Scattered showers continue out west in front of a fairly wet system expected Friday. This system will bring up to an inch of rain across Central California and regions to the north with much lesser totals expected in Southern California. High pressure builds behind the system with gradual warming into next week. Strong winds (40-50mph) will impact the Southwestern Desert regions late this week as the systems pass to the north as temperatures warm under the high pressure. Generally, seasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions look to continue across Mexico into next week. A frontal trough moves through Florida on Thursday followed by a stronger system expected Sunday into Monday with moderate to heavy rains.
Avocados The next 2 weeks are crucial shipping weeks for the industry to harvest and attempt to maintain a healthy supply. Suppliers are scrambling to get fruit to cover Holy Week (Week16 No Harvest) and ramp up the volume thereafter for Cinco. The industry started week 12 with less inventory available at the border (compared to weeks prior) and leaner inventories. We are in a demand exceeds supply situation. Field pricing in Mexico has increased substantially, the field costs started to increase last week and continue to climb today. Last week the industry received roughly 20% less fruit than the week prior. Ripe and preconditioned fruit will be limited. Prices have increased about $30 in just a 10 day period and still increasing daily.
Green Bell Pepper– Light volume of green bell pepper arriving in Nogales this week. Mostly small and medium size being harvested from both Mexican growing districts. The quality on the green bells from the Sinaloa district is fair. The quality from the Sonora district is fair to good. Green bell pepper demand currently exceed supplies. Green bell pepper supplies are expected to start decreasing from the Sinaloa growing region and give one last strong push from the Sonora growing area in the month of April. Market on green bells have started to increase again, mostly on medium size and Larger. Green bell peppers from Mexico are also available to load in McAllen, TX.
Red Bell Pepper– Steady supplies of Red bell pepper arriving in Nogales, AZ from Mexico this week. The market/price on red bell pepper has slightly increased after better demand being shown. Better volume on Hot House variety and in all hot house pack styles. Light volume on elongated variety. Steady volume on Hot House variety expected through the week. Quality of red bell on both varieties is good. Red bell supplies from Mexico currently crossing through both Nogales, AZ and McAllen, TX.
Broccoli- The broccoli bunch market continues to stay steady with the nice weather in Yuma and Mexico while the crown market has picked up. This warmer weather the next several days in Yuma and Mexico is helping to spur growth. Look for supplies to stay steady with the improved weather. Quality is good with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast.
Cauliflower- Cauliflower continues to come off this week with more supplies in all areas. The Yuma weather continues to spur the growth process which has brought the fields ahead of schedule. The fields next week are looking to gap with supplies becoming much tighter. Overall, the quality is good with minor bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for the market to get tighter going into next week.
Celery- Overall, this market has remained steady, with pricing continuing to be at record numbers. Suppliers continue to struggle to cover orders, especially on the value-added side. Escalated pricing continues to be in effect. Carton business has been more readily available compared to past weeks. Light supplies are expected thru the month of April. Production out of Mexico has helped to ease the strain of low production in Oxnard and Santa Maria. The overall quality is fair, with pith, insect damage and leafy tops being reported upon arrival.
Jalapenos– Good supply of Jalapeno continues to be available to load in Nogales, AZ from Mexico. Growers continue to harvest jalapeno out of the Sonora and in Northern/Southern Sinaloa. Quality is good out of both growing districts. Mostly medium to large size continue to be available from both growing regions. Market on jalapeno continues to be in the mid-teens. Jalapenos from Mexico are also available to load in McAllen, Texas.
Pasilla– Good supply of Pasilla peppers continue to be available in Nogales, AZ from Mexico. Good volume is expected to continue through the week. Quality on Pasilla is good. Size on the pepper currently ranges from Medium to Extra Large. Market on Pasilla is currently steady. Pasilla crossing through Nogales is being harvested in Sinaloa. Quality from Sinaloa is good. Pasilla from Mexico also available to load in McAllen, Texas.
Anaheim– Good supply of Anaheim available to load in Nogales, AZ from Mexico. Steady Anaheim production expected to continue. Anaheim crossing through Nogales continues to be harvested in the Mexican states of Sinaloa. Quality of peppers from Sinaloa is good with mostly large size being packed. Market on Anaheim is steady/lower. Anaheim from Mexico also available to load in McAllen, Texas.
Serrano – Good supplies of Serrano peppers available to load in Nogales, from Mexico. Supplies are expected to remain steady throughout the week. Supplies currently meet demand. Serrano supplies also crossing through McAllen, Texas.
Tomatillo – Husk and Peeled tomatillos are available to load in Nogales, from Mexico. Quality on both varieties continues to be good. Good supplies on both husk and peeled tomatillos are expected to continue through the week. The tomatillo market is expected to remain steady.
Lemons- District 1&2 (Central Valley & Southern California Coastal Region) continues to peaking on 75ct/95ct/115ct. The foodservice sizes 165’s and smaller are tight, expect limited availability moving forward. Prices are firming up and looking to remain steady in the high $20’s low $30’s on choice and fancy fruit. The rain and cold weather brought on the larger fruit and smaller fruit is staying limited on sizing and green on the trees.
Limes– As we approach April the market looked promising to come off but this is expected to change again this week due to the unpredictable border shut down. Suppliers are thinking prices will go back up by the end of this week, but realistically it’ll be a day to day deal if that happens. Suppliers will be doing their best to load up their coolers to have product available. We are advising customers to avoid running lime ads for April due to unpredictable quantity and lack of commitments from the growers.
Oranges- Good supplies to start the month of April on navels, with plenty of volume to promote on most sizes. Quality is looking great and markets are looking steady with plenty of deals to be made to help move fruit. On Specialty Citrus we still have plenty of Delite Mandarins that are peaking on 15’s & 40’s. Pummelos Sunkist grade is peaking on 12/14/18/23 size, quality looks great. Cara Caras & Blood are moving along, steady supplies are available. Golden Nugget Mandarins Ojai Pixie Tangerines are coming along nicely, quality is looking a lot better and the taste is excellent.
Cucumbers- Good supplies of cucumbers continue to cross through Nogales, AZ this week from Sinaloa, MX, and Sonora, MX. Quality out of both growing district continues to be good. Good growing temperatures are expected to continue in both of the growing regions through the week. Currently, all sizes being packed in 1 1/9 bushel pack and carton cucumber from both districts. The cucumber market is currently steady but could increase due to better demand. The quality of both growing regions is good. Mexican cucumbers are also available in San Diego from the Baja growing district.
Green Grapes- Import green grape supplies are becoming increasingly limited. No new arrivals of fruit are expected for the remainder of the season. All shippers are utilizing storage crop to fill demand. As volumes are low and being controlled closely, market prices continue to increase weekly. We saw another jump in price this week and expect it to climb moving forward. As we continue to move through the storage crop and look toward transition, we can expect quality to become a challenge. Currently, reports are good. However, with age, comes issues. We can expect fair quality, limited supplies and higher prices for the remainder of April. New harvest is expected to start in Coachella and Mexico by mid-May. Supplies are limited and prices are higher. Quality will be a challenge moving forward.
Iceberg Lettuce- Yuma will continue to have production for a week or two longer. Huron will continue to harvest for 2-3 more weeks. Salinas will begin by the end of this week in light supplies. Better availability will follow in the following two-three weeks. There is a gap in pricing in the marketplace. New crop which is in Huron has weights at 39-43 pounds on liner lettuce. The quality continues to be hit and miss in Yuma. Defects being reported to include ribbing, mechanical, mildew, and puffiness. The quality in Huron has been reported as cleaner. Overall this market is stronger. Warm temperatures in the growing regions have caused insects to be more readily in arrivals.
Leaf Lettuce- As the Yuma season begins to wind down, the market has picked up on romaine as well as all leaf items. Production is occurring in Yuma, Huron, Santa Maria and Salinas. The quality of romaine has been fair, with discoloration, blister, pinking, and insects being reported upon arrivals. The quality overall is better in Huron and Salinas, but production is limited. Insects have been seen most from product in Huron and Yuma. Yuma will continue to have production for approximately one-two weeks more, at most. These plants are tired. Green and red leaf, as well as butter, has a quality that is also fair at best, much like romaine. Demand overall is fair.
Onions– Yellow onion markets in the Northwest are lower with good supplies and shippers looking to move out storage as Texas new crop will hit markets soon and California desert is a couple of weeks away. Red onion supplies are lighter with steady to higher markets and heavy demand. White onions are in few hands with high prices. Mexican onions are crossing this week with Texas domestic struggling to get started due to rain in the growing regions. Forecasts call for more rain mid-week and this coming weekend which will slow production. California desert is expected to start the week of April 22nd. Markets will be volatile over the next 2-3 weeks. Translucency will continue to be an issue with Northwest storage crop while the new crop coming in from Texas and soon to be California will exhibit thin, flaky skins.
Potatoes- Russet potato markets are holding steady with some slightly lower pricing on small size Burbanks. Consumer demand remains sluggish but expected to pick up for Easter. Larger size Norkotahs are available with sporadic supply. Washington, Colorado, and Wisconsin continue production with limited availability on larger sizes. Internal/external bruising, light hollow heart, external cuts, light peepers, and occasional soft rot can be seen in some lots. Advanced orders are recommended to ensure coverage of large size potatoes. Smaller sizes remain in abundance.
Tomatoes- A warm weather trend has helped boost production in new crops harvesting in Sinaloa to start the Spring season. In turn, fruit is picked as the tomatoes begin to ripen on the vine before they can grow to XL and Jumbo sizes, resulting in XL Vine Ripe FOBs increasing slightly this week. Overall, the market is steady with little to no change to FOBs spanning roma, grape, and cherry tomatoes so far. Just a week after western markets returned to minimums, the threat of a U.S. border closure continues to materialize with rumors of extreme shortages occurring overnight. As customs agents are redirected to aid the humanitarian crisis reported at the border, crossings may slow or worse halt, but as long as inspection points remain open, tomatoes have been crossing in good supply.
The United States Government has threatened a U.S. Southern border closure and has already begun redirecting US Customs agents to aid the reported humanitarian crisis occurring at the border. As a result, a reduction in processing lanes at U.S. Customs checkpoints in Nogales, Tucson, San Diego, El Paso, and Laredo have the potential to affect supply and markets may become volatile quickly.