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September 19, 2018

Market News

Weather Update: Seasonal temperatures and a shallow marine layer continue in Central California with a slight cooling trend expected early next week. Isolated showers and thunderstorms remain across Central Mexico into next week. A tropical disturbance moving across Baja looks to bring heavy rains to the region as it moves northward into northwestern Mexico. Precipitation totals of 5-15 inches are possible across Sinaloa and Sonora over the next few days.

Asparagus: Northern Baja (Ensenada) weather remains unchanged, and volume is still down due to seasonality. Southern Baja (Constitucion) weather is starting to heat up which is causing some seeding, and spreading in the tips. Volume is on its way up due to the heat, large sized product is still limited from both regions in Mexico. The weather in both regions in Peru (Ica/Trujillo) has not changed from last week, and volume is about the same. We should see volume increase in the next 2-3 weeks with more fields opening up in the southern region. Large sized product remains short in supply, but this should change in the next 2-3 weeks with more fields opening in the south. Markets are becoming lower to steady on the West Coast with more volume from Southern Baja, East Coast markets are lower to steady with more sea shipments arriving.
Avocado (California) California- Growers were in clean-up mode last week and are done for the season. There is a limited supply of California fruit available with reports of great quality. California season will start up again in January and run through August.
Avocado (Mexican) Michoacan Mexico- Good supplies available in all loading locations. Harvesting has increased this week. Fruit quality is good but will arrive green in color, take longer to ripen and have a lighter flavor profile. Peaking on 48’s and smaller. Growing areas have experienced harvesting delays due to rain. Mexico’s fall crop, the “Aventejada” variety is estimated with good volume. (Oct.-June, Fall crop harvest). Mexico will increase in volume through September as the Fall harvest crop begins. October will bring increased supplies.
Berries (Blackberries) Supplies continue to be a challenge as we finish the domestic harvest season. Due to the warm weather earlier in the summer, much of the fruit ripened earlier than expected and crops as a whole were 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, this leaves the industry in a supply shortage now at the tail end of the season. We can expect to see supplies remain limited and quality to be marginal until we transition into Mexico production. We expect Mexico to begin with light harvest over the next 2-3 weeks and slowly ramp up as we approach November. Supplies are limited, and markets are steady and firm. Coverage will be a challenge until we get into Mexico harvest. We expect supplies to be short through October.
Berries (Blueberries) We currently have a split market. Import blueberry supplies continue to improve on the east coast with most of the Peruvian fruit being loaded in Manfredi, PA and limited volume of Argentinian fruit in Miami. The quality is being reported as good. Market prices are coming down very slowly, this week we are seeing a small decrease across the board. We expect supplies to continue to improve as we move forward. As for the last of the domestic harvest, we are seeing very little fruit left in Michigan (maybe one more week left) and we are on the tail end of what is left in the Pacific Northwest on the west coast. Quality is fair, and market prices are higher. Mexico and Baja harvest is just getting going with light volume. Overall, we expect supplies to continue to improve on the east coast and remain limited on the west coast for the next several weeks. Markets on the west coast remain firm.
Berries (Raspberries) We are seeing a second “late season” peak in production that is expected to last over the next 1-2 weeks coming from the Salinas, Watsonville and Santa Maria growing regions. Quality is being reported as good, but we have seen some soft berries with occasional decay. With the cooler weather at night, we expect this to improve. This will be the last wave of fruit from these growing regions before we phase out and transition into Mexican production by November. Market prices have been steady, but we may see some flex on spot buy opportunities over the next week.
Berries (Strawberries) Supplies have been limited for the last several weeks. This week not much has changed; supplies continue to be light in Salinas, Watsonville and Santa Maria. Market prices have been higher and firm. Quality in the Salinas / Watsonville areas has been fair. We have seen reports of soft fruit and shortened shelf life, but the weather has been ideal and we expect things to improve moving forward. In Santa Maria, shippers are breaking into new crop (fall harvest). Quality is being reported as much stronger in this area, but supplies are still light. Market prices are the same in either location. We do not expect any major issues with coverage, but same day additions or orders will be a challenge. Looking out over the next several weeks, I expect to see supplies improve in Santa Maria and remain light in Salinas / Watsonville. Additionally, we will see some light harvest out of Oxnard with certain shippers. I expect quality to continue to be solid in the new growing regions and gradually improve in Salinas / Watsonville (barring any major weather events). Salinas and Watsonville are expected to have production last through late November. We will see an overlap with Santa Maria, Oxnard and eventually Mexico by December.
Citrus (Lemons) As supplies increase out of district three as well as weaker demand for lemons, we are feeling the market finally ease up. The quality out of district 3 is excellent. Although we have had arrival issues with brown spotting to soft rot with some Chilean lots upon arrival. There are still lemons from Australia out west too. The market continues to find its lower level.
Citrus (Limes) Plenty of rain and thunderstorms this week in the Veracruz growing region of Mexico. The weather has set back the harvest, but we continue to see good quality fruit. Plenty of small fruit available and still limited on larger fruit.
Grapes (Green) The green grape market remains consistent. Fruit is excellent quality, with good sizing, and strong stems. We have seen very little issues from anyone. The green grape market shows no signs of doing anything drastic for the foreseeable future. Expect to continue to see strong fruit with good pricing.
Grapes (Red) The red grape market is starting to see new varieties including Krissys, Scarlettes, and Magentas. The cheaper Flames we have been seeing are finishing up, and we are seeing the market tick up a dollar or two moving into the new varieties. Fruit remains excellent quality, with great color, and strong stems.
Pineapples Pineapples remain tight and will continue to be for the remainder of this month. All orders that are being placed the Wednesday before the week of loading are being covered, but week of orders and order add-ons can sometimes be difficult to fulfill.
Tomatoes (Western) California continues to remain the largest producer of gas green tomatoes for the season, and with the weather finally cooperating, the volume is steady, and the quality continues to be good. San Joaquin Valley is past its weather-related quality issues allowing for good volume on rounds and Romas in that region. Although, several days of heavy rains in Mexico have dramatically affected that Roma tomato supply. With Mexico being the major driver of the Roma tomato market, we should be seeing increased pricing and light supply in the coming days. Limited Roma supplies in the east at this time only exacerbate the situation. Cherry and grape tomatoes as well are seeing increased demand from the east. With Mexican growers transitioning to Fall plantings on these items and experiencing heavy rains at the same time, supplies are becoming lighter, and markets are trending upwards.

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