Market Conditions – January 24th

Weather Update High pressure out west brings warmer temperatures to the entire region into next week. Strong winds (25-40 mph) across Southern California and the southwestern desert regions continue into the weekend. Seasonal temperatures look to continue across Mexico into next week. A cold front moves into Florida tomorrow with rain and winds, especially to the north. Another more powerful system brings rain to the entire state on Monday into Tuesday.

Asparagus Weather has improved in Caborca Mexico, production is starting to increase. More fields are opening up daily, and we should see much better volume by next week. Volume from both regions in Peru (Trujillo/Ica) continues to decline due to seasonality, and warmer weather. Most growers in Peru have wrapped up their season. The demand and the market are still very good on both coast with volume just barely increasing this week from Mexico, but that will change in the next week to 10 days with more volume from Mexico.

Avocado (Mexican) The weather this week in the growing region of Michoacán Mexico calls for temps in the 80s with no rain in the forecast. Market this week is steady and peaking on 48s. Light volume this week on 60s and 70s. There is also plenty of #2 grade fruit as suppliers are looking to move some volume. Reports of the market price coming off after the Super Bowl. We will see California fruit next month.

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

Red Bell Pepper – Good volume of Red Bell pepper available to load in Nogales, AZ from Mexico. The price on the red bell pepper has decreased to a fairly low market. Good volume of Elongated and Hot House bells are being packed in all pack styles. Consistent numbers of red bells are expected to continue through the end of the week. Quality of red bell on both varieties is good. Red bell supplies from Mexico currently crossing through Nogales, AZ, and McAllen, TX.

Strawberries California strawberries are still very limited in supply. There is light at the end of the tunnel as we move into the weekend just days away from the Valentines Day pull. No rain and rising temperatures up to the low 70s in Oxnard and Santa Maria should provide better numbers and finer quality for this weekend and on into next week. Pricing remains steady and the short numbers of California fruit continue to make it necessary for most shippers to subsidize their inventories with Mexican product. Look for the market to remain firm going into the weekend with some open market fruit becoming available in limited numbers. Mexican strawberries continue to be the workhorse of the three regions of availability. As stated previously product is being distributed to all growing areas to alleviate shortages. Cooler weather caused a decrease in crossings this last weekend resulting in temporary shortages in Yuma and elsewhere. Quality has been good on transferred fruit but for the optimum quality it is best to pick up in Texas or San Diego, CA at the major distribution points. Look for pricing to remain firm for the remainder of the week.

Broccoli The broccoli market has started to come off as better supply and yields have come on. The weather is starting to cooperate in all growing areas and suppliers are looking at better #s. Quality is good with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast. Look for supplies to continue to be good going into next week.

Brussels Sprouts The Brussels Sprout 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 recent colder weather. Look for the Brussels Sprout market to remain tight going into next week.

Celery Demand exceeds supplies with this commodity. Expect this to continue throughout the week. Escalated pricing is in effect on contract as well as value added items. Production in Yuma continues to be light as weather conditions have slowed the growth down considerably. Southern California is moderate to light. The best offers will be in southern California but the gap has closed considerably. There is a little of all sizing, but no sizes are overabundant with any shipper. Common defects that have been reported include leafiness, mechanical, bowing, and muddiness to the boxes as well as being on the commodity. Wet fields caused by heavy rains is a direct cause of the defects mentioned earlier.

Jalapenos – A little better supply of Jalapeno than last week available to load in Nogales, AZ from Mexico. Growers continue to harvesting jalapeno out of the Sonora and in Northern/Southern Sinaloa. Quality out of Sonora is Fair to Good. Quality out of Sinaloa is good. Mostly medium to large size available from both growing regions. Market on jalapeno is high and expected to remain high through the week. Price on #1 jalapeno is currently high and is expected to remain there into next week. Jalapenos from Mexico also available to load in McAllen, Texas.

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# are $8-$10, and the 40# current market prices are $18 – $20.

Eggplant  Eggplant continues to be harvested in the Mexican State of Sinaloa. Light supplies of eggplant currently being harvested and expected to continue light through next week. Both fancy and choice grade currently being packed. Current market on eggplant is high and is expected to remain high through next week. Quality from Sinaloa currently is mostly fair to good.

Grapes (Green) Green grapes are extremely limited currently. As a whole, the industry is down 35-40% year over year on the volume of import grapes. Green grapes in particular are eve more limited as the volume of red to green grapes being shipped to the U.S. is around 3 to 1. Demand continues to be very strong. As fruit gets released, orders that have been booked are getting filled. Same day or next day orders are very difficult to fill at this time. The more advance notice, the better. Markets are higher and quality is fair. We are seeing some discoloration and soft berries. The anticipation is to see better availability by the second week of February. Until then, we can expect to see some challenges.

Lettuce Leaf Offers are abundant on romaine and romaine hearts. Needless to say, this market is flat. Consumers continue to have fear in consuming this commodity on a regular basis. Green and red leaf, as well as butter, has softened as this market overall has had minimal demand to begin the week. The weather in Yuma will be warmer throughout this week. Defects, however, will continue to be seen likely throughout the month. These defects include blister, cupping, mildew, fringe burn and mechanical. Yields continue to be down but demand is being covered with most suppliers. Keep in mind the value-added product with leaf items will have a shorter shelf life due to the weakness of the raw material being used.

Potatoes Russet potato carton market continues to rise each week on 80 counts and larger. This is in part due to light demand on retail bags which has some shipper only running limited hours and most growers finishing up with the larger Norkotah variety. A few growers will still have limited supplies of Norkotah’s till sometime in March. Burbanks are the main variety which are peaking on 80 count and smaller. Will this be the trend through the balance of the season? Or are the growers holding on to their larger potatoes. Only time will tell. It is a good time to stay ahead of supplies. Quality is good with little to no issues upon arrival.

Squash Italian and Yellow S/N- Better supplies of Italian and Yellow S/N crossing through Nogales from Mexico this week as growers in the Sinaloa district begin to harvest in new fields. Supplies are expected to increase as we move to the end of the week and into next week. Both #1 and #2 quality continue to be packed on Italian and Yellow S/N. More #2 than #1 is packed on Yellow S/N. Quality on both #1 pack and #2 pack Italian squash is good. Quality on #1 yellow squash is good. Quality on #2 yellow squash is fair. Demand currently exceeds supplies on both varieties but supplies are expected to meet supplies by the end of this week.

Tomatoes  The much-anticipated tomato volume from Mexico has made it to market this week bring all items to, or close to, suspension agreement minimums. Weather forecasts continue with a warm trend through next week helping to bring a boost in production to Mexico farms. There is a good supply of large rounds and plenty of volume spanning all varieties. The improved supply should help to ease FOBs in the east that has been near or above the $20 mark since November. With more favorable growing conditions in the coming week, January should continue into next month with affordable markets and healthy supply.


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