As we make our way through the summer months, expect to certain sizes and grades slowly become less available with shippers. Golden Delicious has become extremely tight and Granny Smith are also trending in that direction, especially on smaller sizes. Some shippers are buying from those who have inventory just to cover orders. As we make our way through June/July, we will continue to see this trend on other varieties like Gala and Fuji.
For many shippers, ‘Spot Buy’ opportunities are non-existent due to their need to extend inventories through to the start of fresh harvest (August). The need to send Apple/ Pear orders earlier becomes more important as each week passes. Shippers need some time to pack the product and source the product they do not have in order to limit the number of pickups. Flexibility on subbing size/grade/variety is essential (especially on smaller sizes).
The harvest remains strong this week. With Mexico producing a lot less volume, some suppliers are pulling California fruit and shipping it to Texas to cover business. With so much pressure being put on California fruit, the season will end sooner that projected. Fruit will be available through mid-July and taper off by the end of the month.
Volume continues to decrease on this current crop in Mexico. The industry is in a demand exceeds supply situation. There is little to no fruit to be had, especially on smaller sized fruit (60’s/70’s). On the new crop fruit (Flora Loca crop) some growers have been authorized to start harvesting due to fruit meeting the dry matter standards. There are very few growers harvesting this new crop and they are trying to control the market as long as they can. New crop fruit is projected to have a size curve from 48’s and smaller. We are also going to see better volume/offerings on #1 grade fruit once production is in full swing. Peruvian fruit has provided relief for both east and west.
Supplies of green bell pepper are coming from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Each region has good volume, Georgia is winding down, with all the heat the region has received over the past two months yields have gone down and a higher percentage of choice and mixed red pepper are being packed. South Carolina has just gotten over their peak, they are still packing good pepper but also are packing smaller sizes. North Carolina is just getting started on steady volume of mostly jumbo pepper. New Jersey will start mid-July, the mid-west states are 10 days to 2 weeks late because of a cold wet spring.
Bell Peppers (Western)
Green Bell Pepper- Good supplies of green bell pepper being harvested in Bakersfield, CA. Both retail and choice grade continue to be packed. Quality of green bell pepper from this district is good. Green bell pepper supply currently meets demand but the market has risen with higher demand. Green bell pepper harvest has also started in Fresno, CA with mostly large retail size. Green bell pepper from Mexico is also available to load in San Diego, CA and McAllen, TX.
Red Bell Pepper- Light supplies of Red bell pepper continue out of Coachella/ Thermal and Fresno will begin in a small way. The market has strengthened with prices escalating from limited supplies and increased demand. More choice grade than a retail grade on domestic product and quality is good. Light production expected throughout the week. Light supplies of red hothouse bell pepper continue to be harvested in Baja California. Red bell pepper also available to load in McAllen, TX.
Yellow Bell Pepper- Limited supplies of Yellow Bell pepper continue to arrive in Nogales this week from Mexico. The hothouse crossing through Nogales is mostly being packed in choice grade. Market on yellow bell peppers has strengthened with demand exceeding supply. Yellow bell pepper continues to be harvested in the Coachella Valley this week where production is expected to be steady through the week. Yellow hot house bells are also available to load in McAllen, TX.
Chili Peppers Jalapeño
Pasilla- Moderate supply of Pasilla peppers available to load in Los Angeles from Mexico. Pasilla is being harvested in Baja California. Quality on Pasilla from this region is mostly Fair to good. Size on the pepper is mostly medium. Market on Pasilla is Higher/steady. Pasilla from Mexico also available to load in McAllen, Texas.
Anaheim- Moderate supply of Anaheim available to load from Baja California. Quality from Baja is mostly good. The market for Anaheim is in the mid-teens and is expected to stay there through the week. Anaheim from Mexico also available to load in McAllen, Texas.
Serrano – Moderate supplies of Serrano peppers available to load in Los Angeles, from Mexico. Supplies are expected to remain steady throughout the week. Supplies currently meet demand. Price on Serrano pepper is currently in the high teens and is expected to remain the same through the week. Serrano supplies also crossing through McAllen, Texas.
A few shippers in Georgia are still packing cucumbers and the quality is not that bad. Virginia and New Jersey are shipping good volume along with other small regions in the mid-Atlantic. There has been a wide range in pricing between number 1 product and select cucumbers. Quality has been good in the mid-Atlantic, the market on selects and cartons is steady at lower prices. Michigan and Ohio will start after the fourth of July.
The cucumber market is currently steady. Cucumbers are currently being harvested in Sonora, Mexico, and Baja California. Crop from Sonora is expected to continue into the month of July. Quality from Sonora continues to be good. Good supplies of cucumber being produced by the Baja district. All sizes and pack styles currently being packed. Quality from Baja is also good. Mexican cucumbers are also crossing and available to load in McAllen, TX
There is an over supply of eggplant in Georgia and South Carolina, North Carolina will start by this weekend, the market has been depressed for two weeks. Quality has been good in Georgia, the problem is a lot of shippers are struggling to keep up with supply and product is sitting too long. At these price levels, growers in the southeast will stop harvesting and supplies will start to dry up.
Light supplies of eggplant available to load in Los Angeles. Eggplant is currently being harvested in Bakersfield, CA. Light supplies of eggplant expected to continue for about 2 weeks. Both fancy and choice grade being packed. Quality on domestic eggplant is currently fair at best. Fresno, CA is expected to start harvesting eggplant in 2 weeks.
LETTUCE LEAF ROMAINE
The romaine market, as well as all leaf items, continues to be very active in the marketplace. Much of the issue is the same as lettuce. High temperatures in prior week damaged this crop and yields have suffered for all growers. This is an industry-wide issue. Green and red leaf are very active as well. Supplies will be very limited all week both in northern and southern California. The internal burn continues to be the issue. Escalated pricing is in effect. Some issues on the quality that are being reported include mechanical, insect damage, twisting, fringe burn, and discoloration. Romaine hearts are very scarce as well and supplies simply cannot meet demand. The weights on romaine are averaging 32-37 pounds and green and red leaf range from 20-24 pounds.
Lettuce Tender Leaf
All Tender Leaf has been affected by the volatile weather in the Salinas Valley. Curly parsley, spinach, and arugula have reacted to the recent hot weather and has remained tight due to lower yields caused by this recent heat wave. Quality is
IMPORTED PEARS: Chilean and Argentinean Bartlett pears are available to load in Los Angeles. Also, Chilean Packems (70-120ct) are available. CALIFORNIA BARTLETT pears are expected to start after July 4th—more specifically, the week of 6/15 or 6/22. CALIFORNIA BOSC pears are expected to follow CA Barts—week of Aug 12th.
Squash supply is better, product is spread all over the place but no one region has an over supply and pricing has been steady. This time of year logistics are a nightmare with squash being in one location and nothing to go with it. Zucchini supply in better than yellow squash supply, quality is good in most location. Ohio and Michigan have started very light volume and won’t have much volume until after the 4th of July.
Both Italian and yellow straight-neck squash continue to be harvested in Santa Maria, Fresno, and Baja California. Better supplies on Italian squash than Yellow S/N from all three districts. The market on soft squash has stabilized with better supplies in the growing region. Quality from Santa Maria, Fresno, and Baja California is good on Italian squash and fair on Yellow S/N. Better quality expected on yellow s/n as growers are transitioning to new fields
Stone Fruit Peaches & Nectarines
As we get ready to turn the page on the calendar, Eastern operations prepare to transition further north in July. There are no major gaps in supply expected but the market has realized a small uptick this week as operations struggle to overlap through transition. Quincy growers are currently wrapping up operations and tomato size, quality, and volume are declining. South Carolina growers will continue harvesting into next week, winding down and finishing by mid-July. Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia are all forecasted to begin in the next 7 to 10 days helping to boost eastern supply. In the meantime, the round market has strengthened in the short term as usual for this period of time. Roma tomatoes are very limited but forecasted to improve with more operations coming to market next week. Production will start to expand in July as the regional programs mentioned become a factor. Grape tomato size is improving, moving past the larger sized fruit harvested in previous weeks. As weather has improved, so has the packouts helping to ease the pressure of an upward market. As transition progresses to regional programs, western supply becomes more of a factor, however, it is yet to be determined how subtle or drastic the 17.56% Mexico duty set by the US Dept of Commerce for tomato imports will affect the dynamic of the market in the weeks ahead.
Mexico tomato prices are steady from last week. Eastern Mexico and Baja are underway and have begun to establish the western market for vine-ripes in the US. In the coming days, California’s Central Valley will become more of a factor in the market as farms begin to ramp up mature green production. Amidst economical penalties, there has been no significant change in prices from last week outside of the incremental influences occurring during transition. Tomatoes remain in the low to mid double digits as typical for this time of year. Roma tomato FOBs are steady and expected to slide as California gradually increase operations over the next 7-10 days. Mainland Mexico is slowly improving Grape tomato harvests while Baja continues to produce better quality. Duties are set at 17.56% of the value of tomatoes crossing into the US directly affecting the cost of goods. The added costs for importers will ultimately be reflected in what the consumer pays and is pressuring Mexico to keep prices low in order to continue the flow of tomatoes into the US. It is too soon to determine how both supply and demand will be affected, but it is expected that imports will be reduced at some point in the future.
- Milk and heavy creams futures are on the rise.
- Look for increases in milk, cream, butter and cream cheese.
- The Block market was strong for the week and we saw a significant increase.
- The barrel gained some strength and rose a couple of points this week.
- The beef market was a mixed bag with middle meats seeing a slight decline and briskets and chucks increasing
- The bacon market (pork bellies) has seen significant price changes during the course of the week but the weekly average did not change by much. It is all based on their weekly averages.
- Pork prices in general have leveled off.
- We are starting to see some increases based on reduced production. Cutlets rose slightly while wings dropped a point this week.