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October 10, 2018

Market News

Weather Update: An upper level trough will bring a slight cool down to the west coast this week with continued marine layer influence along the coast. A brief warm up over the weekend will be followed by a cut-off system early next week with a return of cooler temperatures and morning drizzle. Central Mexico will see isolated showers and thunderstorms and seasonal temperatures. Areas to the north are bracing for Hurricane Sergio expected to move into Central Baja as a tropical storm by early Friday moving into Central Sonora by the afternoon. Heavy rains 4-6 inches and strong winds will accompany the system as it moves inland. This system looks to pass to the south of the Yuma region with a chance of rain over the weekend. Of greatest concern is the powerful Hurricane Michael heading into the Panhandle of Florida currently. This system will bring very heavy rains and winds across northern Florida into Georgia and the Carolinas before moving up the eastern seaboard on Friday.

Apples: As we get further into the harvesting season for apples, more varieties are available. Such as Jonagolds, Braeburns, and Pink Ladies. The rest of the varieties are continuously being harvested. The size profile is still leading itself to 113ct and larger with the smaller sizes of 125ct and smaller will be limited as the rest of the season plays out. The storage crop is all finished so placing your orders well in advance will help the accuracy and availability of your needs. All states are in full swing harvesting with availability for local apples. The overall quality is excellent with a full line of grades, good sugar levels, and decent pressure testing. The market is steady with all varieties and sizes.
Asparagus: Southern Baja (Constitucion) is starting to cool off during the day which should help quality, and decrease some of the spreading/seeding issues. Production is about the same as last week, rain is expected in the region during the weekend. The weather in Northern Peru (Trujillo) has become cooler which has slowed production, Southern Peru (Ica) has become warmer which will help production. More fields will be in production over the next few weeks in the South, we should start seeing bigger sizing across the board from this region. Overall markets are steady with production about the same as last week.
Avocado (Mexican) The growing region of Michoacán Mexico is seeing a plenty of rain and thunderstorms this week with temps in the low 70s. Mexico is peaking now, October- December. There is plenty of fruit out there and not much of a demand. There are opportunity buys on fruit as we are entering peak season for Mexico. Fruit is cutting good and eating good with minimal reports of quality issues. Aventajada crop is ready to harvest as soon as Flora loca crop finished up in the next few weeks. There is still a good supply of Peruvian fruit available as the season is tapering off for them. Chilean fruit is also available and we will see good volume on fruit until the end of November.
Berries (Blackberries) Domestic production of blackberries continues to fall off as we wait for Mexico to ramp up. Supplies in all California loading locations continue to be limited. Mexico harvest is slow to go with the majority of that fruit being sold out of McAllen, TX. We expect to see this situation continue to be the case for the next 2-3 weeks. By the end of October, we hope to see some of the bigger players start their Mexican harvest and the pipeline will start to fill back up. Until then, expect limited supplies and firm prices in California. If loading in McAllen is an option, there will be more aggressive prices and recovery fruit available.
Berries (Blueberries) Blueberry supplies remain dismal this week. Not much has improved from last week. With the cooler weather in the South American growing regions, arrivals of import fruit remain limited. This is an industry-wide issue. Although shippers on the west coast are relying on storage blues from the Pacific Northwest to help fill demand, we are still in a demand exceeds supply position. Supplies will not improve until we see increased arrivals of import fruit on the east coast and Mexico pick up harvest for the west coast. We expect this to be a slow improvement over the next 3 weeks. Markets will continue to be higher and firm.
Berries (Raspberries) Domestic raspberry production will continue to taper off as we move forward. Mexico has started with light numbers this week and is expected to ramp up as we phase out of California harvest. No gaps or disruptions in supply are expected as we continue moving through the transition. Demand has been steady and the markets are flat. As we begin November, we expect Mexico to become the primary production region.
Berries (Strawberries) Strawberry supplies are steady, but all shippers are working through the effects of the rain last week. As it turns out, the first rain of the season did hit Santa Maria, Oxnard and Salinas. Luckily, the rainfall was minimal, but it was enough to have an effect on harvest for a day or so and quality for the next week. This week, yields did decrease slightly as growers worked through the rained on fruit. The damage was not excessive, but as with any rain, it will have an underlying effect on quality. Some growing areas and varieties were more affected than others, but it is safe to say that all areas are aware and cautions of soft berries and bruising. We expect most of this fruit to be worked through by the weekend with quality improving next week. Barring any more rain in the near future, we can expect to see normal supplies in Salinas, Watsonville and Santa Maria next week. Oxnard production will continue to slowly ramp up through the month. Demand has been slightly lower this week. Market prices have been steady with some more aggressive opportunities in Salinas / Watsonville. Looking further down the road, we expect Mexico to start harvest toward the beginning of November with an overlap of production in Santa Maria and Oxnard. Salinas and Watsonville will continue with production until mid to late November, depending on the weather.
Citrus (Limes) Heavier rain and thunderstorms in the forecast this week in the growing region of Veracruz Mexico. Under these weather conditions, we can expect the harvest to be affected. Overall quality is fair to good and with a steady market. Plenty of smaller sized fruit (200,230,250) with opportunity buys as well. On the larger size fruit (110,150,175) we are seeing a more limited supply. They are in high demand, limited and double the price of small fruit.
Grapes (Green) No change from last week. Shippers are seeing excellent yields and quality. Supplies of green grapes remain heavy. Fruit is firm with good size and strong stems. Market conditions have been flat with promotional volumes and opportunities available. Barring any major weather events, we look to have good availability for the next 2-3 weeks.
Grapes (Red) Like the green grapes, reds continue to be in excellent supplies. We have several varieties to choose from in all size ranges. Quality is being reported as excellent and markets have been steady. Plenty of promotional opportunities available.
Tomatoes (Western) The market is growing stronger as Mexico and Florida both receive hurricane systems impacting growing regions for the winter. California is near the end of their summer crops and winding down for the season. The central valley continues to produce tomatoes while crossings from Mexico have been reduced from hurricane weather systems Rosa last week and Sergio churning off the coast. Round tomatoes are firm while supplies shorten further from heat related issues. There is a decent production of romas as well, but the demand is particularly heavy due to limited crossings from Mexico and those supplies are sold out for the week. Mexico has endured weeks of rain and currently assessing damage from Hurricane Rosa keeping what limited production there is south of the border. Both Baja and the east are in very short supply on roma, grape and cherry tomatoes at this time and the market is expected to stay active on these items headed into the first week of October until farming operations can recover.

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