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October 16, 2019

Market News

Weather Update
A cold front brings gusty winds and cooler temperatures across California into the weekend. High pressure returns with gradual warming next week. Cooler tem¬peratures and strong winds (30-40-mph) impact the southwestern desert regions as the cold front passes to the north. A couple of tropical systems look to move into Central Mexico this week with heavy rains across the region. Extended fore¬cast show another tropical system possible early next week.

Northwestern shippers are feeling the need to aggressively price some commodities in an attempt to keep pace with the Midwest/EC customers and to mitigate freight costs. Also, many shippers are just beginning light harvest on Pink Lady, Braeburn, Lady Alice, Jazz, Envy, and Granny Smith apples, which should keep most varieties at favorable price points. Quality is excellent and volumes will remain plenti¬ful.
Production from Southern Baja has continued to be steady and should remain this way until the beginning of Novem¬ber, then Sonora should startup. Both regions in Peru (Ica/ Trujillo) have the same volume as last week. This should not change until the end of November or beginning of December when production slows down due to seasonality. Volume remains good on the larger sizes, and should con¬tinue until production slows down in December. Markets on both coasts are steady with good movement on all sizes.
Avocado (Mexican)
Current weather for the state of Michoacan calls for mild to intense rains, which could limit the harvest. Field prices re¬main steady on new crop fruit (Aventejada). The size curve continues to lean towards smaller fruit out of Mexico, caus¬ing an oversupply of 60’s and smaller. Sizes 48 and larger continue to strengthen with little expectation for change. We expect a stable supply from Mexico for the remainder of the month.
Berries (Blackberries)
The blackberry supplies still remain very limited coming primar¬ily out of Mexico. Weather including heavy rain and hail in some of the growing areas have decimated yields. Transfers into the US should begin to recover towards the front end of next week. Look for the market to remain firm on the higher side until then.
Berries (Blueberries)
Imports on the blueberries are coming out of Mexico , Peru, and Uruguay. The offshore fruit is being shipped out of both Coasts East (Philly and Miami) and West ( LA ) while the Mex¬ican fruit is primarily coming out of California after transfer or McAllen Texas and Otay Mesa , AZ. FOB. Quality has been very good on these blues so far. Look for the market to remain steady through the weekend .
Berries (Strawberries)
The strawberry market is easier on the front end of this week than it has been in quite some time. There is a two-tiered price level occurring with the Santa Maria and Oxnard areas com¬manding a premium for the new crop “ fall fruit” and Salinas and Watsonville priced to move a few dollars lower. Quality up North has benefitted from the moderate days and cooler nights. The fruit has firmed up and is not exhibiting the bruising it once did a few weeks ago.
The Broccoli market continues to react higher as supplies and yields are not keeping up with demand. Quality has slightly improved with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast. Look for Broccoli to remain very active going into next week.
The cauliflower market continues to be in a demand ex¬ceeds supply situation. Cauliflower is extremely scarce and all suppliers are seeing lower yields and even skipping a few days of harvest to size up the cauliflower.
Citrus (Lemons)
Domestic supplies on 140’s and larger continue to remain snug. Supplies on small sizes are improving weekly and the market is slightly softening up on those particular sizes. More orders are being booked out of the District 3 (Coach¬ella/Mecca/Yuma) area as supplies continue to improve weekly. The Central Valley and coastal districts are winding down for the season. We’ll start to see more of the Yuma area come on towards the end of the month. Current mar¬kets remain steady with good quality.
Citrus (Limes)
Supplies on the large sizes continue to be limited and ex¬pected to be for the remainder of the month. We’re seeing supplies on the small sizes in be in better shape and the markets have softened up. The industry will continue to get light packouts and minimal crossings after this weekend but should improve after next week. Quality is looking fair across the board.
Citrus (Oranges)
Small size Valencia demand continues to be strong and quality remains fair. Markets will stay firm until we transition to California Navels. California Navels are expected to start at the end of the month and we have been hearing positive feedback on the upcoming supply and quality. On specialty citrus, California grapefruit is improving out of the southern California districts, and CA Mandarins have started this week with a few suppliers
Grapes (Green)
Green grapes supplies are becoming increasingly limited. Some shippers are already starting to build light inventories of storage fruit. This is in preparation for the gap in supply between domestic and import seasons. We expect the gap to occur from late November to early December. As shippers utilize their best fruit for storage crops and we can anticipate seeing a decline in quality and availability moving forward. Growers will demand a premium price for their high-quality storage crop and I expect to see a split market develop over the next 2-3 weeks.
Grapes (Red)
Red grape supplies remain steady. Quality is strong and demand is good. Market prices have remained flat over the last several weeks. There are several varieties currently be¬ing harvested with more range in size. We currently have all sizes (Medium to Extra Large) available. We continue to get aggressive spot buy and Jumbo Buy opportunities being offered. Speaking with shippers, we anticipate having good volume of red grapes all through transition. Import season will start in December and we will see an overlap of domes¬tic and import fruit.
Lettuce Iceberg
Demand continues to exceed supplies industry-wide and this will continue for the next two weeks minimum. Yields continue to be lower in both Salinas and Santa Maria. The extreme temperatures the prior month has really hurt the crop in terms of production numbers as well as quality. Weights are being reported with ranges of 37-42 pounds pending on the supplier. Escalated pricing on value-added lettuce items is in play with all shippers.
Tomatoes (Western)
The overall volume in California has started to shrink as farms begin to fade and the season ends near the end of the month. Sizing and quality vary by grower and opera¬tions are forecasted to fade in the coming weeks wrapping up by the end of the month. Volume is building in Mexico where crops are also beginning to transition to Fall plant¬ings. As California winds down through October, Mexico crossings will continue to build, so that supply is continuous while foreign and domestic operations overlap helping to boost round and Roma availability. Grape and cherry toma¬toes have improved slightly from the past couple of weeks but are mostly steady now while supply continues to build through October.

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