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December 12, 2018

Market News

Weather Update: A series of cold fronts continue to move through California every couple of days with rain winds and cooler temperatures into next week. Scattered showers continue across Central Mexico followed by cooler temperatures into the weekend with gradual warming next week. Cooler temperatures and showers are expected to the north as the Pacific storm systems move across the region into next week. The southwestern desert regions will see rain and winds followed by cooler temperatures late this week into the weekend. Florida will see some of the coldest mornings of the season in the northern half of the state late this week followed by a fairly strong storm system moving in over the weekend.

Asparagus: Weather has turned cold in Southern Baja (Constitucion) which has slowed production. Fields are starting to close due to the weather, and seasonality. We should see some fields in Caborca Mexico start to open in the next 3 weeks. Production and weather remain the same in both regions in Peru, Northern region (Trujillo), and Southern region (Ica). The demand and the market out west has started to pick up due to the closure of the fields in Southern Baja.
Avocado (Mexican) Weather in the growing region of Michoacán Mexico this week calls for some rain, thunderstorms, and temps in the 80s. Overall quality is good. Mexico is currently at its peak of the season. Fruit is cutting well and east great. Suppliers are reporting a better supply of ripe and preconditioned fruit this week as they are seeing inventories replenish quickly.
Avocado (Mexican) Weather in the growing region of Michoacán Mexico this week calls for some rain, thunderstorms, and temps in the 80s. Overall quality is good. Mexico is currently at its peak of the season. Fruit is cutting well and east great. Suppliers are reporting a better supply of ripe and preconditioned fruit this week as they are seeing inventories replenish quickly.
Berries (Blackberries) Blackberry supplies continue to be strong. Despite the slowed production from Mexico over the weekend, the blackberries didn’t seem to be affected at all. We have plenty of fruit available in all loading locations. Markets are actually softer this week. Quality has been reported as good.
Berries (Blueberries) Blueberry supplies have been lighter this week and markets are higher. This is a result of the cold wet weather in Mexico and the delay of arrivals from offshore supplies. As a result of the recent rains in central Mexico, production has slowed down and has had an impact on available fruit this week. Additionally, due to some hail in Peru and delayed boat arrivals to the U.S, we are seeing a small and presumably short-lived supply gap this week. As we anticipate more arrivals next week and increased production in Mexico, we can conversely expect more availability and cheaper prices. Chilean production is also increasing moving forward.
Berries (Raspberries) As expected, supplies are becoming lighter on raspberries. Production slowed down over the weekend in Mexico due to weather. Although we expect better weather this week, we have moved past the first peak of production and supplies will gradually decline until we reach another peak in the next 2 weeks. Quality has been reported as good, although we have seen some soft berries. Markets have been steady to higher.
Berries (Strawberries) California has experienced some substantial rain over the last week. Salinas, Santa Maria, and Oxnard have all been hit with heavy showers. Additionally, Mexico saw some rain in the berry growing regions which has slowed down production as well. Obviously, this has had a big impact on availability. Shortages began mid last week and have continued into this week with all shippers being in the same situation in regard to extremely limited supplies. Unfortunately (for supplies), the weather forecasts are calling for more rain this week. Exact amounts of precipitation vary by region, but all areas are expecting light to moderate rainfall. This will only further accentuate the already dismal supply situation. We can expect to see gaps in harvest and supply as well as compromised quality for the next 10 days. Order fulfillment will be a challenge and will be subject to daily availability and market price. Expect fill rates and increasing market prices. Please be aware that quality will be compromised. Expect bruising, discoloration, soft and wet berries, and early decay. Ride temps are imperative to the shelf life and quality of the berry in times like this.
Broccoli: The broccoli market continues to be in a demand exceeds situation. Supplies remain tight on broccoli in all areas as the cold weather has slowed the growth. Broccoli crowns are extremely tight and may need to sub into bunched. Quality is fair with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast. Look for supplies to continue to remain tight going into next week.
Cauliflower Cauliflower market continues to be tight but has adjusted downward with a little more supply in recent days. Sizing in Yuma has been extremely slow with the colder weather. With this colder weather, shippers are yielding more Cauliflower 16’s. Overall, the quality has been good with minor bruising and some yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for this market to continue to adjust going into next week.
Grapes (Green) Supplies on domestic green grapes is becoming more limited. As the domestic season starts to wind down we will see smaller size grapes become scares and larger, stronger grapes become the mainstay. Most of the fruit is storage crop. Quality can be a challenge as we approach the tail end of the season. We will see some split markets depending on age and quality of the fruit being shipped. Overall, markets are higher this week. There has been some very light early arrivals of import fruit, but nothing being shipped on the west coast yet. We expect import fruit to increase as we move forward in December and the import season to make a shift by the first of the year.
Grapes (Red) Domestic red grapes are still readily available as there are several different varieties being sold. However, harvest is coming to and end and we will be relying on storage crop to cover demand before import season starts late December. That being said, we will see varying levels of quality and price. All sizes are available, but depending on the age of the fruit, we will see split markets. It will undoubtedly turn into a “get wait you pay for” situation as we approach the end of the domestic season. Import fruit will gradually make it’s way to the US over the next 2-3 weeks with an expected transition by the new year.
Lettuce Iceberg Demand continues to be strong. Suppliers cannot catch up to fill all orders. Escalated pricing is in effect for value-added product as well as all contracts. The overall quality is fair. Lightweights are the biggest issues many shippers are dealing with. Weights are ranging from 34-42 pounds pending the shipper. Puffiness, mechanical and growth crack has been reported upon arrivals. The vision that romaine would ease the iceberg demand has simply not happened. Production in Santa Maria and Yuma will struggle throughout this week and next week as well. Rain is expected in the Yuma region this week and this will only create greater shortages of product.
Tomatoes (Western) This time of year, Baja is usually the main producer of round and roma tomatoes but a virus has affected major farms greatly diminishing supply leading to some crop failures. Sinaloa is not expected to have any real volume of tomatoes until after the first of the year due to nearly 2 months of hurricane-related weather causing a major disruption in supply for most of December and into 2019. Northern States of Coahuila, Durango, and Zacatecas in central Mexico experienced a freeze eliminating roma and grape tomato supplies, especially open field grown varieties not protected by adapted environments.

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