Market Condition Report – January 17

Weather Update The last in a series of storm systems is set to roll into California late Wednesday into Thursday with powerful winds and heavy precipitation. A dry offshore flow behind the system brings cooler morning temperatures into the rest of the week. Generally dry conditions with just a slight chance of light showers are forecast across Mexico as a dry offshore flow continues. A chance of light showers are forecast for the southwestern desert regions as the storm track remains to the north. Cooler temperatures into next week behind the system as the storm track remain north of the region. High pressure will provide dry conditions across Florida this week. A cold front brings rain and cooler temperatures early next week with minimum temperatures in the freeze warning range early next week. Another system looks to impact the region mid-week.

Asparagus Weather is warmer this week in Caborca Mexico, but yields are still lower that projected due to the cold weather the last 2 weeks. We should see better volume at the end of next week, and should steadily increase from there. Volume from both regions in Peru (Trujillo/Ica) continue to decline due to seasonality, and warmer weather. The demand, and the market continue to be very good with slow production in Mexico, and Peru wrapping up their season.

Avocado (Mexican) Weather in the growing region of Michoacán Mexico calls for temps in the 80s with no rain this week. Market is steady/higher this week as we are seeing the Super Bowl pull. Expect higher prices going in to next week. There seems to be very good volume on #2 fruit and there is some opportunity on volume deals. Fruit is cutting good and eats well. California fruit will be available mid to late February starting off with light volume.

Green Bell Pepper- Moderate volume on green bell pepper arriving in Nogales this week. Currently, consistent volume is being harvested in Sinaloa and Sonora. Quality on green bells from both regions is good. Currently supplies meet demand on green bells. Market on Green bells is steady and expected to remain steady going in to next week. Green bell pepper from Mexico are also available to load in McAllen, TX.

Blueberries- Blueberries continue to be in good supply with a full range of pack styles and two countries of origin to choose from. Mexico is producing nice fruit right now and it is usually offered with all the other berry varieties at select points of entry In McAllen Texas and San Diego California. The product is then distributed to Santa Maria Ca ,Oxnard Ca and Yuma Az for mainline shipping. There are also import offerings coming in via ocean containers from Chile , Quality is good as long as good rotation is practiced and optimum temperatures are maintained. Prices are remaining steady with a lower trend due to multiple loading options and quality levels to choose from. The Chilean product is generally available in Los Angeles Ca ,Miami Fl. and Philadelphia PA.

Strawberries California strawberry shippers continue to contend with adverse weather being forecast throughout the week. Although some areas will be hit harder than other many growers are opting to get into the fields and harvest what they can when they can in between the rains. Yields will be low on California fruit through the end of the week. Much of the demand is being met by the transfer of Mexican product into Oxnard, Yuma, and even Florida distribution areas. Quality is fair out of Oxnard considering the weather conditions. These are new crop berries and they are more resilient than the later offerings that came out of Santa Maria are just a few weeks ago. That being said, we can still expect to see some rain-related issues in the berries. The market should continue to remain firm through the end of the week.

Mexico strawberry shippers continue to produce good quality fruit in slowly increasing numbers. Texas is the loading area of choice for a higher probability of product quality and actual quantities being available. This increase in volume through Texas has come at a most opportune time as it is sorely needed to help fill orders in districts affected by the weather. Volume deals are few and far between but there are the occasional shippers looking to move product to reduce storage and handling costs charged by the custom cross docks and freight forwarders. The market will remain firm through the week in this area as well.

Broccoli The broccoli market continues to be tight with recent cold and wet weather. 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.

Brussels Sprouts The Brussels Sprouts market continues to be tight with supply being affected by the recent rain. The quality has been affected by the rain and cold weather and sizing tend to run smaller due to this colder weather. Look for the Brussels Sprout market to remain tight going into next week.

Celery This market continues to gain strength in both southern California as well as Yuma. Escalated pricing is in effect with all suppliers. Production in Yuma is light and southern California is moderate at best. Overall, demand exceeds supplies. The best deals continue to be out of the Oxnard /Santa Maria growing regions. The best sizing is very random as some shippers are heavier to small sizing while others are better on large packs. Common defects to this commodity include bowing, leafy tops, mechanical and insect damage. Rain as hit all the growing regions and coupled with past freezing temperatures has caused yields on this product to be down, overall with all suppliers.

Jalapenos- Very light supplies of Jalapenos continue to be available to load in Nogales, from Mexico. Few growers continue to harvesting jalapeno out of the Sonora and Sinaloa. Quality out of Sinaloa being reported as good. Mostly medium to large size available Market on jalapeno is high and expected to remain high through the week. Price on #1 jalapeno is currently holding in the 40’s. Jalapenos from Mexico also available to load in McAllen, Texas.

Cilantro The Cilantro market continues to be tight colder weather and rain 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.

Limes Lime supplies are tight, market prices are active and climbing weekly. Most suppliers are thinking this could continue until April/May. With the current rain, cooler weather in the growing regions in Mexico, and limited inbound of trucks crossing from Mexico this is collectively causing the high market prices. This is an industry wide issue and we’ll continue to monitor this closely with updates. Current market prices on 10# is $8-$10, and looking to go as high as $14 in the next few months. The 40# current market prices are $16 – $20, and looking to go as high as $40 in the next few months.

Cucumbers Light supplies of cucumber being harvested in Sonora, Mexico. Few growers out of this district are finishing up harvest and should start up again in March. Quality out of the Sonora district is mostly fair. Light supplies of cucumbers also being harvested in the Mexican State of Sinaloa and the volume expected to increase in the coming weeks. The cucumber market is steady and expected to remain steady through the week. Quality out of Sinaloa is good.

Grapes (Green) Supplies continue to be extremely limited on green grapes. Peru and Chile are sending much more red grapes in comparison to green. This combined with increased demand, no domestic availability and delays at the port are leading to a major supply gap on green grapes. The total volume of green grapes that arrived over the weekend was not nearly enough to fill the industry demand. Shippers have been cutting, returning orders and simply declining any new business. With new vessels not expected to arrive until mid next week and the little fruit that is being released already sold, we can expect to see some challenges on order coverage and on time loading. Quality is good and market prices are firm with possible increases.

Green Onions The Green Onion market continues to be really tight with the recent freeze and rain in Mexico. This cold weather has been causing occasional leaf minor and mechanical damage. The green onion market will continue to be very tight going into next week.

Iceberg Lettuce Supplies are moderate to light with this commodity. This will continue for the rest of the week. The weather has been warmer and rain has come into play in the Yuma region. Expect to see puffiness, mechanical, blister and peel and some mildew upon arrivals. All lettuce items will have shorter shelf lives on the value added front. The quality will be fair at best. The aftermath of all the freezing temperatures still has growers concerned as to the quality of product that will exist over the next two to three weeks. Shippers continue to have labor issues that look to exist throughout the rest of the Yuma season. Weights on palletized will be 35-42 pounds on average.

Onions Yellow onion demand is good on all sizes with a higher market. This trend could continue into the end of January. February is typically the slowest month of the year, so we should see the market become steady. Quality is very nice. Red onion demand is fair with a steady market. Quality is good. White onion market is in a demand exceed demand situation out of all shipping points. This will continue until Mexico gets going the front part of February. Transportation is good.

Squash (Western) Italian and Yellow S/N- Light supplies of Italian and Yellow S/N continue to cross through Nogales from Mexico this week. Supplies are expected to remain light through the week, with some growers expecting better volume next week. Both #1 and #2 quality continue to be packed on Italian squash. More #2 label than #1 Label being currently being packed on Yellow S/N. Quality on Italian squash and Yellow S/N is being reported as fair to good. Demand currently exceeds supplies on both varieties.

Potatoes Russet carton market is higher on 80 count and larger with moderate to good demand. Retail Bales demand is very light which has some shippers only running limited hours. Burbank’s are the main variety which is currently peaking on 80 count and smaller. This looks to be the trend into the start of February. Quality is still very nice with little to no reports of issues. The weather has been limiting supplies being transferred from the storage to the packing houses which is also causing limited run times. Temperatures need to be above 15 to 20 degrees to haul potatoes otherwise they will have freeze damage. The forecast is for calling for a slight warming trend into the front part of next week then we could see single digit temperatures late next week. Transportation is good for most lanes.

Tomatoes Mexico operations have finished in Baja and Eastern Mexico, shifting all western demand to farms growing in mainland Mexico where farmers continue to battle the effects of cool weather which have slowed the start of their season. Weather forecasts show a warm trend through next week helping to bring a boost in production to Mexico farms. Markets have begun improving on all items. Roma tomatoes have been crossing in increasing volumes but color has been light. Grape tomatoes are also improving with a small decrease in pricing this week as volume continues to ramp up. Increase in availability next week as more vessels are expected to arrive. Thus far, markets have been firm due to limited availability. Quality has been good.

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