SEEDLESS WATERMELON- Supplies of seedless watermelons are still a little tight. Florida is going will a small fall crop and limited supplies. Mexico has limited supplies in Edinburg, Texas, and good supplies for the next couple of weeks in Nogales. Supplies will start tightening up again in December.
MANGO- Brazilian mango arrivals were strong last week but will start to decline starting as early as this week. Several Brazilian growers have stopped shipping small mangos (12s) for these last arrivals and focus more on larger sizes. Volume from Ecuador has started mainly with Ataulfo / Honey mangos and small volume of Tommy Atkins. We expect to see higher volume being shipped this week on both varieties. Sizing so far has been reported to be larger than last season, peaking on 9/10 and 12 counts. Florida and California have received the first containers from Ecuador with no major quality issues.
PAPAYA- Historically, we see overall supply for papaya limited at the end of the year due to weather conditions at the growing region. The heavy rains that have been hitting Colima, Mexico for the past few weeks have affected the quality of the fruit. We expect these rains to continue at the growing region for weeks to come so supplies will remain limited with decent quality. With supply being limited this week, several shippers are not quoting papayas until they have something in hand to quote. There are better supplies from Guatemala via air, priced much higher with good quality.
BLUEBERRIES– There are still very heavy volumes on the east Coast, and Peru is slowing down significantly in pickings. Mexico production continues to increase week over week. Baja production will remain stable for the next few weeks. Expectations are the market will level off within 2-3 weeks with heavily promotable volumes until then.
STRAWBERRIES- Supplies remain extremely limited; pricing continues to strengthen. Expected limited supplies and elevated markets into December. Salinas and Watsonville are done for the season. In Santa Maria, California, plants were stripped of fruit after the recent rains, significantly reducing harvestable berry counts per plant for this week and next. Quality remains a challenge; concerns include: bruising, water damage, and minor wind scarring. Oxnard, California has limited production as well. Volumes are expected to increase gradually over the next two to three weeks. The estimated start date for Oxnard fruit is the week of January 3. Central Mexico has rain and cooler temperatures have impacted production. Volume is expected to increase gradually over the next two to three weeks. Florida will start harvesting in mid-December. Ontario hothouse growers have started picking limited supplies; mostly for retail. Flavor levels are strong right now. Quality is very good. It will be early January before supplies should really ramp up as growers will have more acreage coming on line.
RASPBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES– Raspberries: There are rain-related delays for raspberries as well, but most raspberries are covered (hooped) in Mexico so delays are more to do with getting trucks into the fields to pick up the product. Steady numbers out of Mexico are
expected through most of November. Blackberries: There are rain-related delays in production again this week. Blackberry supplies are tightening up quickly and will remain tight for the next week or more.
GOLD PINEAPPLES– Costa Rica: Partly cloudy and warm weather is expected in Costa Rica. A decrease in humidity will generate lighter rainfall, mostly happening in the afternoon. Quality is reported as good but the potential that intermittent rain might cause water spotting and translucency issues, particularly on the large-count fruit that is still there, as well as some ultraviolet radiation damage to the fruit due to excessive sun exposure. Yields are good on all counts with the curve a bit heavier on large fruit. The USDA crossing report for last week is showing about the same volume of just over 800 loads of pineapples crossing. Demand is being reported as fairly light and market about steady. Delays at Texas ports continue with no expected improvement for the time being, delays still as much as 10-12 days after release for fruit to leave ports of arrival. Mexico: Demand is up on all sizes with limited supplies crossing from Mexico. Markets are expected to remain stable as Mexico and Costa Rica supplies remain light. The fruit from Mexico is reported as very good, with brix over 13%. Most shippers are peaking on 7 and 8 counts, with limited supplies of large fruit.
GRAPEFRUIT- The overall market has started to tighten. Supplies are not keeping up with demand at this point. Quality is excellent with no issues being reported at this time. In California, Marsh Ruby variety is done, and they are starting Desert Rios, peaking on 36/40/48s. Small sizes are where the pricing is most aggressive. Mexican grapefruit has started and is peaking on 40s/48s and eating great and look great. Supplies have been on lighter side to start the season. Florida is expecting crop to be similar to last year as far as sizing goes, and fruit quality is expected to be better due to uniform bloom. Offshore supplies are winding down. Quality is good.
ORANGES- California Valencias are just about done. What is left is not great quality. Peaking on 56s/72s. Texas early oranges have started, but supplies have been pretty limited. They are peaking on 80s/88s. California navels are going pretty steady at the moment as the season recently kicked off, peaking on 88s/113s. 56s and larger are a little snug to start the season. In the coming weeks, expect prices to settle in as more and more shippers start harvesting more. Offshore navels can still be found, but quality is not that great as the season is about done.
LEMONS– The market is starting to be in a supply-exceeds-demand situation. Availability is good on all sizes. California lemons are coming out of District 3 for the most part. Still seeing light supplies of offshore lemons and they can be found extremely cheap. Mexico slowed down significantly as a huge number of offshore lemons flooded the market causing prices to drop. Offshore lemons are peaking on 140s/165s.
LIMES- The weather forecast is showing rain toward the end of the week. Production is expected to decline as supplies begin to wind down. Markets are expected to strengthen in the weeks to come when new production starts, but will start out light on supplies due to lower pack outs.
Currently, sizing profile is peaking on sizes 150/110/175 with size distribution of, 110-24%, 150-25%, 175-23%, 200-14%, 230-9%, and 250- 5%. Quality issues being reported include oil spots, blanching, scarring, and skin breakdown.
CANTALOUPE- California is now done, and all production is in Arizona and Mexico. Cool weather has slowed the maturation of growers’ second blocks in both Arizona and Mexico. The front part of this week will be light with more production toward the end of the week. Sizing is peaking on regular 9 count, with a few jumbo 9 count and 12 count. Quality and sugar have been good and are expected to remain good in the second blocks. A limited supply of offshore cantaloupes will be available out of Florida starting late this week; size is ranging on jumbo 6s, jumbo 9s, and regular 9s.
HONEYDEW- Honeydew are now done in California. Both Arizona fruit and Mexican-grown fruit are currently available and supplies will continue to ramp up. Crop size is heavy to 5 & 6 count, followed by jumbo 5 count and 8 count. Quality has been good so far, as has sugar. Cool weather in the new crop growing regions will slow production as growers wait for sugar to come. With markets being good, we will need to keep a close eye on sugar levels as growers can tend to harvest a little early to take advantage of these good markets.
PEARS- Bartletts, Anjou, red pears, and Bosc continue shipping out of Washington State and Oregon. The pear crop in the Pacific Northwest is looking a little smaller in volume this year and the fruit will run one to two sizes smaller than last season. Overall, there will be plenty of fruit. Ontario Bartletts and Clapp pears are finished while there are still light supplies of Bosc pears. Quality is very good. There are also cactus (prickly) pears available. California pears are finished.
STONE FRUIT- Peaches and nectarines are done for the season. We will have plums in good supply thru the end of November and into December from Italy. There are other fall fruits like Fuyu and Hachiya Persimmons, Asian and Forelle pears and Quince.
GRAPES– We are in the latter stages of the California grape season. Day-to-day availability will have limited availability with actively priced product that we expect to rise. Across the industry, we will see the impacts of last week’s rainstorm become more apparent this week, allowing more of a gauge for the season wrap-up. Expect to see heavier late-season retail ads, which will create tougher transactional business each week. Red seedless volume is down versus last year on late-season harvest numbers — pricing will be firm. Green seedless Autumn Kings and Autumn Crisps will carry the category for the next 4-6 weeks. Storage numbers are in a good position to allow for an easier transition to import season than what we expect for the red seedless market. Black seedless have good availability for where demand is at currently at this stage of the season.
AVOCADO- On-hand avocado inventory amongst shippers in the U.S. was low at the end of last week. Hurricane Rick limited harvesting last week, and Día de Muertos was limiting production to start last week. Supplies should start to increase this week. Sizing is heavy to 60s/20s and smaller, causing higher pricing on 48s/16s and larger. As is typical during this time of year, some lenticle dark spotting is showing on the externals of the avocados but it does not impact the internal quality of the fruit. Mexico is the main source of supply now as Peru, California, Colombia, and Chile are very limited in supply. Industry arrival totals for last week were around 44.5 million pounds. Mexico shipped 44 million pounds and Chile delivered 562,557 pounds. Current inventories at the border are estimated to be in the low 50-million-pound range and are expected to maintain through the end of the week. Mexico leads the industry with 97% of total inventory. Weekly averages for the next four weeks are expected to adjust down to the 46-52+ million-pound range, when combining arrivals from Chile and Mexico’s new crop harvest. Mexico- Michoacán reported a 49.4-million-pound harvest for last week, with 44 million pounds shipping to the U.S. The new Aventajada crop accounted for more than 75% of the harvest. This week, the industry expects a similar harvest to last weeks, and expects to see higher volumes in the following weeks. The size curve is trending toward smaller fruit, peaking on 48s, /12s 60s/20s, and 70s/18s. Chile- Chile delivered 562,557 pounds last week. Expected arrivals are around 700,000+ and 600,000+ for both the current week and the next. Estimated arrivals from Chile this year are expected to total 8-9 million pounds. Market Outlook- Due to the holiday in Mexico last week, the industry experienced limited harvest and shipments, leveling the market. Pricing is expected to stabilize in the coming weeks, with the expectation of a good availability of 48s/16s and smaller, and a tighter availability of 40s/12s and larger.
CLEMENTINES- Clementines are pretty tight right now as there are only imports. Some can be found loading out of California and Texas though. California Clementines will start in mid-November. The season will start a few weeks later and end about a month earlier than normal. Expecting the crop to be down 40% so supplies will be limited all season long. This is due to extreme heat and lack of water in the Central Valley. Offshore clementines from Spain and Morocco have started and supplies will continue to increase in the coming weeks.
HOTHOUSE TOMATO- Red Tomato On-The-Vine: Inventories remain low and inventories are all fresh right now. Markets are getting stronger as volume from Canada winds down. We are still continuing to hear lots of chatter about the Tomato Rugose Virus and the pressure growers are facing with losing crops. We believe this is what is driving the markets higher in price along with field/local seasons being done. Into late November, volumes in Canada will continue to decrease sharply. Growers will continue to pull crops for the spring/summer and get into replants for 2022 spring/summer. Mexico will also continue to ramp up as Canada comes to an end. Expecting good demand and stronger pricing as supply weakens. Quality expected to improve. Beefsteak: Beefsteak tomato inventories remain low and very fresh as product moved very strong through the past few weeks. We are expecting the demand to continue to be good this week. Growers are in full supply right now in Canada and USA. Field supply is finished while California ends and Florida is slow to get going. Into mid-November, Canadian non lit greenhouse crops will continue to wind down. Growers will start pulling production at this time and will see most of the non-lit crop production pulled out entirely by end of November. We are expecting markets to get stronger, weekly as these crops come out of supply. Mexico will ramp up slowly as Canadian crops get pulled. Quality out of Canada and Mexico is expected to be good. Crops grown under lights are expected to be very good. Florida field supply will ramp up at this time. Bite Size (Cherry, Grape, Cocktail, Tomberry, Medley): Snacking tomato crops are expected to be somewhat limited in supply as growers battle Rugose Virus pressure. Quality will be good overall as you don’t really see any signs of the virus on the fruit. Expecting good demand to continue. Volumes are ramping up in Mexico. Into mid-November, flavor and quality will continue to be strong from Canada. Volumes from Mexico will continue to be strong. Canadian non lit crops will start really winding down quickly.
APPLES- Washington: The apple market remains firm this week as demand remains good. All varieties have now started to harvest out of Washington with very nice quality. Small Royal Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Pink Ladies are in light but adequate supply. It is too early to predict the size of the new crop but the impact of the heat wave in Washington will certainly be a negative on the overall size and storability. We will keep you updated as more accurate information is provided. Expectations at this point are for a crop less than last season but it is still very early to get any accurate reads on the size and condition of the new crop. The quality of the fruit so far looks good. Ontario/Quebec/Michigan/New York: Fall harvest 2021 is just about finished and the controlled atmosphere rooms are filling up quickly. New crop Royal Gala, MacIntosh, Empires, Cortland, Gold Delicious and Red Delicious continue. Quality is outstanding.
MATURE GREEN TOMATOES– Tomato demand remains strong as supplies continue to increase; prices are easing. East Coast: Mature green tomato production has improved out of Florida, as expected. Demand has also slowed slightly resulting in lower pricing. Overall quality has improved and should only expect to get stronger as we move into late November. Roma production continues to be light and is not really expected to increase for another 7-10 days. Expect to see continued strong roma markets as Mexico is also slow ramping up production while California finishes. We will see a mix of volume and quality with grape and cherry tomatoes out of Palmetto/Ruskin over the next several weeks mainly due to the weather. Cherry tomatoes are particularly short. We do not expect substantial production until we start in Immokalee in 2-3 weeks. West Coast: The California tomato season has ended. Mexico continues to struggle to keep up with demand but, as supplies in Florida increase, east coast buyers are no longer looking to the west for supply, easing overall demand. Mexican markets still remain mixed this week despite a bit more volume crossing through Otay Mesa, California and McAllen, Texas. Overall quality continues to be very nice on rounds. Roma crossings also continue to be light this week as growers continue to struggle to get volume due to weather related quality issues. We continue to see a lot of quality issues causing rejections at the border. We hope to see production ramp up in over the next 7 to 10 which will bring some relief to the current market conditions. We don’t expect a full market recovery until mid-late November. There are much better volumes of grape tomatoes with good quality crossing through all major borders with steady demand while cherry tomatoes are still in light supply and priced higher.