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February 20, 2020

Market News

Weather Update
High pressure continues out west as a weak cold front approaches the region late Friday into Saturday with a cool down and a chance of showers across Central and Southern California. This system will bring cooler temperatures and a chance of rain to the Southwestern Desert growing regions over the weekend followed by strong winds and cool temperatures early next week. Seasonably warm temperatures and generally dry conditions look to continue across Mexico into next week.

The weather has improved in both regions in Mexico (San Luis/Caborca), production has increased, and will continue to increase. This trend should continue through the middle of March. The market is less active this week with the increased production from both regions.
Avocado (California)
Although California is anticipating heavy yields this season, growers are trying to hold off on the harvest as much as they can. The reason being, they are trying to offset the size curve and also be in step with what the Mexican market is doing. Size curve is leaning to 60’s and smaller as they are dominating the pack out. Expect 48’s and larger to hold at a premium for the season.
Avocado (Mexican)
The avocado market continues to climb and supplies are expected to become extremely limited as we look forward. Crossings from Mexico are extremely light and we will inevitably feel the supply chain tighten up. Extreme market conditions continue and will be a challenge moving forward. Unfortunately, there is not enough fruit in the pipeline to fill demand and we expect the current situation will only get worse before seeing any relief. The industry as a whole is in a “Demand Exceeds Supply” situation.
Berries (Blackberries)
Blackberries are in moderate supplies coming out of Mexico and some shortages at shipping locations are expected. Quality has been just fair with some red cell and water-related issues still being reported. Look for this market to remain firm through the end of next week with slightly higher undertones.
Berries (Blueberries)
Blueberries are in very short supply coming out of Mexico as they transition growing areas there. Offshore fruit is arriving sporadically from Chile and Peru and causing some shortages at the distri-bution areas due to overall numbers being down from all areas. Look for this market to remain firm and at higher price levels for the next few weeks.
Berries (Raspberries)
Raspberries are in light supply with much of the Mexican transfer volume on the decline. Quality has been fair with some lots showing some defects related to rain. Look for this market to remain firm with higher pricing moving into next week.
Berries (Strawberries)
Strawberries are experiencing a slight increase in production in the Oxnard and Santa Maria CA areas as we also see a decline in demand. Last week we moved past brisk demand for Valentine’s day holiday. Look for the market out west to ease off toward the end of this week. Quality has been excellent due to the optimum growing conditions in the coastal regions. There are still cooler than normal nighttime temperatures which are holding numbers down somewhat but these numbers will gradually increase into next week.
The cauliflower market continues to be strong. Yields have decreased with the cold and wet weather in Yuma. The quality is fair with slight bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. We are hoping the warmer weather the next few days in Yuma will start to help supplies this week.
Grapes (Green)
Like red grapes, the green varieties have improved with the recent arrivals from Chile and Peru. We have good supplies of all sizes on both coasts. Market prices have remained fairly steady on the green grapes. Quality is excellent. We expect promotional volumes for the next 2-3 weeks, then gradually taper off mid-March.
Grapes (Red)
As we touched on in last week’s updates, we are seeing better availability of red grapes this week from Chile. We have had several containers arrive with good quality red seedless varieties. Sizes mostly fall between a medium to a large.
Tomatoes (Western)
A week or so ago, Sinaloa experienced the coldest weather of the season thus far with temperatures dipping into the 30’s in the growing region of Culiacan. This was followed by another storm that brought days of rain and unseasonably low temps in the 40’s. Although temperatures were not at the freezing point, they greatly reduced the maturation of fruit. As a result, color is typically lighter, and size is compromised. Rain has caused harvest gaps while farms wait for fields to dry out. Quality and yields have been adversely affected with crops exposed to further disease pressure. As a result, western supply is very light and field tomato quality has been greatly reduced. Demand for Roma tomatoes is extremely strong, and shippers have sold out consecutive days in Nogales. Grape tomato FOB’s remain active and cherry tomato availability is critical. Looking long term, there is uncertainty where the market will settle. Spring crops in Sonora faced multiple nights of freezing temperatures following the same storm patterns mentioned previously and may delay the start of new programs set to begin in March. Availability is not expected to improve until late March. Potential delays occurring from the newly appointed Suspension Agreement’s inspection provisions set to be enforced at 100% by April 1, in conjunction with the USDA’s phytosanitary controls to prevent the spread of the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus, may affect markets for some time to come. Traditional market indicators must now consider these trade agreements and preventative measures against disease that may cause an influx in the market for months ahead or more.

July 25, 2012

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