Eastern Canada's Market Update
August 21, 2020 - The River Fire in Salinas, California has burned 39,464 acres and is only 9% contained. Firefighters are working to prevent the River Fire from merging with a separate Carmel Fire that has burned 4,732 acres and is 0% contained. Falling ash from both events is affecting all produce crops throughout the Salinas Valley.
MARKET UPDATE FOR September 21, 2020
MARKETS TO WATCH: AT A GLANCE
Peppers: Green peppers continue to remain short and we don’t foresee any relief in the upcoming weeks.
Blackberries: Heat stressed plants are not producing as original estimates had shown
Raspberries: Heat stressed plants are not producing as original estimates had shown
Strawberries: Lower yields and damaged fruit has caused markets to tighten up drastically.
Broccoli: Recent heat waves have caused quality issues and lower yields.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower supplies are on the tighter side with slightly lower yields from the recent heat waves.
Oranges: Valencia supplies on sizes 88/113/138’s are very tight. Markets are active on both grades and quality is only fair.
Cucumbers: Higher markets as local/regional crops are finishing, especially Michigan, Ontario and Quebec and demand moves west.
Garlic: Supplies are improving with new California crop now being processed. Light supplies will continue as China transitions to new crop.
Lettuce Iceberg: This market is active with all shippers. Fair quality at best is being reported. Value added product has been triggered and will have a shorter shelf life than normal.
Lettuce Romaine: Romaine as well as all leaf items are active. Romaine hearts continues to be in a demand exceeds supplies situation. Quality is fair at best. Value added product has been triggered and will have a shorter shelf life than normal.
Lettuce Tender Leaf: Markets have turned higher with the recent round of heat causing lower yields and sub par quality.
Cantaloupe: Demand exceeds supply. Market is active and supplies are limited. Quality is great.
Honeydew: Demand exceeds supply. Market is active an supplies are limited. Quality is great.
California Stone Fruit: Another week of production before we conclude the California season. Peaches are done. Nectarines are tapering off quickly and plums will have another few weeks of production.
Tomatoes: The market is moving upward as fields are past peak season.
Zucchini: Heat damage from a few weeks ago in the west is now affecting quality. Cold weather in the east has slowed production to a crawl. Transition south to Georgia in the coming weeks.
GARLIC: The peeled garlic market has settled somewhat after the supply issues two weeks ago. Containers were late arriving and late getting unloaded which caused the shortage. Arrivals seem to be more frequent and the pipeline is getting refilled. China: The Chinese market continues to be volatile. This is mainly with whole bulb garlic to be sold on the fresh market. Chinese supplies have somewhat normalized, and the whole bulb demand has lessened some from the dramatic highs in March, April, and May. There is still somewhat of a void of Chinese peeled product and the market continues to remain abnormally high. Quality is very good on new crop product. California- Growers continue to harvest, process and pack the 2020 California crop. Garlic is still on the fresh side, but we are managing the situation. The harvest of the main variety for late California garlic is a little above average and looks nice. At this time, there is still a long way to go with the harvest. Expect harvest of the 2020 crop to finish sometime over the next week or so. The peeled market may settle in the coming months as more California supply, and Chinese product, becomes available.
ICEBERG- Available supplies are very, very light. Elevated temperatures have accelerated growth which will also further reduce volume moving forward, possibly creating a supply gap as we approach transition. Yields have also been affected by soil-borne diseases including Sclerotinia and Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV); impacted heads are being identified by harvesting crews and culled from finished packs. Growers are seeing 50% yield from some fields. All California growers are dealing with this reduced yield. As a result iceberg lettuce prices are rising very quickly. Value-added iceberg products have been triggered and are expected to continue to trigger upwards through October. Expect higher prices over the next two to three weeks. Supplies of Quebec iceberg are slowing as freezing temperatures slow growth, as they approach the end of the season around October 7th. Growers are reporting that demand is very strong and have been harvesting fields early.
ROMAINE / LEAF- As with iceberg, all growers of romaine and leaf are dealing with reduced yield as a result of the high temperatures of two weeks ago and the associated soil-borne diseases including Sclerotinia and Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV). Romaine as well as all leaf items continue to be light in availability. Value-added romaine and products containing romaine have had their pricing triggered for this week. Romaine hearts will continue to be in a ‘demand exceeds supply’ situation for the week at a minimum. Tip and fringe burn, brown leaves, and discoloration are common complaints seen upon arrivals on romaine as well as all leaf items. Expect elevated markets over the next two to three weeks at minimum. New Jersey and Quebec are slowing production as freezing temperatures this past weekend have slowed growth. Quebec Growers are reporting that demand is very strong and are harvesting in fields 7-9 days ahead of schedule to fill orders. Expect Quebec to be finished around October 7th, depending on temperatures.
WEST COAST: SPRING MIX/BABY SPINACH/BABY KALE- Due to the recent heat waves, tender leaf (spring mix, baby arugula, baby spinach) quality and supply levels have fallen throughout the industry. Markets have turned higher with the most recent round of heat causing lower yields and sub par quality. Dehydration, early breakdown, shortened shelf-life, and yellowing leaves are quality-related concerns due to higher-than-normal temperatures. Spinach and arugula are especially susceptible to heat-related defects; volume has been greatly impacted by recent heat waves. Expect tight supplies through the balance of September.
EAST COAST: ARUGULA / WATERCRESS / BABY RED KALE– Arugula: Arugula supplies in the east are very good with very good quality. Demand is expected to be very strong as west coast suppliers struggle to cover the volume. Baby Red Kale: Production of baby red kale continues and supplies far exceed demand.
BROCCOLI- The west coast market remains very tight following warm to cold temperature swings limiting volume and causing quality issues. Expect yields and quality to be affected as harvesters continue to identify and discard product showing signs of bad quality. Supplies are tightening up on the West Coast; expect prices to rise on both bunched and crowns. Expect this market to continue to climb into next week. Mexican volume will remain limited until middle October when prime Mexican growing season starts. Regional deals in Maine, Quebec, Ontario, Michigan and Washington continue and are expected to help fill in the shortfall in supply from California.
ASPARAGUS– Production out of both Mexico and Peru has picked up over the last several weeks. The general market has seen pricing decline and asparagus has again become a highly promotable retail item. Over the next several weeks, we will continue to see good volume from both growing regions. Quality has also been solid and will continue to be through November.
CAULIFLOWER– Cauliflower supplies are on the tighter side with slightly lower yields from the recent heat waves. This market is getting active and we should expect this to continue for next week. Quality from California needs to be watched closely due to recent heat and ash. Weights are still in the 25 to 28-pound level. Ontario/Quebec cauliflower continues with light supplies as the cold weather has slowed growth.
BEANS– This market is active as cold weather in the northeast has ended production for a lot of growers. Prices have arisen substantially. Green is more available, while yellow is virtually non-existent. Overall quality is good. West coast prices are higher due to heat related quality issues. Snipped: Snipped bean supplies are good with somewhat elevated pricing. Overall, quality is good.
CELERY- Supplies of celery are plentiful with great volume available at steady pricing. Large sizing continues to be most readily available but all sizing is available. Expect steady supplies all week. The overall quality continues to be strong with occasional twist and light color. Salinas and Santa Maria are currently the primary shipping points for celery on the west coast. Local/regional deals continue in Michigan, Ontario and Quebec with plentiful supplies.
GREEN ONIONS– No change here this week, except the market is showing signs of strength. Quality is good with occasional leaf minor. There are some indications that supplies will be lighter for next week.
EGGPLANT- Volume has decreased as local deals quickly wrap up. The transition to south Georgia has begun on a rough note due to the heavy rains affecting the region from the remnants of hurricane Sally. We should see supplies improve as the region dries out this week. Demand is moderate. The west coast has only fair supplies due to heat damage and shorter harvesting hours from wild fires and heat. Overall condition is only fair, with markets firming up. We may see new crop crossing through Nogales in two weeks.
FIELD CUCUMBERS– Conditions in North Carolina continue to improve, as new fields are starting to produce volume. Georgia will get started in a small way this week, while Michigan and Ontario will continue to struggle to produce and most likely finish for the season due to recent freezing temperatures and cold weather. Demand will continue to exceed supply, until we see steady supplies from Georgia.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS- Supply is on the rise as local/regional deals continue. This is a good time to promote brussels sprouts. Overall quality is good. Ontario is also into some good production and will have product through December.
CORN- Volume will decrease as many local deals start to wind down for the season due to seasonality and cold nights. It is unlikely that promotable volume will be available.
KALE- The kale market is stable as growing conditions are good. Overall, quality is good with full bunches and some yellow leaves being reported. This week’s warmer weather, after the recent rains should continue to help the quality, supplies, and spur growth. With local/regional program in full swing, we expect this market to remain stable. Cold weather does not effect kale.
CILANTRO- Cilantro supplies will be getting tighter as grower/shippers in California deal with heat and smoke. New Jersey, Ontario and Quebec have all had freezing nighttime temperatures possibly ending their season.
ZUCCHINI– Cooler temperatures in Michigan, Quebec and Ontario has put an end to the season as we start this week. We are seeing more production from Georgia and North Carolina but tropical storms continue to bring rains to the regions. We need to keep an eye on the short and long-term effects. On the west coast, heat damage from starting a few weeks back affecting is quality. There are lower supplies out of Baja as well, forcing stronger markets for next 10-14 days.
PEPPERS- Green Pepper: Green peppers continue to remain short and we don’t foresee any relief in the upcoming weeks. California continues to struggle with quality due to the extreme heat. The local/regional deals are starting to wrap up, while Michigan, Quebec and Ontario are starting to see cooler daytime temperatures with cold nights. Demand exceeds supply. Peppers will remain active until Georgia starts which will be around mid-October. Red Pepper: The red pepper market is steady as production out of Oxnard and Somis are steady. Production from the Central Valley is done for the season. We will continue to watch for potential bloom drop in new crops out of Oxnard, due to the heat. Supplies crossing through Texas have improved as well. There is good volume of hot house peppers this week.
TABLE POTATOES– Continued drought in the maritime provinces during August and the first half of September have taken a major toll on Canada’s overall 2020 potato crop. 2020 volumes are now expected to be nearly 10% less than the Canadian 2019 potato crop. If the forecast is accurate, this would be Canada’s smallest potato crop since 2011. Total acreage this season is up 4.9% over the 2019 season. However, this year’s yield is projected to fall 12.5% per acre for the 2019 crop. The forecast yield is the lowest recorded since 2011. Ontario: Strong yields on full-season crops are making up for disappointing yields on early potatoes. We now expect Ontario potato yields to match the five-year average and expect Ontario to produce 13.3% more potatoes than the province produced in 2019. Overall, quality has been very good with steady movement. Quebec: Statistics Canada has not yet published official data on either Quebec’s 2020 potato area or revisions made to the 2019 potato crop, though the acreage data are available from Quebec’s Potato Grower Federation. Growers increased their planted area this year but dry weather hurt yields on the early crop. Recent rainfall has been plentiful during the last four weeks. Growers have already started storing potatoes in some parts of the province, with others planning to start next week, if the ground dries out. British Columbia: The 2020 harvest is advancing rapidly. Growers have about 50% of their potatoes under cover. They need another two weeks of open weather to finish the harvest. Some wet weather is in the forecast, but growers should be able to finish digging potatoes as long as the wet weather isn’t persistent. Based on conditions throughout the growing season and reported yields so far, we expect this year’s British Columbia potato yield to reach a record yield, up 1% over last year’s crop.
ONIONS– Ample supplies of high-quality storage onions are available from the Pacific Northwest. This market is still showing some weakness in pricing on all colors and sizes as new crop in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington continues. Demand remains erratic and unpredictable given the uncertainty of more COVID shutdowns around the country. Depending on what takes place regarding school openings, as well as in-restaurant dining which will largely determine what demand will be from now through the end of the calendar year. The USDA box program demand for 3 lb. bags is affecting production time at the sheds. Ontario continues with high quality red and yellow cooking onions.
CARTON BAKING POTATO: PEI: Temperatures have cooled down but rainfall has been sparse and spotty. Large portions of the island picked up as much as an inch of rain recently, but that came too late for early and mid-season crops, which were already dead. The rains did help russet Burbanks and other late season varieties, but more rain and time will be needed for the crop to bulk up. Showers are in the forecast, but local experts suggest that steady rains for 3-4 days are needed, to do much good. Experts indicate that the situation in the central part of the island, where close to half of the crop is grown, is worse than it was in 2001. That year, PEI’s average yield fell 35% short of the previous five-year average. Current yield estimates for PEI range between 15% and 25% below the 2015-2019 average. Current forecast is 21.6% below the average. We expect growers to harvest everything that they planted this year. We are not aware of any losses. Based on those assumptions, we project PEI’s 2020 potato crop to be 37% less than the 2019 crop. It would make this year’s PEI potato crop the smallest since 2001. Of course, growers will be remembering 2018, when winter weather closed in before the harvest was complete, forcing them to abandon 7.9% of that year’s crop. Nevertheless, the island’s storage potato harvest will get started this week, and won’t become general until the week of September 28. Harvest frequently stretches through the first half of November, but that could lead to issues similar to those experienced with the 2018 crop. USA: New crop potatoes have better volume every day now as new fields come on. Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and Idaho have been going for a few weeks now, and Colorado has just started. The potato industry took a huge hit as the results of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail has increased some but not to the extent of the loss of the food service business. Prices on count cartons, as well as consumer packs, have come down significantly and we expect they will continue to ease until the market reaches a point of stability. While acreage in Idaho is down approximately 6-7%, it remains to be seen how yields will affect the overall supply this season. Early reports are showing a larger size profile on Norkotahs, which is typically indicative of good yields. However, there are still plenty of harvest and storage factors that can alter this supply situation significantly. We will not see Burbanks for another 6 weeks approximately. During that time, we expect the market will find its footing and pricing should stabilize as harvest will be done. The situation to watch is the potential for snowstorms in Colorado. Their harvest is still under way, and there is concern that a large portion of their crop could be in danger if the weather turns. If that does happen, it will affect the overall available supply for both the processors and the fresh market. We would likely see prices remain elevated through much of the year if that does take place. We did see a spike in consumer volume as the USDA Box Program has been extended. This sent buyers into a bit of tailspin as they needed to react fast and load heavy on new inbound shipments. Depending on what takes place with respect to school openings, as well as in-restaurant dining, will largely determine what demand will be from now until the end of the calendar year.
SEEDLESS WATERMELON- Supplies are good this week on seedless watermelons. Demand is good and markets are steady. Indiana and Delaware are winding down with light volume this week and heavier to 60 count. There are supplies in North Carolina until the end of September. Out west, there are supplies in Woodland, California, and in Wapato, Washington, for a couple more weeks. Texas has good supplies and Mexico has fruit in Edinburg, Texas. Quality has been consistent.
PAPAYA- Rains continue in the growing region of Tecoman, Colima, Mexico. Heavy winds and rain have made it challenging to get into the fields to harvest. This has caused limited supply week over week. We have seen some heavier speckling due to the heat and humidity, but the internal quality of the fruit has not been affected. Peak sizes remain on large fruit like 7/8s, with few 9s and 12s. Market pricing has strengthened. There are also papaya available from Guatemala or Brazil with very light supply. Quality is good.
GOLD PINEAPPLES– Costa Rica: Costa Rica has reported unstable weather due to the presence of Tropical Wave #35 that generated excess humidity for the Pacific region. Local factors such as morning evaporation and high humidity are key in generating rainfall in the growing regions. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are expected in the Pacific and the Central Valley, as well as more localized in the mountains of the Northern and Caribbean regions. Growers are reporting stable conditions with some water spotting on larger fruit but good quality overall. Internal quality remains very acceptable, with outstanding sugar content, flavor and aroma. All growers are monitoring the rains this week as this can greatly impact internal fruit condition. The USDA crossing report is showing a slight drop on inbound volume from Costa Rica last week at 395 containers. The USDA is also reporting demand as light and a lower market on 5ct-7ct, with 8ct as stable. Demand for pineapples remains stable but lighter than previous weeks. There are plenty of requests for all sizes but pricing seems to be trending lower. Growers did see mixed yields this week with some improvement on larger fruit but now seeing yields drop on 6ct and 7ct. With September promotions pulling heavier, it could generate some pressure on supply and drive prices upward toward mid-month. Mexican inventories continue to grow at both Gulf and West Coast locations, but pricing remains stable even with the additional availability. Mexico: Veracruz, Tabasco, and Colima are the main pineapple growing regions in Mexico. Most of the fruit crosses and ships from the border points of entry in Texas and Arizona. Supplies from Mexico are increasing and demand remains stable. Growers continue to ship good volumes with good overall quality (+13% brix). Market conditions are reported as steady and demand for Mexican pineapples as moderate, with good inventories of 7ct and 8ct sizes in the marketplace.
MANGO- The Mexican mango season is just about finished. Suppliers have received the last shipments from Northern Sinaloa for the season. There continues to be good inventory on mostly large fruit like 4s, 5s and 6s. We have been receiving Brazilian mangos with peak sizing between 6/7, with limited small fruit for the time being. There are also fairly good supplies of Ataulfo (golden/yellow) mangoes from Brazil.
BLUEBERRIES– The pacific northwest has nearly wrapped up and quality from there is waning. This week through the end of December make up the majority of the import Argentine and Peruvian seasons with peak volumes late October through November. Good quality and availability will start ramping up. Mexico is a bit delayed but will start ramping up over the next few weeks. Expect good volume and supplies starting in late October.
STRAWBERRIES- Strawberries are very limited, with many shippers sold out or oversold for the week. Lower yields and damaged fruit has caused markets to tighten up drastically. Cooler weather and smoke are also slowing production as well. Supply will be impacted negatively beyond two weeks, with lower volumes forecasted. Santa Maria, California, fruit has occasional bruising, white shoulders, soft shoulders, heat damage, misshapen, scarring caused from wind, seedy tips, and catface. Average counts are 20 to 22, occasionally higher and lower.
RASPBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES– Raspberries: Production is falling as we come to the end of the late-summer season in Mexico, with new crop starting in October. Expect production/availability to be light for the next 3 weeks. By early October Mexico will dominate the supply. Blackberries: Mexican imports have started and Oregon is still going. Expect Mexico to ramp up heading into late fall, with a steady increase now until then (late October). Santa Maria fall crop started in a small way as well. Prices will continue to ease as production increases.
STONE FRUIT- There is about another week of production before growers conclude the California season. Peaches are pretty much done, with nectarines tapering off very quickly. Quality is suspect on this remaining fruit. California plums will be available through September into early October, then plums from Italy will be available through November. The USDA box program and strong retail ads will continue to consume the majority of the available fruit. We expect an elevated market through the end of the California season. California now has pomegranate as well as quince. Ontario peaches, nectarines and yellow plums are finished for the season. Blue prune plums continue as well.
ORANGES- Florida: Florida Hamlin juice oranges should start in early October, until then, 113ct California Valencias are the best/only option for juicing. California Valencia Oranges: California Valencias still have very strong demand, especially on small sizes. 113s/138s are very difficult to come across and will be for rest of season. Prices remain high as demand has been strong all season. Quality on Valencia’s is steadily declining as we near the end of the season. A lot of shippers have had issues with softness and lighter color. Due to the substantial shortages, suppliers have enacted the force majeure clauses on contracts. We are expecting this current situation to continue until mid-October when the early Navel season gets started. The USDA farm to family program is taking the majority of the small Valencias and the business towards covering those orders. Offshore Navel Oranges: Chilean and South African navels are also tight and will be for the rest of the season. Demand in Chile has been so strong this year that they have cut a lot of shipments to North America. This has kept supply short all season.
LEMONS– California: Lemon supply far exceeds demand for California, Mexico, and Chilean lemons. Markets are holding steady and firm on fancy grade. Choice market is still looking steady. With restaurants still coming back slowly, we have seen a dramatic drop in food service business. Demand is mainly towards large sized lemons. Quality has been strong on lemons with very little issues this season. Offshore: We continue to see Mexican lemons out of Texas. Imported lemons are peaking on 115 to 165 and supplies are winding down as their seasons come to a close. We have not had many quality issues so far this season and most growers are peaking on large-sized choice lemons.
CLEMENTINES- Chilean product continues in the west and we expect demand to increase. Prices are pretty high at the moment on the West Coast. Prices are better on the East Coast and we have seen demand shift to the East. Rains in Chile will likely be delaying shipments of all Chilean fruit so the next few weeks’ supply will remain choppy. On the east coast, South Africa 15x2lb bagged clementine’s as well as product from Uruguay continues. Quality is good. We will start to see product from Morocco in October.
GRAPEFRUIT- USA: Supplies of large grapefruit are tight, as are supplies on choice grapefruit. There is much more fancy fruit than choice fruit. It will remain that way for the rest of the California season. The season in California is winding down, ending earlier than normal due to strong demand all season. Texas will be starting in the beginning of October. Demand has been very strong this season. USDA orders have certainly played a part in that and will keep prices up and supply down. We expect demand to stay strong. Florida should start in October. Offshore: South Africa continues, shipping Star Ruby grapefruit. Supplies continue to be good, with much more reasonable pricing than US fruit. There is also product from Israel available. Offshore season will wrap up once Florida starts in October.
LIMES- Lime crossings continue to be slightly lower than normal with 485 loads crossed versus the previous week at 588. This week, we are anticipating crossings to be around the 480-load mark. Rains in growing regions are going to continue to affect the amount of inbounds and the quality. The amount of pack-out continues to be high, limiting the amount of good quality fruit in the market. Markets continue to be steady from last week, with some potential to increase depending on the amount that rain continues to hold back harvests.
CANTALOUPE- Cantaloupe supply has plummeted over recent days. Demand exceeds supply. Market is active and supplies are limited. Some growers are experiencing either a gap in production or the effects from the poor air quality due to the California wildfires. A blanket of smoke has hovered over the valley which has negatively affected the growing cycle of the melons. The air quality has also been an issue for the field crews attempting to harvest the fruit. We expect supplies to remain to be affected by these elements over the next several weeks which will cause availability to remain very short with markets holding strong. Quality is great with mostly 9ct being produced followed by 12ct. The fruit is more on the greener side due to the lack of sunlight, but have had good internal quality with brix levels still in the 12-14% range. Strong retail ads and the USDA box program are adding pressure causing the market to react.
HONEYDEW- Demand exceeds supply for the same reasons as with cantaloupe. Market is active with limited supplies. There is a potential gap in the coming weeks. Sizing for some growers has been mostly 5ct while the production of others has focused on smaller sizes (8/9ct). Quality is great with strong retail and USDA program adding pressure and driving the market up further. Some of the fancy melons which are grown seasonally in the west side are winding down but there is still some availability.
GRAPES– Steady harvest of California grapes continues out of the Central Valley, with market pricing remaining stable. Nearly all growers are still anticipating market pricing slowly climbing (particularly on green seedless varieties) into October; though, the estimated total grape crop out of California continues to shrink due to high heat and lower-than-anticipated yields. Variety-wise, a wide range of red seedless grapes (Scarlet Royal/Krissy/Magenta/Timco) continue to be packed, along with a multitude of green seedless (Ivory/Stella Bella/Pristine) varieties. A handful of Summer Royals still remain for black seedless grapes, with most growers waiting for color to begin the harvest of their Autumn Royals. Multiple specialty varieties such as a Candy Snap/Candy Heart/Gum Drop (red seedless) and Sweet Globe/Timpson (green seedless) still remain available in smaller quantities and at a slightly premium price. Overall, the California grape crop season is now in peak season, with promotable volume available for the foreseeable future.
AVOCADO- Industry arrivals last week totaled 52 million pounds. As the Mexican Flora Loca crop sizes up, large sizes are now more available and the volume of smaller sizes is lighter. Mexico Independence Day was celebrated last Wednesday September 16th, which is a national holiday. Mexico shipped 41.8 million pounds. The California season is coming to an end soon and the volumes harvested will be reduced each week going forward. California avocados are high maturity and the flavor profile is excellent. Darker shading should be expected this time of year. California harvested 6 million pounds last week. Most Peruvian shippers are done for this season, but still delivered 4.1 million pounds last week. The 2021 Peru season is expected to start in the spring. Chile shipped an early 51,800 pounds. Current inventories at the Mexico/USA border reflect a total of 61.5 million pounds of which 4 million pounds are organics. Mexico is dominating industry supplies with 73% of total inventories reported. Volume ranges remain broad due to degree of uncertainty presented under COVID-19 pandemic. Weekly averages for the next 4 weeks should maintain within the 51-58 million+ pound range when combining arrivals from Mexico, California, Chile and the last from Peru. Mexico- Michoacán harvested 45.1 million pounds a couple of weeks ago, which 41.8 million pounds shipped to the United States. Harvest for last week was slightly stronger to start the week, however Mexico was celebrating Independence Day on the 16th which will keep harvest levels similar to last week's totals. California- California harvested 6 million pounds last week. Estimated harvest is 6 and 5.5 million pounds for the next two weeks. California’s harvest estimate remains at 370 million pounds for the season. Peru- Peru delivered 4.1 million pounds last week. Estimated arrivals will continue to drop going forward with volumes of 2+ million pounds for last week and 1+ million pounds for the week after. The Peruvian season estimate for the US remains at 185 million pounds. Market Outlook- Peruvian fruit is still on track to mostly finish by the end of the month and California is winding down with volume in October. While Mexico has good supplies, we have seen a shift in size curve with trees yielding more large fruit and less small fruit. As a result, availability on small fruit has tightened significantly and larger sizes are more available. There is an expectation for the incoming Aventajada crop to somewhat normalize the size curve which will hopefully bring balance. The new crop will start coming in over the next few weeks.
PEARS– California: There is still a good supply of pears out of California with Bartletts, red pears and Bosc available for another week or two. Washington: New crop Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, Red, Comice, and Seckel pears are now available out of Oregon and Washington. Anjou and Bosc are the newest additions, with several growers starting up this week. The prices are on the higher side as we get started but will start to drift down as more growers start packing. The crop is looking good and will be similar to or slightly down from last year. We will have a better handle on the crop size in several weeks after more pears are harvested.
TOMATOES– East Coast: Multiple growing regions continue growing tomatoes, but the market is moving upward as growers are past peak season and weather plays a major factor. Cooler temperatures are slowing production in the northern growing areas. The remnants of Hurricane Sally continue moving through Alabama, Georgia and South and North Carolina disrupting production there. Quincy, Florida, the next growing region to come on line received over 12” of rain on Wednesday. Growers will assess the damage to the plants over the next few days. The results of the damage may postpone the start of the Florida season in Quincy scheduled for October creating a gap in early fall. Virginia continues producing, while avoiding the inclement weather. Local “backyard” deals as well as Tennessee and Michigan will start winding down for the season as production gets ready to move south for the Fall and Winter seasons. Demand has been moderate and the market is adjusting upward. Grape tomatoes have shown the greatest increase this week while the eastern seaboard transitions between summer and fall crops. Cherry and grape tomatoes continue to be in good demand as they are being used for the USDA box program. West Coast: Recent bouts of triple digit temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley and poor air quality due to smoke from nearby wildfires continue to affect harvest schedules and yields causing tomato markets to increase again week. The long term effects of the recent heat will have a negative impact on the fruit, resulting in lower shelf life, sun scald and softer fruit. Another side effect of the recent heat is something called bloom drop; as the plant is trying to protect itself from the heat it lets the flower drop so it does not have to use energy to produce fruit. Producing a flower would stress the plant, so it just does not. As a result, this will cause a drop in supply in late September or early October as the California season comes to an end. California remains the main growing region for west coast buyers for the early Fall and will continue to be so until the end of October. Mexican imports are priced very high and most product is staying close to home, in Mexico. The west also has a decent supply of romas, from Mexico while California struggles. There still is very little demand from east coast buyers as the supply on the east coast is able to handle the demand. The roma market is active and rising. Cherry and grape tomato supplies remain steady. Demand for US grown product driven by the USDA box program is keeping the market active.
APPLES- Washington: The new crop out of Washington state is now in full swing. Growers are now harvesting new-crop Galas, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Ginger Golds, Fuji, and Granny Smiths. The crop was originally projected to be very similar in size to last year but, as the growers get into the orchards, they are starting to come up short of initial projections so far. We should know a lot more in month from now but, either way, there will be plenty of fruit for a great season again this year. This year will be a unique one as we see how the COVID situation affects the labor pool. Currently, there is a lack of labor and, due to certain restrictions, the rate of harvest and packing has been slowed. This may result in price increases across the board as costs rise for the growers. Currently, prices are relatively stable. The best values are in the Red Delicious, Fuji, and Granny Smith, and the tightest items continue to be large Gala, large Pink Ladies and premium Honeycrisp. The COVID pandemic has shifted consumer preferences to more bagged sales using up a lot of the smaller sized fruit. Ontario/Michigan/New York: The short Paula Red season has concluded. MacIntosh, Ginger Golds and light supplies if Royal Gala are available. Quality is outstanding and the cold nights will increase the sugar levels.
WILD FORAGED PRODUCTS
Fresh Sea Asparagus: From British Columbia
Hedgehog Mushroom: From British Columbia. Prices stable.
Cauliflower Mushroom: From British Columbia. Prices stable.
Chanterelle Mushrooms: From Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Limited quantities.
Pine Mushrooms: From British Columbia. Prices have eased.
Lobster Mushrooms: From British Columbia. Season just starting.
Golden Chanterelle: From Saskatchewan. Better quantities available.
Burgundy Truffles: From Italy. First of the season now available.
White Truffles: From Italy. Season has started. Good quality.
Starting Now: Blue Cluster Chanterelle, Yellowfoot Chanterelle, Lions Mane and Chicken Of The Woods.
Please contact your sales rep if you are looking for any wild or foraged products.
NEW ITEMS NOW IN SEASON
CASTLEFRANCO / CUBANELLE PEPPER / GOLD KIWI / RED/BLACK PLUMS / MEXICAN CACTUS PEARS / SHELLED PEAS / CALIFORNIA POMEGRANITE / ONTARIO BLUE PRUNE PLUMS / QUINCE / GOURDS / PUMPKINS / INDIAN CORN / FRESH GREEN OLIVES
ITEMS THAT ARE SHORT
DRAGON FRUIT / STARFRUIT / PAPAYA / PERSIMMONS / 113 & 138 ORANGES / CARA CARA ORANGE / FORLELLE PEARS / PEACHES / ONTARIO FIELD TOMATO
ITEMS NO LONGER AVAILABLE
CHAMPAGNE GRAPES / CRANBERRIES / STEM STRAWBERRIES / BLOOD ORANGES / HONEY TANGERINES / POMELLO / SEVILLE ORANGES / FLORIDA JUICE ORANGE / APRICOTS / CHERRIES / NECTARINES / FAVA BEAN / ENGLISH PEA / PEACH