Midwestern and Eastern regions continue to decrease volume for the season. Although some areas continue to provide product to customers, size and variety availability have acutely lessened.
Prices continue to inch up now that Midwestern/Eastern demand has shifted to the Northwest. Many shippers are feeling the pressure to fill orders that call for smaller sized fruit (125ct/138ct). Further impacting the availability of foodservice sizes is the retail demand for bagged apples, which command the same size profile.
Production out of Caborca is officially done for the season. This year due to weather conditions the Caborca region extended production by a couple of weeks. Supply this week is about the same as last week, we continue to see weaker markets due to more supply than demand. With Caborca being done we should see the market start to react with firmer prices going into next week.
Weather in California has been sunny for the most part with temps ranging in the 70s-80s. Not much change from last week as we continue to see more California fruit on this hot market. The market is steady but is expected to see an increase as Mexico is not harvesting this week due to Holy Week. Overall numbers are down 80% as of last week.
Weather in Michoacan, Mexico this week calls for lows in the 40s and highs in the 70/80s. The market has come off on price compared to last week. With Mexico celebrating Holy Week, there will be little to no harvest this week. With one week of no harvest, we can expect to see an increase in all sizes. Larger fruit is in very high demand.
Bell Peppers (Eastern)
Bell Pepper supply is better, demand has dropped after a few weeks of high markets. There are some new fields starting in Plant City and supply should pick up by this weekend in that area. The largest shippers are still in the southern part of the state and their volume has not changed, they are mostly producing lighter volume of large and choice pepper. With high markets, for the last two months, retail prices have gotten very high and demand is slow on bell pepper. Quality is very good on new pepper and not bad on older fields, some of the fruit is showing some scarring and the size is smaller. Now that prices have come down to a more normal level, expect movement to improve and pricing to stabilize.
Bell Peppers (Western)
Green Bell Pepper- Good volume of green bell pepper arriving in Nogales. Good sizes being harvested from both Mexican growing districts on both fancy and choice grade. Quality on the green bells from the Sinaloa district continues to be mostly fair to good. The quality from the Sonora district is mostly good. Green bell pepper supply exceeds demand. The bell pepper supply from both Sonora and Sinaloa remains steady. Market on green bells is currently steady on both fancy and choice grade and on all sizes. Green bell harvest has also started out of the Coachella Valley.
Red Bell Pepper- Steady supplies of Red bell pepper continue to arrive in Nogales. The market/price on red bell pepper continues to hold steady this week. Consistent volume on Hot House variety and all hothouse pack styles. Better volume on the elongated variety this week. Steady volume on both varieties is expected through the week. Quality on both varieties is good.
Yellow Bell Pepper- Moderate volume of Yellow Bell pepper continues to arrive in Nogales. Both elongated and Hot House varieties being pack in 11lb/15lb and 1 1/9-bushel carton. Quality on both varieties is good. Yellow bell pepper supply meets demand. Market on yellow bell is still steady.
Blackberry production is currently coming out of Mexico. Quality has been good and the market remains firm. The blackberries have also been subject to the same logistical issues that exist for all mixed berries at this point. Look for the market to remain steady through the end of the week with lower undertones as we approach the final days of Easter.
Blueberry supplies are beginning to bulk up with good quality fruit coming from Central Mexico, Florida, and Georgia simultaneously. The market is easing off and trending lower as we see these areas compete for market share. The quality has been good and there are promotional opportunities in the next few weeks leading up to Mothers Day.
Raspberries are still active as we wait for production to start locally on the West Coast. All production is currently coming out of Mexico and transportation has been an issue not only in Mexico internally but with transfers after crossing into the States as well. The fact that many workers are currently celebrating Holy Week leading up to Easter is not helping the situation as we typically see a significant reduction in labor availability both in the fields and at the borders through the week in Mexico. Quality has been good with the occasional older fruit showing some issues upon arrival. Look for markets to remain firm through the end of the week.
The strawberry market is settling down with growers shipping from multiple locations including Oxnard, Santa Maria, Salinas and Watsonville CA. With the added Easter business at the front end of the week, shippers were hard pressed to apply limited labor resources to maintain maximum production and get trucks out at the coolers. Long waits and difficulties getting loaded out were the norm at many facilities Look for the market to ease off as we move closer to Easter weekend and the inevitable lull in buying occurs just prior to it. The quality is good out of all districts with an occasional overripe and bruising being reported out of Oxnard. Good promotable numbers should be available for the next three weeks and beyond.
The broccoli market has come off a bit with the nice weather in Mexico and Salinas. This warmer weather the next several days in Salinas and Mexico is helping to spur growth. Look for supplies to stay steady with the improved weather. Quality is good with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast.
The Brussels Sprout market continues to remain snug with supply being affected by the recent and current rains in Salinas and Oxnard. The quality has been affected by the rain and cold weather and sizing tend to run smaller due to this recent colder weather. Look for the Brussels Sprout market to remain tight going into next week.
The carrot market continues to remain steady. The quality is good, and supplies are adequate to meet current demand. We see no change in the carrot market going into next week.
Cauliflower market has picked up a bit in Salinas and Santa Maria as Yuma has come to an end. Overall, the quality is good with minor bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for the market to stay steady going into next week.
Demand is not slowing down with this commodity in the marketplace. Demand continues to exceed supplies with all shippers. Pricing continues to exceed previous week highs. Escalated pricing continues to exist at its highest. Carton business is very light and small pallet orders is all suppliers are willing to offer. Yuma is finished. Supplies in Mexico are minimal. Production in Oxnard/Santa Maria simply fair at best but not enough to meet demand. This will continue throughout the month of April at a minimum. The quality is fair. Common defects being reported include mechanical, pith, and bowing.
Chili Peppers Jalapeño
Jalapenos- Moderate supply of Jalapeno available to load in Nogales from Mexico.
Growers continue to harvest jalapeno out of the Sonora and in Northern Sinaloa.
Quality is good out of both growing districts. Mostly medium to large size are
available from both growing regions. Market on jalapeno remains in the high-teens.
Pasilla- Moderate supply of Pasilla peppers continue to be available in Nogales
from Mexico. Moderate volume is expected to continue through the week. Quality
on Pasilla is good. Size on the pepper currently ranges from Medium to Large.
Market on Pasilla is currently steady. Pasilla crossing through Nogales is being
harvested in Sinaloa and quality is good.
Anaheim- Moderate supply of Anaheim available to load in Nogales from Sinaloa,
Mexico. Steady Anaheim production expected to continue. Quality of peppers is
good with mostly large size being packed and the market is steady.
Serrano – Moderate supplies of Serrano peppers available to load in Nogales from
Mexico. Supplies are expected to remain steady throughout the week. Supplies
currently meet demand. Price on Serrano pepper is currently in the teens and
should remain the same through the week.
Husk and Peeled tomatillos are available to load in Nogales from
Mexico. Quality on both varieties continues to be good. Good supplies on both husk
and peeled tomatillos are expected to continue through the week. The tomatillo
market is expected to remain steady. Both Husked and Peeled tomatillos are in the
District 1&2 (Central Valley & Southern California Coastal Region) continues to peak on the large sizes 75ct/95ct/115ct. The foodservice sizes 165’s and smaller are tight, expect limited availability moving forward. The rain and cold weather brought on the larger fruit and smaller fruit is staying limited on sizing and green on the trees.
Limes will be tight this week since harvest crews are done picking for the week. This week is “Holy Week” in Mexico. Adding to the tight supplies are the border delays, the product isn’t arriving as scheduled and arriving two days or longer than later than expected. At this point, many suppliers are not taking any open market orders. They’re doing their best to cover normal weekly volume as best they can. The outlook after Easter will be day to day, Cinco De Mayo pull is upon us and suppliers feel the market will remain active until then.
Good supplies on navels, plenty of promotional opportunities through the rest of April on most grades and sizes. Quality is looking good and markets are steady. On Specialty Citrus, we still have plenty of Delite Mandarins that are peaking on 15’s – 40’s. Cara Caras & Blood are moving along, steady supplies are available. Golden Nugget Mandarins and Ojai Pixie Tangerines are coming.
Cucumber supply is very good, Florida is in peak season. Cucumbers are still being shipped from south Florida and now the Plant City region is starting to get some volume production. Quality is good with most shippers, even though Florida has a lot of wind the past few weeks growers have done a good job with protecting fields. Color and quality are very good, the only issue are coming from shippers not rotating stocks fast enough. We expect good supplies through the weekend and early next week.
Good supplies of cucumber are continuing to cross through Nogales this week from Sonora, MX. Quality is good. Currently, all cucumber sizes are being packed in 1 1/9-bushel pack and carton cucumber. The cucumber market is currently steady and is expected to remain steady throughout the week. The quality out of Sonora is good. Mexican cucumbers are also available in San Diego from the Baja growing district.
Eggplant supply is light, demand is very light but there are signs of demand starting to improve. Eggplant supplies are coming from the southern part of Florida mostly from older fields showing their age with scaring and discoloration. A few shippers have started a new field with better quality but volume is very light. Demand has been very low for the last two months due to a few factors, Mexican product has been much better quality and customers have taken their business west, demand in general on eggplant is low this time of year. There are signs of improving demand when temperatures across the country warm up eggplant tends to move better and Plant City is a week away from starting their season bringing much better quality to the market place.
Light supplies of eggplant starting to be harvested in the Mexican State of Sinaloa. Eggplant supplies will continue to decrease as the month of April comes to an end. Light supplies of eggplant are being harvested from this growing district. Market on eggplant is steady and expected to remain steady through the week. Quality from Sinaloa on fancy and choice pack continues to be mostly fair to good.
Green grape supplies continue to be limited as we finish the import season. Storage crop continues to be utilized to fill demand and quality will continue to become a challenge as we get closer to transition. Soft wet berries are being reported as well as early signs of decay. Color ranges are on the darker side, this is common with storage fruit. Market prices continue to slowly climb. We expect Mexico and Coachella to start by mid-May. The domestic season is anticipated to be high quality with promotable volume.
Red import grapes continue to be readily available. All size ranges are currently available, but smaller sizes are more likely to become limited as we move forward. Quality is being reported as good. We have not seen too many issues with the red varieties. Market prices have remained steady. As we look toward transition, we expect new harvest to start mid-May in Coachella and Mexico. The summer grape season is expected to have high-quality fruit and promotable volumes.
Green Onions supply continues to be plentiful with the recent nice weather in Mexico and Salinas underway. The cooler weather in March is causing occasional leaf minor and mechanical damage. The green onion market will continue to stay steady going into next week.
The kale market continues to stay steady this week as more supplies have come on with the recent nice weather in Santa Maria and now in Salinas. Quality is good with full bunches, and only an occasional yellow leaf being reported
The warm temperatures in the Yuma region have finished this crop for this season. Production currently is in Santa Maria/Oxnard, Huron as well as Salinas. Huron production is expected for another 1-2 weeks pending the heat and insects in this region. Production in Salinas has begun and production numbers are stronger. This market is up, overall. Demand is being met with most suppliers. The weights on lettuce vary from 38-44 pounds. Some defect being reported out of the growing regions include puffiness, mechanical, misshapen heads and brittle. Warm temperatures in the growing region of Huron will continue for the next few weeks until production is finished. Ideal temperatures are in Santa Maria/ Oxnard as well as Salinas.
LETTUCE LEAF ROMAINE
This market is stronger on romaine. Yuma production is finished as soaring temperatures in this region have finished up the production of this crop. Production in Huron and Salinas, as well as Santa Maria, are the current growing regions for this commodity. Green and red leaf, as well as butter, is also finished in Yuma. The quality on all leaf items including romaine is considered fair. Common complaints upon arrivals have been twisting, cupping, brittle and mechanical. With Salinas coming on, the quality is expected to improve in the next few weeks. Huron production will likely finish by the end of this week to early next week.
On the offshore melon front, we are seeing this market tightening up and getting active. The growing regions of Guatemala and Costa Rica have experienced some rain and are expecting more rain this week as well. Growers are predicting about another month of harvest on the offshore deal, weather permitting. We can expect increases on open market fruit and limited offerings on all sizes for the month of April. Overall quality has been strong. The industry as a whole could see a gap in supply as we transition into domestic fruit next month. Winter storms (heavy rain/abnormal temps) in the desert affected the crops planted for the spring program. Some growers had to replant, setting them almost a month behind on the harvest. Overall shipments are currently down 25%.
On the offshore melon front, we are seeing this market tightening up and getting active. The growing regions of Guatemala and Costa Rica have experienced some rain and are expecting more rain this week as well. Growers are predicting about another month of harvest on the offshore deal, weather permitting. We can expect increases on open market fruit and limited offerings on all sizes for the month of April. The industry as a whole could see a gap in supply as we transition into domestic fruit next month. Winter storms (heavy rain/abnormal temps) in the desert affected the crops planted for the spring program. Some growers had to replant, setting them almost a month behind on the harvest. The honeydew market has been flat for the last month. Prices are increasing and will continue for the month of April. Overall shipments are down 12%.
Light supplies of watermelon available to load in Nogales this week. Mostly 2/3 bins
being packed. The watermelon crop from Sonora, MX is being harvested in a light way
and is expected to increase as we move into next week. Better supplies of seedless
watermelon are expected to arrive next week. The market on seedless watermelon is
currently steady/high and is expected to remain steady/high until better supplies from
Sonora, MX start to arrive.
Yellow onion markets from the Northwest continue to show weaker markets as suppliers have good volume and look to clean up storage facilities as the season winds down. Red and white onions continue to hold pricing as supplies are light at the end of the storage crop. Texas domestic supplies are available in all 3 colors. Yellow onion markets are steady to slightly lower out of Texas with red and white onions similar to pricing out of the Northwest. California desert will begin early next week on yellows with red onions to follow closer to next weekend. California whites will come in the last week of April/early May. Idaho/Washington late storage onions will exhibit some translucency, especially in the larger size super colossal and colossal. Texas new crop will have a thin, flaky skin
The pear market remains steady. Smaller sizes are seeing increased demand, but there are ample supplies available—overall—on D’Anjou, Red D’Anjou, and Bosc pears. Chilean and Argentinean pears are available for loading (FOB-L.A).
Pineapples supplies are expected to be snug for another two to three weeks. The overall pineapple industry seems to be slightly tighter than estimated. Pineapples from all sources have not matured at their typical pace due to weather-related issues. Our suppliers will be doing their best to help fulfill normal business orders.
Russet potato markets are steady to slightly lower as consumer demand has increased for the Easter holiday. Burbanks will be the main variety in Idaho with a few Norkotahs still available. Larger sizes are still commanding higher prices as supplies remain heavy to 90 count and smaller. Washington, Colorado, and Wisconsin are also in production with Norkotahs. Expect to see some internal/external bruising, light hollow heart, light peepers and occasional soft rot in the late storage Norkotahs. Continue to send advanced orders with larger carton sizes to ensure coverage.
Red and yellow potato markets remain relatively steady with white potato markets higher. White potatoes have hit a small gap in California and will come back into supply in approximately 2-3 weeks leaving Florida as the main source of supply. The southern regions of Florida are winding down on colored potatoes and will transition to Northern Florida as we approach May. Currently, California, Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, and Wisconsin (ND repack) are producing supplies of red and yellow with Florida having all three colors.
Squash supply is very good, zucchini is in better supply than yellow squash at this time. Homestead and Immokalee are still shipping squash for the next two weeks, there are a few quality issues starting to show up. Plant City has started and is in a high volume of good quality squash and should continue for the next 2 to 3 weeks. Georgia will start this weekend or early next week with light volume. The southeast has had few nights of cool temperatures that will slow production slightly. Pricing on zucchini is very reasonable, yellow pricing is higher because of a little less supply.
Good supplies on both Italian and Yellow S/N squash crossing through Nogales, AZ from Sonora, Mexico. The crop is currently producing mostly extra-fancy and fancy size. Market on soft squash is slightly increasing and expected to remain steady through the
week. Quality on squash is good on both varieties.
Stone Fruit Peaches & Nectarines
Import nectarines and peaches are done. Domestic harvest will get started the week of April 29. The first harvest will be yellow nectarines, white peaches, and apricots. As we move later into May, we expect better volume and quality as well as more varieties and size options. Import plums are still available. Sizes continue to run on the larger size and varieties are limited. We expect domestic harvest to start on plums by late May.
Supplies continue to improve as Florida tomato growers complete their seasonal transition amidst 2 weeks of reduced crossings from Mexico. The current overlap between the end of Immokalee, and the beginning of Palmetto growing regions is helping to improve the market this week. The market is mostly steady from last week with the most significant change showing in the round tomato category. The already affordable Roma and grape tomato markets are steady while supply continues to improve. Cherry tomato markets are transitioning slightly slower and have minor upward pressure where a premium will be required for better quality packs.
A warm weather trend has helped boost production in new crops harvesting in Sinaloa to start the Spring season. Improved supply is softening round fobs this week with the biggest relief realized in Xl sizes. Roma tomato supplies have also improved retuning Fobs to minimums. Grape tomatoes remain widely available and remain at or near price minimums. Similar to the east, cherry tomatoes are in higher demand and better-quality packs are often sold at a premium spreading out the price, depending on quality.
- Milk and heavy creams are flat
- There was no change in the butter market this week.
- The Block market settled with little change.
- The barrel market was flat this week.
- The beef market remains strong. There is an ample supply of cattle it is just that they are not being brought to slaughter causing this artificial higher market. The projected price softening for April has not materialized.
- Pork prices have started to increase dramatically as increased exports are putting pressure on the domestic market.
- Pork bellies have risen dramatically leading to higher bacon prices.
- There is a swine flu epidemic in China and they have already lost over 1 million hogs. This epidemic if not brought under control soon will lead to shortages and significant price increases. We have already started to see the rise in pricing as the U.S. increases their exports
- The market for whole chickens has risen for the week.
- The wing market has settled and the only reason prices have not come down is due to reduced production.
- Boneless/skinless breast market has leveled off .
- Quarter legs remain unchanged.