Market prices have slowly been dropping and have leveled off this week. We expect to have an excellent California season with plenty of promotional opportunities.
Grapes (Red)
Domestic red grape supplies continue to be steady. We have Flame and Scarlet Royal varieties available currently. All sizes are being packed. Overall quality has been good with consistent size, good color, and high sugar. However, due to the heatwave that hit the central valley growing regions last week, we have seen some softer berries on the less expensive grapes this week. That being said, on good quality grapes, the market has leveled off and seems to be steady. With the production volumes expected moving forward, we do not foresee any disruptions in supply or spikes in market prices in the near future. There are volume and promotional opportunities available. We expect a solid California season as we approach fall.
Stone Fruit
We have definitely seen an uptick in demand this week. This is industry-wide as schools have started. As discussed last week, we can expect to see smaller size fruit become increasingly lim¬ited as more commitments are secured for future school menus. Additionally, we will see yellow peaches start to become lighter in supplies over the next few weeks as a result of seasonal transitions. Overall, we expect to see good volumes of nectar¬ines, white peaches, and plums for the next week. As demand picks up, we may see prices start to climb slightly, but most have remained steady thus far. Quality is still being reported as strong. We expect to have a good early fall season, then peaches and nectarines will begin to fade out by late September with plums expected to last through October.
Tomatoes (Western)
Californian is currently experiencing the effects of a heat-in¬duced bloom drop that occurred during June. More heat the last weeks of July may also produce a shortage during the month of September. Triple-digit temperatures have produced quality issues and directly affecting the shelf life of tomatoes inhouse/in transit. Sizing has been trending large but as the heat increases farms will be challenged to pick fruit before it begins to color up and mature on the vine. Vine ripe tomato supply has improved with new farms harvesting in Baja. Eastern Mexico will have decent volume for summer out of Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, and Torreon.
Romas out of Baja are crossing steadily to help meet demand. California has consistent availability, but the quality is mixed. Heat in the valley is causing some scarring, sun scold, and advancing the condition of fruit in transit causing rapid maturity in color and firmness.
Overall, western grape tomato supply is still light in both CA and Mexico. Mainland Mexico is steadily harvesting while Baja con¬tinues to produce better quality as they move into new fields.

July 25, 2012

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