Market Conditions, January 9th

Weather Update

A series of storm systems are set to roll into California with rain winds and cooler temperatures forecast into next week. These systems will bring a slight chance of rain to the southwestern desert regions along with warming morning temperatures and an end to the lettuce ice in the region. Cool mornings and mild afternoons look to continue across Central Mexico with isolated showers possible in the higher elevations. Scattered showers and mild temperatures are expected across Northern Mexico as the storm track remains to the north. Generally, dry conditions are forecast for Florida with a chance of light rain over the weekend across the northern part of the state.

Commodity Updates

Apples Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp are in demand exceeds supply situation. This will continue through to next season crop. Markets are active on these varieties with small low-grade Granny Smith being the most limited. All other varieties are steady. Water core is showing up in the Red Delicious and Fuji’s which is typical for this time of the season. Heavy snow in the area has slowed transportation down to crawl. The forecast is calling for clearing as this week moves on.

Asparagus The cold weather pattern continues in Caborca Mexico which is pushing back production. We should see better weather and production in about 10-14 days. Ciudad Constitucion has wrapped up production due to weather, and seasonality. Both regions in Peru (Trujillo/Ica) are wrapping up due warm temperatures, and seasonality. The market and demand are very strong with slow production out of Mexico, and Peru wrapping up their season.

Broccoli The broccoli market has reacted to the recent cold weather and supply has really tightened up with all suppliers. Quality is fair with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast. Look for supplies to continue to be tight going into next week.

Cilantro The cilantro market has picked up a bit with the colder weather in Yuma and Mexico. The cilantro quality is fair and will be affected by this colder weather. Look for the cilantro market to continue to stay strong going into next week.

Oranges California Navels is moving along markets are down with good supplies across the board, plenty of promotable volume and great quality. The pack has been mostly fancy grade and limited choice. With bag business, the choice fruit supplies continue to be limited. With rain expected this week in the growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley suppliers are packing ahead to avoid shortages for the week. We’ll continue to monitor this closely as weather permits. Brix averages remain at 10-12, some 13. Satsuma Mandarins supplies are ample on any size or pack style. Brix is 12-14 and extremely juicy. Delite Mandarins are coming along peaking on 32/28/24 followed by size 36. Plenty of Pummelos available sizing and quality look great. Cara Caras and Blood oranges supplies continue to get better each week, also California grapefruit started up this week with good volume to start.

Cucumbers Light supplies of cucumber being harvested in Sonora, Mexico. Growers out of this district are expected to finish in January. Quality out of the Sonora district is being reported as just fair. Cucumbers also being harvested in the Mexican State of Sinaloa. Cooler weather in this region has slowed down production. The cucumber market from Sinaloa is expected to move higher through the end of the week with Sonora finishing up. Quality out of Sinaloa is good. Sizing is down, very few Super select, large, and carton cukes being packed.

Lettuce Leaf The market has become stronger on romaine, hearts as well as all leaf items. The freezing temperatures in past weeks have caused damage that is significant. Yields are down. Common defects include blister and peel, mechanical, windburn, twisting, and slight insect damage. Like lettuce, romaine and all leaf items are fair at best in terms of quality. It is important to point out that all shippers are reporting these defects. This is an industry-wide issue. Demand has picked up. Growers are expecting future quality issues with the plants due to the freezing temperatures weeks later. The quality is expected to be fair through the month of January and weeks into February. Expect the market to get stronger throughout the week.

Onions Yellow onion market has experienced moderate increases in all sizes at the start of the week. Demand remains very strong, despite the short weeks due to the holidays. Reds are steady. White onion market is extremely limited with a red hot market. This trend will continue on the white onions until new crop Mexico onions start crossing in the coming weeks. Quality in the storages remains excellent. Transportation is limited but should improve over the next week.

Potatoes Potato market has experienced moderate increases on 80 count and larger with 90 count and smaller steady. Shippers are trying to catch up with demand from last weeks short and very cold week. Retail demand is very light and has shipper only running limited hours. Russet Burbank potatoes are the main variety which are peaking on 90 count and smaller. This looks to be the trend into at least the middle of February. Quality is still looking good with few reports of issues upon arrival. Transportation is still limited but will get better next week.

Tomatoes Mexico operations have finished in Baja and Eastern Mexico shifting all western demand to farms growing in mainland Mexico where farmers battle the effects of cool weather which has slowed the start of their season. A week-long cold snap has caused damage to some commodities in Sinaloa Mexico, however, no damages have been reported for tomato crops at this time. Warmer weather in the coming weeks should produce a flush of fruit helping to reduce pricing, however, markets remain steady at this time showing little change from last week.

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