SEASONAL PRODUCE-WEEKLY MARKET REPORT

OVERVIEW

MARKET REVIEW

July 26th 2021

We continue to keep a close eye on the summer local veg program in the east this week as many regions are seeing pressure due to rain which is causing several issues ranging from some quality issues to harvest delays. We are particularly having issues with tomatoes in the east as transition to new regions limit supply, we are seeing higher markets this week. We do expect this to improve over the next 2 weeks. In the west, we are seeing decent production of summer veg and fruit out of California’s Central Valley despite the summer heatwave that has continued to hit the region. We may still see some quality issues and long-term effects down the road, but the short-term supply still is good.


Lighter tomato supply is expected out of Baja this week and Southern California on Vine Ripes, but quality seems to be improving. We are seeing a tighter bean market mostly weather-driven and a return to a normal banana market! Lime sizes have begun to make their seasonal shift in size now that the rainy season has begun, we are starting to see larger fruit become readily available and smaller fruit tighten up a bit, but overall good volume and quality continues to cross through Texas.

 

PRODUCT AVAILABILITY

 

AVOCADOS

Harvest in Mexico is picking up in overall volume as more orchards are able to harvest Loca. This Loca volume is projected to double in volume from last week – so improving from ‘extremely limited’ to ‘limited’. As Loca gains more momentum over the next 2 weeks, small fruit will adjust and be more readily available. Currently, the Old Crop is producing all large sizes, and those are coming to a close – 40s and larger are likely to stay at elevated pricing levels and availability will become scarcer.

BANANAS

Banana quality and availability are good as we have recovered from the Q4 2020 hurricanes.

PINEAPPLES

Volumes of 6cts are tight, but 5s, 7s and 8s are available. Quality is good and supply will be really good for the foreseeable future.

BLUEBERRIES

This is the final week of production for this season in Baja and San Joaquin Valley. New Jersey volume will continue with low and increasing volumes. PNW volume was impacted by the recent heatwave but is expected to quickly ramp up as fruit begins to ripen after being stalled by the weather. New Jersey continues with low volumes with some quality challenges that are being monitored. Baja has reported
good size and good flavour, especially in the 2 remaining ranches with Sweetest Batch in production. The Pacific Northwest is still monitoring the impacts of the recent heatwave seen across the region.


BLACKBERRIES

British Columbia is entering their peak this week and we will continue to see peak volumes for the next four weeks. Oregon production will continue with stabilizing volumes for the next few weeks. Washington volumes will continue to increase in the coming weeks. New Jersey volumes will remain low and steady for the next month and a half. British Columbia pack line quality has been good despite heat damage and sunburn from previous weeks, with size being the main call-out from the district. Oregon has reported better than expected quality with decent firmness and flavour. Western Washington has reported some red fruit seen at the docks. Eastern Washington has reported some size impacts from the recent heatwave, but good quality overall with reduced volume. The Northern District has reported good overall quality and good overall flavour. Baja has reported good overall quality as they wind down their season.

RASPBERRIES

This is expected to be the last push of volume before we downtrend over the next couple of weeks. Overall, volume is expected to remain fairly steady over the next month as the CA regions lead with volume and we transition between applications. Oxnard has reported some presence of wet/leaky fruit. The Northern District continues with peak volumes and growers are staying on top of their harvest intervals driving quality to improve compared to previous weeks. Santa Maria has reported good overall quality. Baja has seen good overall quality as volume is increasing

STRAWBERRIES

We expect volumes to remain steady for the next several weeks. The Northern District is observing a return crop with favorable fruit size. Normally this would result in an uptick in supply, however, we do see a potential downtrend as QA deploys more stringent specs. The Northern District has been some overripe fruit observed, partially as a result of growers getting behind on harvests. Santa Maria has reported quality challenges, with the main defects seen in the district of bruising and overripe fruit.


GRAPEFRUIT

California grapefruit is available in Riverside & in the Central Valley. Fruit is peaking on the smaller sizes 40, 48, and 56s mostly Fancy Grade.

LEMONS

The market remains very active on lemons; shippers are holding to averages and many are only covering commitments. Quality issues are common for this time of year, with the pack out about 80% choice grade. Chilean and Mexican imports have started to arrive, which has brought some relief to the market. Our Domestic crop will pick back up again at the end of August.

LIMES 

Overall market remains stable and good availability on sizes.

CALIFORNIA LETTUCE


Butter: Salinas Production volumes are steady this week. Warming daytime temperatures could present some increased occurrence of light
burn on this delicate item.


Green and Red Leaf: Salinas Green Leaf production volumes are tracking slightly higher for the week. Overall quality is nice with a good green color, full heads, and good texture. Demand is steady and pricing is fairly steady. Good volume with good quality and the market is steady.


Iceberg Lettuce: Lettuce supplies for the next few weeks are projected to be lighter. Supplies industry-wide seem to also be lighter due to lower acres planted. Quality has been medium. There are a lot of small issues in the field, but the crews will work slowly and make sure the heads look good cosmetically. The markets seem slightly better, and the forecast is for higher prices at the end of the week.

Romaine & Romaine Hearts: Romaine and Romaine Heart production supplies are steady for the week. Plants are exhibiting good color, texture,
and quality overall. We are experiencing some occasional fringe burn at the field level. Overall demand has levelled off a bit while FOB prices
remain constant.

 

EASTERN AND WESTERN VEGETABLES


Green Bell Pepper: WATCHLIST Good volume will begin ramping up out of North Carolina and other local regions in Tennessee, and Michigan.
In the west, the Central Valley is now in full swing however supply is tighter this week and we are seeing heat-related quality issues continue to lower production yields. We hope to see supply improve over the next 2 to 3 weeks as we transition to newer fields in the coastal regions.


Red Bell Peppers: WATCHLIST  Supply is tighter this week and markets are up. We continue to recommend booking orders ahead as much as
possible to make sure we are keeping good service levels as quality and colour continue to be an issue due to heat-related pressure. In the east
Supply is still good crossing from Canada. We do expect shorter markets over the next several weeks.  

Yellow Bell Peppers: Lighter supply this week with strong quality available.

Cucumbers: WATCHLIST Supply is now in full swing out of North Carolina, Michigan, and New Jersey. Cucumbers in the west are coming
on stronger this week through Otay Nogales and McAllen. Overall quality is good.

Zucchini & Yellow Squash: Strong production is now underway out of South Georgia and quality is excellent. In the west, we should see Mexico
wrap up the season any day with a smooth transition over to the Central Valley and Central Coast starting mid-week. Quality is outstanding.

English Cucumber: Markets increased this week as demand increases due to a lower supply of pole cucumbers. Quality remains strong.

Green Beans: WATCHLIST We are seeing extremely tight numbers in the east this week with Georgia and North Carolina wrapping the season
up and transitioning to Tennessee. We do expect to see production from Michigan and New York over the next several weeks bearing further weather impacts which could help ease some of these escalated markets back in line. In the west, supply is ramping up out of Fresno and other local regional districts; however, will need to watch quality and supply closely as last week’s heatwave may affect supply out of Fresno and Brentwood areas. We should see some additional supply out of the central coast, Some light volume available out of Baja.

GRAPES

The grape season, from Mexico, is coming to an end as many growers have finished packing for the season. There will be supply available until inventory is cleaned up, so look for the market to strengthen. Hot weather in the California desert may shorten their season, so look for Coachella to be finished soon. We are seeing good quality out of San Joaquin valley with a good supply.

MELONS

Cantaloupe: Strong production has continued over the past week with very sizable national retail promotions materializing this week. The amount of volume being moved is expected to quickly stabilize the cantaloupe market at slightly higher levels. Current production has shifted to primarily 9s and larger with a decent percentage of 12s to satisfy all contract needs. Zero to no 15s have been packed. Quality has been at optimal levels with solid external and internal characteristics.

Honeydew: Honeydew production continues with minimal numbers. There does not appear to be any immediate relief in sight especially with current production providing sizing that is mostly 5/5Js with very few 6/8s being harvested. The flexibility of sizing may be required at the time of loading in the short term as we are shipping dews day of harvest.

Watermelon: Markets firmed up this week with strong demand out of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Texas is also seeing more demand than normal. Logistics continues to be a challenge in all markets and sizing is peaking on 60’s this week. We are also seeing volume ramp up out of the central valley on bins and minis. Quality in the west is very nice. 

MIXED VEGETABLE


Artichokes: Volume is low this week, we expect to harvest only 4 days. Quality is excellent. We expect volume to remain low into August. Prices are higher in some sizes.

Arugula: Supply and quality are good.

Asparagus: Market is steady. Peru: Good volume, quality, and demand. Mexico: Central Mexico supplies are expecting to increase after mid-July.

Bok Choy: Supplies are expected to be plentiful for the next three weeks. Now is an opportunity for promotion!

Broccoli: We will be right at budget this week on Broccoli. Supplies will be very manageable as we have seen growth slowed from cooler than expected weather. Quality is very nice throughout due to this controlled growth as well.

Brussel Sprouts: Sprout volume is expected to drop slightly for the coming 7-14 days. Yields are dropping as a result of increased insect injury and some discolouration. The open market has softened slightly but is expected to level out and remain steady due to lighter volume.

Carrots: ESCALATED Quality is good, still seeing limited supply on jumbos and very limited on snack packs out of California as Jumbos are still not sizing up. Jumbo Carrots are available to load in Arizona.

Cauliflower: Supplies are steady, market is slightly stronger. Overall quality and appearance should be very nice.

Celery: Business is average this week with good supplies for us and in the industry. Quality is good and the market is steady in Salinas. We are
fully transitioned to Salinas.

Cilantro: Cilantro supplies are expected to be on the lighter side again this week as we continue to experience some issues with bacterial spotting

Corn: We are seeing good volume and quality out of South Georgia. In the west, we have a steady supply available, however, we need to watch the conditions closely due to last week’s heatwave that could affect quality over the next several weeks. We are also seeing curtailed harvesting due to shortages of labour.

Fennel: Lower volume this week. Quality is strong overall.

Garlic: EXTREME New crop California garlic is getting ready to get started but we will still be shipping products of Mexico for another 1 to 2 weeks until California starts. Quality from Mexico still looks good and we are anticipating very good quality from California when the new crop starts. The market remains extreme.

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

Green Cabbage: Supplies are steady. Quality remains consistent with sizing and overall appearance. Now is a great time to promote product with additional availability.

Green Onions: Supplies and quality are good this week.

Kale (Green): Bunched Kale supplies are expected to be plentiful for the next few weeks. Now is a good opportunity for promoting product.

Mushrooms: We are seeing an overall stable market however there going to be potential shortages of button-sized mushrooms as labour costs and a shortage of labour continue to impact the mushroom industry nationwide.

Napa: Supplies are expected to be plentiful for the next three weeks. Now is an opportunity for promotion.

Parsley (Curly, Italian): Parsley supplies are expected to be plentiful for the next three weeks. Now is an opportunity to promote!

Rapini: Good supplies on rabe and should have an extra product to sell for the week. We are harvesting every day this week and should have product available each day. Quality is strong overall.

Red Cabbage: Supplies are steady with good quality.

Snow and Sugar Snap Peas: Quality is good. Guatemala has good volume and Peru’s volume is light but will be increasing Mid-July.

Spinach (baby): Supply and quality are good.

Spinach (bunched): Cool foggy mornings are causing some mildew and warmer afternoons are causing insect presence.

Spring Mix: Cool foggy mornings are causing some mildew and warmer afternoons are causing insect presence.

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: The market on yellows, reds, and whites remains steady out of both California and New Mexico. While the extreme heat in California
and frequent rain in New Mexico have taken their toll this Summer, quality remains strong overall. The onions are sound, and still plenty ‘hard,’ they just may have the occasional staining and at times, some inconsistencies in sizing. At this point, we are not expecting to see any drastic increases or decreases for the remainder of the Summer until the Northwest starts in the next several weeks. There are still plenty of onions to move out of California, so we may see a decent period of overlap with California and the Northwest – which could negatively impact FOB prices during harvest. Northwest growers are continuing to express great concern for the upcoming crop due to record high temperatures in Idaho/Oregon/Washington. Jumbo red and white onions out of southern New Mexico are escalated.


POTATOES: The potato market continues to move upward due to increased demand for food service. Norkotahs have finished up, and it is all Burbanks and White Russets from here on out until the new Crop starts toward the end of July. Because Burbanks do not run as large
as Norkotahs, large size count cartons have further tightened on what was already a short supply. 40ct Potatoes are exceptionally limited.
We anticipate that the supply on small size potatoes will continue to increase, which could lead to some truckload deals on 90ct and smaller, and small bags for retail.

 

TOMATOES


Rounds: WATCHLIST Production in the east continues to interrupt by rain in all regions from Tennessee to North Carolina. We are seeing some slight issues with quality and self-life as well but hope to turn the corner over the next couple of weeks. We are not expecting any shortages or pro-rates this latest escalation.

Romas: ESCALATED East Coast Roma production will continue to be lighter than expected through the next week. We should see a vast improvement in quality and volume once we start the mountain deals over the next 10-14 days. We are currently maintaining service level and do not expect shortages or pro-rates at this time.

Grape I Cherry: ESCALATED We seem to be stalled in transition on snacking tomatoes but should start seeing some volume out of North Carolina and Tennessee over the next week followed by Virginia. At this time, it’s too soon to tell but will need to assess conditions with our growers as the storm passes through the region over the next several days. At this time, we are not anticipating any pro-rates or shorts on our contracts.

Organic Tomatoes: WATCHLIST Supply very limited, and quality is marginal.

 

APPLES AND PEARS

Granny smith apples remain tight, especially on the smaller sizes. East coast growers will have minimal availability through May. Import apples will start arriving at the end of this month on the east coast. Small pears will remain tight through August. Imports are available on the east coast.

STONE FRUIT

Peaches: Yellow and white flesh available out of California and yellow flesh available out of South Carolina.

Cherries: Good supply available out of California. however, will need to watch how the PNW crop reacts to the latest heatwave to hit Washington State.

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