Market Conditions, December 19

Weather Update

Seasonally warm temperatures across California with gusty winds to the south are expected through the weekend. A Pacific low pressure system moves into the region early next week with rain and winds with a slight chance of rain from this system in Southern California. Dry conditions bring warm afternoons with cold mornings across Mexico into early next week when cooler afternoon temperatures are forecast. A strong storm system moves into Florida late Wednesday moving up the southeast coast with heavy rainfall late this week. high pressure builds behind the system with dry conditions following the storm.

Featured Updates

Broccoli The broccoli market has started to adjust downward with all suppliers. Supplies have picked on broccoli in all areas as suppliers are catching up. Quality is fair with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast. Look for supplies to continue to improve going into next week.

Brussels Sprouts The Brussels Sprouts market has come off with more steady supplies coming out of Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville areas. Quality has been affected by the rain as well as the insect pressure particularly the Diamondback Moth and will be an ongoing battle this season. Look for the Brussels Sprout market to remain steady going into next week.

Celery This market is firm, but expected to ease up next week. Suppliers currently are continuing to watch averages likely until the end of the week. Value-added items currently are escalated as well as all contracts. Expect production to pick up after the holidays as demand will likely fall off. Production in the southern California region will be moderate to light for the rest of this week. The availability is about equal in all sizing. Some seeder has been reported as well as a little insect damage, but overall, this commodity continues to be above average in quality. Transfers to Yuma will continue but a cost for delivery will continue with all suppliers. The best deals continue to be out of the Santa Maria growing region.

Lemons Supplies are improving, some suppliers offering promotable volume. Currently harvesting out of all three districts with the majority coming out of District 3 (Desert crop). With the upcoming holiday District 3 will be a challenge with the labor shortage, markets expected to be firm. District 1 volume is starting to come on stronger with markets coming off on all sizing as inventory and supplies begin to build. The rain early this week didn’t affect harvest, but suppliers are making sure to pack ahead to avoid jeopardizing fulfilling orders. All regions have a good run on sizes and expected to continue to improve as weather permits

Romaine Lettuce has reached rock bottom pricing yet customers are shying away from this commodity. The fear of ecoli has swept this country and although there has been no links to Yuma having this issue, the fear is real. Green and red leaf, as well as butter, are finally coming down from fifty dollar markets these past few weeks. Demand has fallen off and like lettuce, green and red leaf, as well as butter, will tumble in the marketplace. Escalated pricing will likely be off by the end of the week. Production is expected to be moderate for the rest of the week. The quality overall is fair.

Potatoes Potato market is steady with good supplies of 80 count and smaller with 60 counts and larger limited. Most growers are running their smaller lots due to the holiday’s demand to fill the retail bales. Quality is good with few reports of issues upon arrivals. Norkotah’s are still the main variety being packed with a few sheds running Burbank’s. Burbank’s are getting a slight premium. Transportation is limited with high rates. It is a good time to stay ahead of inventories with the holidays coming up.

Tomatoes Baja and Eastern Mexico supplies continue to decline shifting the demand to mainland Mexico where winter farms are have started in a light way. Round tomato production remains limited at this time but forecasted to improve by the end of the month. Roma tomatoes continue to improve as harvest increase out of new fields crossing into Nogales helping to soften the market again this week. Grape tomatoes are improving as well as shipments through Nogales increase, however cool weather in Mexico have contributed to a slow start. As more growers begin winter harvests in the next 10-12 days, supplies will continue to build through the new year providing for more value buys in January.

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