SEASONAL PRODUCE-WEEKLY MARKET REPORT

OVERVIEW

MARKET REVIEW

April 5th 2021

We are seeing a good supply for most items. Quality is good, though there are weather-related issues such as epidermal peel, tip burn, rib discoloration, and mildew. Florida’s corn market is becoming active as we harvest in blocks that were affected by cold weather earlier in the year. We should see firmer markets in the southeast until we move to Florida and South Georgia over the next 4 weeks. Growers have suffered major damage to crops and infrastructure, causing a large ripple in the supply chain. We expect an escalated banana market through at least the first quarter of 2021. Limes are very short, particularly in the larger sizes. We expect very active lime markets through the middle of April.

Avocados are becoming extremely tight due to higher demand, and lower volume estimates are coming out of Mexico due to yield loss. California estimates were revised down and expect a very active market until Peruvian fruit arrives in late May. We will start to see some transition in bell pepper supply from Mexico to Coachella over the next few weeks. Strawberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries are extreme. Yuma vegetable season is coming to an end. Many shippers are transitioning to Salinas next week with more to follow in the next few weeks.

 

 

PRODUCT AVAILABILITY

 

AVOCADOS

 

ESCALATED Volume will continue to tighten up, pushing FOB prices are higher as we see lighter numbers crossing from Mexico due to revised volume and higher demand; we continue to observe the spring crop as we are now seeing those losses due to freezing temps in the region earlier in the year we have been speaking of. We also see revisions on the avocado estimates out of California down. We expect active markets until we see relief from Peru in late May.

 

BANANAS

 

Weather is getting better and better in the topics. This will cause an increase in quality. Supply is still lower due to the hurricanes in 2020.

 

PINEAPPLES

 

Volumes on smaller sizes are available,while the larger size pineapples are still below normal volumes although they are picking back up some.

 

BERRIES


Blueberries: The Mexican season will continue with stable volume into the spring. Baja volumes will continue with stable and increasing production. The Florida season has started.

Blackberries: EXTREME As we see with Raspberries, the supply of Blackberries is also well below projections as we head into the first of April. Below normal temperatures have caused challenges in supply which are expected to continue through at least the first 1 to 2 weeks of April before we see increases in supply.

Raspberries: EXTREME We continue to see a very light supply of raspberries due to weather-related issues on products coming from Central Mexico and Oxnard. Supply is well below projected volume with lower than expected volume expected to continue through next week before we see supply starts to increase.

Strawberries: EXTREME As we get into the first of April, we continue to see challenges in production as supply is lower than projected due to the rain and hail events over the past weeks in California. In addition, production in Mexico and Florida is trending downward faster than anticipated,with many shippers starting to finish for the season.

Navels: Quality is great. Peaking on 72/88, both grades.

Grapefruit: California GF is available in Riverside & small sizes are available in Central Valley. This is a very early start for some of ifornia. GF growers. Fruit is peaking on the smaller sizes: 40/48/56s (mostly Sunkist/Fancy Grade).

Lemons: Minimal issues with quality. Peak sizes are 140/115/165ct.

Limes: Limes continue to struggle as we approach April; this past week,we were down 250+ loads from the normal 750-800 loads per week. Unfortunately, we are starting to see a shift in sizing, leaning heavily to smaller-sized fruit (200 to 230s), and expect to see this through most of April. We are anticipating a premium on larger-sized fruit (175s and larger) to continue while we expect markets on smaller-sized fruit to fluctuate throughout April, then turn around once again in May. The reports from Mexico are claiming this size issue is a result of two primary factors, the first being growers cutting ahead of schedule to keep markets stable through March and now will be harvesting from trees that will have less tonnage from picking ahead, and also trees suffering from damage due to the cold weather earlier in the year. With 110-175ct limes expected to be extremely short, our contracts are being filled to their best ability;however,to ensure fill rates, we need to be flexible on sizing to maintain supply during this escalated and volatile lime market. In addition, we recommend scaling back portions and garnishments or use lemon as a substitute. We will continue to monitor this weekly and keep you informed of any changes.

 
CALIFORNIA LETTUCE

 

Butter: Steady volume and fair quality. The market is steady.

Green and Red Leaf: Fair supply, the overall quality is consistent, though we are experiencing some fringe burn due to windy conditions in Yuma. We are expecting good quality in product out of Salinas.

Iceberg Lettuce: Supply and quality are good. The market has been steady to lower.

Romaine & Romaine Hearts: Good supply and quality continue, although we are seeing blister and peel in some lots due to recent cool weather in Yuma. Seeing good quality in product out of Salinas and Huron.

 

EASTERN AND WESTERN VEGETABLES


Green Bell Pepper: WATCHLIST Supply remains tight this week as the transition to new blocks ramps up out of Florida. In the west, we are seeing the gradual decline in the winter crop out of Sinaloa and will begin the transition to Coachella in the next few weeks. Quality will be mixed for the next few weeks.

Red Bell Peppers: Promotable volume available out of Central Mexico and Canada. Quality is outstanding.

Yellow Bell Peppers: Promotable volume available out of Central Mexico and Canada. Quality is outstanding. Cucumbers: Honduras is done for the season,and Florida volume remains steady. FOB prices were mixed this week. Mexican crossings have improved. The quality overall is outstanding.

English Cucumber: Markets remain flat; however, the volume has tightened with cooler weather. Quality is great pickles: Market remains firm as supply begins to improve out of Mexico. We should see new crop volume out of Florida over the next 10-14 days.

Green Beans: Volume domestically has improved. Nogales supply has improved,leading to a stable market. Quality is mostly good.

Zucchini & Yellow Squash: Florida continues to harvest stronger numbers,and markets are down. Good volume crossing from Mexico.Quality is outstanding on zucchini though we see more scarring on the yellow.

 

GRAPES


The red Grape market holds steady since last week with good supply and quality. New, Good Quality grapes have a higher price attached.

 

MELONS


Cantaloupe: Strong cantaloupe volume continues as we reach the peak of the Spring crop. Sizing has been primarily regular 9s and 12s. Strong retail promotions have been running mostly on the 9/9Js,with some Canadian retailers now reacting on the lower price point 12s. There should be very good movement over the next 7-14 days,which could assist in strengthening the market some. We do anticipate a decrease in overall production for the next two weeks before one last spike in the middle of April before supply begins to taper off as the season concludes around May 21st.

Honeydew: Honeydew production has been consistent with very manageable numbers coming in to satisfy regular contract business. Markets have been steady in the double-digit range as Mexican production remains very light. Sizing has been primarily 5/6s,with a decent number of 8s coming in to ensure those orders are covered.

Watermelon: WATCHLIST Market became tighter this week and pricing ticked up on bins and cartons. Personal watermelons are in demand exceeds supply conditions, driving consumers to buy standard seedless. Quality is good.

 

MIXED VEGETABLE


Artichokes: We expect fair volume to continue through the month of March. Prices are steady. Quality is excellent.

Arugula: Supply and quality are good. We may see some discoloration
due to the weather.

Asparagus: Peru: Low Volume, Good Quality. Mexican Volume is affecting Peruvian demand. Mexico: Good quality and high volume.

Bok Choy: Good supply and good quality continue.

Broccoli: Supply and quality are good as we transition to Salinas.

Brussel Sprouts: VA sprouts will still be light for the coming weeks due to lower-than-expected yields from quality as well as labor shortages for the Easter holiday week.

Carrots: We continue to see limited sizing on Jumbos in California fields, so supply is light. Carrot sticks come from Jumbos, so the supply is light on sticks also. All other items have a good supply.

Cauliflower: Steady supply continues. Quality is good.

Celery: Good supply and quality. The market is steady.

Cilantro: Volume will be plentiful this week. Quality is good.

Corn: WATCHLIST Corn prices remain high as Homestead finishes up for the season and as we transition to new growing regions affected by cold weather earlier in the year. We expect a firm market until we transition back to Georgia in May. In Nogales, we continue to see lighter crossings and firmer fob prices on bi, yellow, and white corn.

Fennel: Good supply will continue for the next couple of weeks. Quality and sizing are nice.

Garlic: EXTREME The market for domestic garlic remains high with good quality.

Ginger: EXTREME Ginger is very volatile due to very inconsistent supply,and the et is higher. Supply remains tight for the foreseeable future.

Green Cabbage: Supply and quality are good.

Green Onions: Supply and good quality.

Kale (Green): Bunched kale supply is expected to be plentiful for the next few weeks.

Mushrooms: We see an overall stable market;however,there are g to be potential shortages of button-sized mushrooms as labor costs and a shortage of labor continue to impact the mushroom industry nationwide. These shortages are forcing growers to make economic decisions that produce the best yield per man-hour; the smaller mushrooms tend to produce the lowest yields per man-hour.

Napa: Supply continues to be plentiful. Quality is good.

Parsley (Curly, Italian): Great quality with a good supply.

Rapini: Strong quality with a good supply.

Red Cabbage: Good supply and quality remain consistent.

Snow and Sugar Snap Peas: Tight volume and good quality.

Spinach (baby): Supply and quality are good. We may see some discoloration due to the weather.

Spinach (bunched): Supply and quality are good. We may see some discoloration due to the weather.

Spring Mix: Supply and quality are good. We may see some discoloration due to the weather.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams: New crop harvest starts as soon as next week for some sweet potato growers. We are looking at new crop shipments starting in about 6 weeks after they cure. Last year’s crop is starting to dwindle, and inventory is getting tight, but supply should hold to avoid a gap.

 

ONIONS


FOB pricing on all colors and sizes has leveled off in all shipping regions for the time being. Size profiles on all colors lean toward heavier to larger sizes, which will continue as the USDA Farmers to Families program finishes its current round at the end of April. While it appeared, the market was moving up on all colors and sizes in the Northwest, a combination of poor truck supply, as well as a lull in onion demand, has put a halt on any movement or increases. Many growers still feel the market will experience a spike in April due to a delayed and shortened Texas onion season. However, Northwest storage onions are at the tail end of their season, and the majority of growers cannot afford to hold out for a higher market without risking high levels of shrink. Availability on all colors and sizes remains plentiful in Texas on Mexican onions, with Texas onions continuing to ramp up their availability as well. At this point, the market has not reacted to the freeze that took place last month and was expected to damage 30% or more of the crop. The possibility still exists. that the crop damage will begin to rear itself in the coming weeks, but at that point, we will likely begin to see the Imperial Valley, California begin shipping. Truck capacity remains the biggest challenge out of all shipping regions. We are seeing the lowest available equipment that we have in the last eight years. Unfortunately, we do not see the situation improving until demand levels off, and truck supply increases back to a historically normal level.

 

POTATOES


The potato market continues to move upward due to increased demand for food services. Burbanks, Norkotahs, and White Russets continue to ship all at once. Quality remains strong in all varieties. Larger size cartons continue to tighten up throughout the state on all varieties. Demand for small potatoes remains strong due to the USDA Farmers to Families Box Program. However, since growers remain in smaller lots, the strong demand for small potatoes has not been enough to keep sheds cleaned up. Additionally, as more growers transition from Burbanks to Norkotahs, we are seeing heavier inventories of smaller sizes as Burbanks do not generate the same level of large-size cartons as Norkotahs. We expect this trend to continue as more Norkotah shippers migrate over to Burbanks. Demand continues to increase, and we anticipate this to continue in the coming week. Warmer temperatures to come will also help demand increase as we move toward spring and summer. Other russet growing regions will finish shipping in the coming weeks, so there will be less overall supply in the market. This will help increase FOB pricing. Truck capacity remains the biggest challenge. We are seeing the lowest available equipment that we have in the last eight years. Unfortunately, we do not see the situation improving until demand levels off, and truck supply increases back to a historically normal level.

 

TOMATOES


Rounds: Florida supply is steady this week. Quality is outstanding.

Romas: Florida supply is steady this week. Quality is outstanding.

Grapes: Florida supply continues to improve, and quality is outstanding.

Cherries: Florida supply continues to improve, and quality is outstanding.

Organic Tomatoes: Supply and quality improvement.

 
APPLES AND PEARS
 

The Washington Apple community is reporting that the 2020-2021 crop is down this year by nearly 30 million cases for several reasons. At this time, we are also seeing deficits in other regions on a national level. This is due to weather-related pressure, late summer and early fall in the Pacific Northwest, and unprecedented demand at retail. Please keep in mind, the USDA Food Box program, as well as other government-backed programs, have reduced the overall availability of the fruit. This shortage is impacting the Granny Smith and Gala varieties, which are major food service items. Between the production shortages, which are weather-related, unprecedented demand, and COVID-19 restrictions and closures, there will be continued upward pressure on price. Please note that we are expecting pricing to remain higher until the new crop begins sometime in August 2021.

Asian Pears: Asian pear supply is available. Chilean & Argentine Bartlett Pears in LA.

Stone Fruit: Good supply and flat demand on Chilean peaches, plums and nectarines which will load in Philly and Los Angeles.

Cherries: Limited supply available.

Kiwi Fruit: Steady supply available on both coasts. Californian and Italian Haywards are available.