Eastern Canada's Market Update
August 3, 2018 – Higher–than–average daytime and nighttime temperatures in the Salinas Valley have caused industry–wide heat–related defects in commodity and value–added items. Romaine products have been hardest hit; warmer temperatures are causing internal burn, insect pressure, and seeder. Temperatures are expected to return to seasonal averages over the next several days, which will help improve quality.
MARKET UPDATE FOR November 18, 2019
MARKETS TO WATCH: AT A GLANCE
Clementines: Early season volume is expected to be down by about 50% compared to last year. After January, supplies will improve.
East Coast Eggplant: Eggplant supplies will get very tight.
Iceberg: Supplies of head lettuce are expected to be lower over the next 2-3 weeks as the northern growing region is done and Yuma has quality and yield issues in the first blocks. Value-added triggers have returned.
Baby Iceberg: Supplies are expected to be light over the next few weeks until Yuma starts at the end of November.
Romaine: Light supplies continue with lower estimates forecast over the next few weeks. Value-added triggers are still in place.
Peeled Garlic: Lighter shipments from China, delays in sea shipments and CFIA inspections at the ports are causing a shortage of product. Prices have risen sharply as a result.
Beans: The recent freeze in Georgia has effectively ended the bean season in the east. Florida will not be ready until the end of November.
East Coast Peppers: Freeze conditions have ended Georgia crops and slowed production in north Florida.
Strawberries: Rain this week in the north may prove to finally end the lingering production of strawberries in Salinas and Watsonville.
Cantaloupe: The month of November will be a challenge as we await offshore arrivals to provide relief.
Green Grapes: Quality is fair and will remain so through transition. Soft berries and discoloration may be present. Markets are higher and supplies will be limited.
Red Grapes: Shippers are now into storage crop. Quality is strong. Markets will get firmer. Steady supplies expected through transition.
Potatoes: Markets are rising in all regions. Demand is active due to the US Thanksgiving holiday pull and limited production out of Idaho. Red “B” sized potatoes will become limited.
ICEBERG- Demand exceeds supplies. Production in Yuma is moderate to light. Huron and Salinas are winding down production. This week
We will see very light production. Santa Maria also has minimal production. Rain is in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday for the north and Yuma. Common defects that have been reported upon arrivals include mechanical, epidermal peel, misshapen heads, and lightweights. Weights on have been 29-34 pounds. Triggers on value-added lettuce items will start up again this week. Expect active markets for the next two to three weeks with this commodity.
ROMAINE / LEAF- Romaine: The romaine market continues to be strong. Demand exceeds supplies. Triggered pricing is in effect on all romaine value-added items. Demand exceeds supplies on romaine hearts as well. Low yields in the growing regions are not expected to get better until the month of December. Production in Salinas and Huron is winding down quickly. Weights on romaine are reported between 26-30 pounds. Defects include insect damage, mechanical, blister, epidermal peel and mildew. Leaf: Green and red leaf are having the same defect issues. Supplies are light as well. Weights are reported at 17-21 pounds. Yuma has started to pick up production and better supplies are expected next week.
SPRING MIX/BABY SPINACH/BABY KALE- The baby leaf market continues to stay steady as supplies have stayed consistent. Quality is good with occasional yellowing and bruising of the tender leaves. Most baby leaf packers have made the transition to Yuma as of today.
ROCKET ARUGULA / WATERCRESS / BABY RED KALE– Arugula: Arugula supplies have returned to normal. Quality is very good and orders are being filled 100%. Baby Red Kale: Production of baby red kale has resumed and supplies are very good, with good quality.
BROCCOLI- The broccoli market has moved up a bit as some suppliers are coming across lower yields heading into transition, with good demand for the US Thanksgiving. Quality has slightly improved with slight purpling, some mechanical damage, and occasional yellow cast.
ASPARAGUS– Mexico: The Southern Baja region is just about done for the season. Ciudad Obregon and Northern Baja have started, production has increased, and we should see a steady increase over the next 2-3 weeks. Volume has picked up this week from both regions in Peru (Ica/Trujillo) with more fields opening up for the last push before Sonora starts in December. Volume remains excellent on the larger sizes and should continue until production slows down at the end of December. Markets on both coasts are lower/steady with good movement on all sizes. Peru: November is off to a great start with asparagus imports out of Peru. There is a high level of volume hitting each week and quality has been excellent. There are many promotions nationwide as there is every year for US Thanksgiving, and supply will match up with the needed demand. Strong volume is expected to continue until early December out Peru.
CAULIFLOWER– The cauliflower market continues to be high as suppliers are seeing lower yields and even skipping a few days of harvest to size up the cauliflower. This is causing value-added manufacturers to struggle on cauliflower florets as there is not enough raw product. The quality is fair with a bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Demand is strong with the US Thanksgiving pull.
BEANS– Growers are informing us that they have now lost all fields in Georgia and several acres of beans due to a freeze in Florida. This freeze finished the crop in Georgia. This is the main fall growing are that we rely heavily on for the next couple of weeks until the winter production area in south Florida, is ready. Growers do not yet know what the impact will be on fill rates, as they are still assessing the damage, but supplies will be light and pricing will be high, especially as beans are a big retail item for the US Thanksgiving. The winter growing area for beans in South Florida was untouched, and once ready to transition, supplies will be back to normal, but for the next couple of weeks the bean market is going to be extremely tight. Snipped: Snipped bean supplies are tight and we are being pro-rated and pricing is up. Quality is good.
CELERY- The celery market continues to get stronger as we approach the high demand time period over the next two weeks. Supplies are moderate to light in both Santa Maria/Oxnard and Salinas. As expected, demand will increase daily as this commodity is a big holiday item for food service. Mexico continues to have production as well. Harvesting in Salinas will end around the third week in November. Santa Maria and Oxnard currently have moderate production. Weights are being reported at 52-56 pounds. Celery quality is fairly good with some field reports from the Salinas area showing the effects from the frost last week. Blister and peel are expected for the remainder of the Salinas season. Initial reports from Oxnard are showing some fusarium wilt that is expected to have a negative impact on yield. The weather forecast calls for cooler temperatures near average into the weekend. Currently, Salinas, Santa Maria, and Oxnard are the primary shipping locations for celery off the west coast.
GREEN ONIONS– The green onion market continues to stay steady with the consistent supply brought on by the warm weather. Quality is good with occasional leaf minor. The market will continue to stay steady going into next week.
EGGPLANT- East: Eggplant supply is getting very tight. Cooler temperatures are slowing production tremendously on top of lower yields with the season over the peak in Georgia. Central Florida has started but has not reached peak production. Many growers in the southern part of the state have not started for the season. There is less acreage planted for the fall in the central region of the state due to past oversupply and low markets. Quality in Georgia and Central Florida has been very good. Demand has been good and inventories are fresh. Supplies will get tighter as the week goes on and will stay low for about two more weeks. West: Light supplies of eggplant are being harvested in California. Quality is mostly fair. Better supplies of eggplant continue to be available to load in Nogales, Arizona, being harvested in Sinaloa, Mexico. Both 18ct and 24ct being packed. Quality is good on eggplant crossing through Nogales.
FIELD CUCUMBERS– Last week’s markets jumped due to a sudden decline in volume from Mexico (currently transitioning between growing regions), along with Georgia being done for the season. Florida is slowly getting into better production but not enough to meet demand. For the next two weeks, markets will remain active, but volume is just around the corner from Mexico. East: Cucumber supplies are getting very tight and will continue to get tighter as the week goes on. Georgia shippers are about done for the season and cooler weather production has slowed even more. Regardless of whether Georgia gets frozen out or not, the cucumber season in Georgia will be done this week. Florida has started cucumbers but has not hit their peak season yet. Temperatures in central and south Florida have cooled enough to slow production of cucumbers. More volume will start on both coasts in the next 10 days. Quality has been spotty on the first cucumbers, after very warm temperatures during the growing season, the product has had poor color and limited shelf life. Cooler temperatures will slow growth but help quality tremendously. Supplies will continue to be tight through most of November with less acreage planted in Florida this fall. West: Good supplies of cucumber are being harvested in Sonora, Mexico, and supplies are expected to increase as more Mexican growers begin production. The cucumber quality from the Sonora district is good on all pack styles. The market on west coast cucumber remains steady this week and is expected to continue. Moderate supplies of Mexican cucumbers are crossing through McAllen. Quality from McAllen is being reported is fair.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS- The brussels sprouts market continues to stay steady. There is still some internal decay, causing slightly lower yields. Look for this market to continue to adjust slightly higher going into next week, with good US Thanksgiving demand.
CORN- Georgia is done for the season and Florida has started with light volume. Harvesting is sporadic at this point, but quality is very nice.
KALE- The kale market continues to remain steady as supplies continue to stay plentiful. Quality is good with full bunches and an occasional yellow leaf being reported due to the recent warm weather.
IMPORTED CARROTS- It is a steady go on the carrot front with jumbo carrots still at elevated prices on the west coast. The Mexican jumbo market is steady at lower pricing. Quality has been good from all areas.
CILANTRO- The cilantro market continues to stay steady as yields have started to improve. Quality is fair with an occasional yellow leaf. Look for the cilantro market to continue to stay steady going into next week.
ZUCCHINI– East Coast: Zucchini supplies are split. Green supplies have gotten very tight but yellow supplies, on the other hand, are very good. Supplies of both colors will likely get tighter as the week goes on. Georgia which is on the last legs of their fall season will finish for the season this week. Florida is harvesting zucchini in the central part of the state and on the southern coast. Cooler weather has slowed production in all regions and demand has been very good with less volume crossing from Mexico in Texas and Arizona. Expect supplies to stay tight for at least another week. Quality in all regions has been good with very few issues. West Coast: Zucchini supplies have finished in the California growing districts for the season. Moderate supplies of both green and yellow are currently being harvested in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Supplies have decreased due to colder weather these past weeks in the growing areas. Mostly extra fancy and fancy size are being packed on both varieties. Moderate supplies are expected through the week. This market has increased this week with lighter supplies. Quality from Sonora is good on all pack styles.
EAST COAST PEPPERS- Peppers are in full transition to Florida. Florida shippers are not in peak volume and many shippers have not started for the season. Georgia shippers are winding down but there are still steady supplies of good pepper with just a few issues over the past week. Georgia growers should have been able to continue to pack for another 2 weeks but the recent freeze may put an end to their crop. Field assessments are still being completed. Pepper supplies have decreased over the past 10 days and this freeze would make the market that much tighter until Florida gets into some volume.
WEST COAST PEPPERS– Serrano: Good supplies of Serrano pepper is available to load in Los Angeles from Mexico. Supplies are expected to remain steady throughout the week. Supplies currently meet demand. Jalapenos: Moderate supplies of Jalapeno are available to load in Los Angeles from Baja California. Jalapeno quality from Baja is fair. Jalapeno size being harvested in Baja, California is mostly medium with few large. Jalapeno from Santa Maria has finished this week. Light supplies of jalapeno from Sonora have also started this week. Green Pepper: Light supplies of green pepper have started in Coachella, California. The Coachella crop is behind schedule due to cold weather. Better supplies of green pepper continue to cross through Nogales this week from Sonora, Mexico. Quality from the Coachella Valley and Sonora, Mexico are both good. The green pepper market is steady this week. Red Pepper: Very light supplies of red pepper continue to be harvested in Hollister and Oxnard this week. Mostly small to medium sizes are being packed from this district. Quality from these two areas is fair. New crop red pepper from the Coachella Valley has been pushed back about 2 weeks due to colder weather. Light supplies of Mexican hot house pepper are also crossing through Nogales, Arizona this week. The market on red pepper remains high this week with light supplies.
NEW POTATOES– Ontario: Harvest is close to 90% complete. This year’s crop is extremely variable. Some early-season fields produced record yields. Growers in the Shelbourne area, where a large portion of the storage table potato crop is grown has been extremely dry all year long. Yields on those potatoes are extremely poor. Chip potatoes appear to have fared much better. Much of the chip potato crop is irrigated. Observers are reporting average yields on those potatoes. We suspect that the crop will include more chip potatoes and fewer table potatoes than the 2018 crop did. Quebec: Harvest should be complete by the weekend. Yields have been slightly stronger than we expected earlier in the season. Reports indicate that early fields had a smaller set, and a large tuber size. That was offset by heavier sets and a smaller size profile on the later fields. This year’s crop is larger than Quebec’s 2018 crop. The increase is due to a stronger yield and an extra 1,600 acres harvested. Imports: New crop potato markets are steady to slightly higher in all regions. Availability can be found in Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Minnesota is nearly finished with a few yellows still available. Bakersfield, California is shipping some reds and yellows from the Mt Vernon, Washington region. Expect markets to climb as we move through the holidays; in particular red potatoes. North Dakota and Wisconsin suffered a severe crop loss of up to 50% and will start to have an effect as we move through 2019 and approach the new year.
ONIONS– Onion markets are steady with excellent supply and quality. Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Colorado continue to produce great supplies of yellow, red, and white onions. Holiday demand is kicking in for the US Thanksgiving and suppliers are not missing a beat. Expect much of the same as we head into the second half of November.
CARTON BAKING POTATO: Harvest issues trimmed 14.6 million cartons from Canada’s 2019 potato crop estimate. The major losses are in Manitoba, where a combination of rain, snow, and cold weather will force growers to leave at least 30% of this year’s crop in the ground, and in Alberta, where a hard freeze between October 9-11 damaged up to 15% of the province’s processing crop. Crops in eastern Canada are coming in slightly above earlier expectations. The increases reflect higher yields in PEI, Quebec and Ontario, partially offset by a lower yield estimate for New Brunswick. PEI: Wet weather during harvest has made this year challenging. Growers are passing over low spots in fields, which have been drowned out. However, fields are not saturated the way that they were a year ago. Harvest is 75%-80% complete. Growers should be able to finish digging this year’s crop within 10-14 days. The Island will continue to be showery, but there is no hard freeze in the forecast. Growers indicate that yields are coming in somewhat better than had been anticipated. The big difference between this year and 2018 is that growers should be able to harvest 84,500 acres of potatoes this year. Last year’s harvested area was only 79,200 acres. Growers left 6,800 acres of potatoes in the ground in 2018, primarily because winter weather closed in before they were able to harvest the crop. USA: Russet potato markets continue to inch up as demand exceeds supply. Consumer retail packs are limited with retail coming in heavy for the Thanksgiving holiday. Packing sheds continue to run production 4 days per week in order to extend the storage season. Both Norkotahs and Burbanks are available out of Idaho with limited volume. The size profile for Norkotahs is leaning to the larger sizes while Burbanks are heavy to the smaller range. Washington, Colorado, and Wisconsin markets are also inching up as demand is shifting to those areas for potato coverage. Expect to see much of the same over the next 4-6 weeks as demand will be active for the holiday season. Weather forecasts do not show temperatures that will slow transfers from cellars to packing sheds at this time.
SEEDLESS WATERMELON- Seedless watermelon supplies are good in the west and a little tight in the east. There are supplies in Florida, Texas, and Nogales. Supplies will be good for two to three weeks and then they will start getting tight as we move into December. Southern Mexico had over 20 inches of rain so we will see lower yields in December and January. There is also some fruit crossing from Mexico in Nogales and Edinburg, Texas. Overall, the quality has been good. Offshore melons will start in mid-December.
MANGO- Brazilian mangos are being shipped to ports in the Northeast. Peak sizing off these containers has been pretty balanced as volume picks up. We are now moving past the peak production for the Brazilian season. Volume will start to decrease going into this weekend. Sizes like 10s and 12s have become more available while demand for larger fruit, 8s and larger, has increased. Brazilian fruit will continue through November but we expect this volume to continue to decrease as we get closer to the end of November. Quality reports are showing good firm fruit with excellent blush. There have been some occasional defects like sunken shoulders and anthracnose. Ecuadorian fruit has started and we expect volume to increase as we get closer to mid to late-November. Ecuadorian fruit will be peaking on small fruit so we expect to see a spike in demand on larger fruit.
GOLD PINEAPPLES– The weather in Costa Rica remains unstable with high humidity in all the growing regions. Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-70s with a rainy week. The continued overcast conditions continue to affect the fruit, delaying its maturity for harvest and reducing the packing volumes at the farms. Quality continues with caution and is being monitored due to lower brix and water spotting on larger-count fruit due to the constant cloudy conditions. One more low-volume week is expected with the crossing report from the USDA for last week showing inbound volume out of Costa Rica at only 480 loads to the North American market. The Christmas European pull is about to go into full swing which will dramatically affect the volume that will be allocated to the North American market. The USDA is reporting moderate demand and a higher market.
PAPAYA- Supply out of Colima, Mexico remains limited this week. Colima has had several weeks of rainy weather along with moderate winds most days. Peak sizes are 12s, followed by 9s and 8s. With limited sunshine, the fruit is not sizing up on the trees before harvest. Some shippers are starting to ship off sizes like 14s and 16s due to the shortage of premium sizes.
BLUEBERRIES– Import blueberries from Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay are arriving by boat on both the West and East coasts. Mexico is also producing good numbers arriving through the points of entry in Texas and Arizona in good numbers. Markets will remain steady with lower undertones moving into next week. Quality has been excellent out of all regions.
STRAWBERRIES- Strawberry supplies are down significantly this week. As the production curve continues on a downward arch in Santa Maria and Oxnard we will be relying on Florida and Mexican imports to pick up the slack until we hit the real volume Oxnard new crop has to offer in December. Possible rain this week in the North may prove to finally end the lingering production of strawberries in Salinas and Watsonville. Markets are firm with higher undertones moving into the weekend. We are seeing more volume beginning to cross through Texas out of Mexico and Florida. Florida production has begun and will improve in numbers moving forward. Growers are just starting to see very light production this week. Those numbers will slowly begin to increase as we approach December. Quality has been improving in Mexico as growers rebound from weather-related issues from weeks past. Santa Maria, California, fruit is showing occasional bruising, seedy, windburn, and occasional overripe. Average counts are 22 to 24, occasionally higher. Watsonville, California, fruit has bruising, bronzing and overripe, with average counts of 26 to 28, occasionally higher.
RASPBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES– Raspberries: Raspberries are still in fairly good supplies coming primarily out of Mexico and the market is steady. Quality is just fair with some lots experiencing residual issues with moisture causing early breakdown. Numbers are expected to increase as more strawberries out of Mexico provide better logistical options for transfer. Blackberries: Volumes will ramp up in 10-12 days and pricing will start to fall around the US Thanksgiving holiday. For weeks, the weather has caused a slew of quality issues and supply issues in both conventional and organic blackberries, and resulted in much higher than normal demand. Quality is fair with red cell being reported in most lots. As the weather improves and the quality rebounds, supplies will start picking up again and we will see the price drop. More than likely, it will come quickly with little supply to a lot of supply. The major factor that we all are watching is the weather.
LIMES- Overall, the Mexican lime market has decreased due to the excess of rain in the Mexican growing regions. The lime market will begin to see a shift in the crop's size distribution towards mid/large-sized fruit due to the rain and the fruit gaining size. Small sizes will become scarce as a lot of growers have not been able to harvest due to the rains. The market will remain firm until crossings normalize, but projections in Mexico indicate that we likely won't see relief until January.
STONE FRUIT- The California stone fruit season is done with the exception of a limited amount of plums. Depending on the grower, a red or black plum will be available through the end of the month. Quality on the late-season plums has started to diminish over the last 2 weeks. We are seeing soft fruit, bruising and early decay. Market prices are higher and demand is tapering off quickly. We also have plums from Italy and Spain. We expect new Chilean import fruit to start by early December. Market prices will be higher on new fruit but expect better quality.
ORANGES- California Oranges: Two weeks into the navel season, volume is ramping up quickly. The season started with very good demand and that has continued. The quality looks good and is getting better every day. Suppliers are gassing fruit as needed and the hours are already starting to come down. Brix averages have been consistent between 11 and 12.5 Size structure has been consistent on 72/88/56 with supplies being snug on 113/138s. We’re seeing a higher ratio of fancy grade fruit over choice. As the season goes on, we’ll see more choice fruit available. This week will be another big week of harvest and production. The market is settling in as more supplies are available, especially on 72/88 fancy. Offshore: Arrivals of Chilean navels have ended. There are a few still around but, for the most part, California navels are replacing them.
LEMONS– California: There are real changes with California lemon supplies on sizes 75ct – 115ct. We can expect supplies to improve in a few weeks out of the Southern California desert area (district 3). Supplies on small sizes are steady and the market is slightly softening up on those particular sizes. The majority of orders are being shipped with fruit out of district 3 (Coachella/Mecca/Yuma). We can expect to transition to District 1 in the next month. Current markets remain steady with good quality.
CLEMENTINES- Growers from Morocco are reporting a decrease in productivity of about 50% on clementine’s. Last season was exceptional and this resulted in the trees not having enough rest between the end of the harvest and flowering. When we get to the Nardorcott variety in January, the volume will be similar to last year. For Spain, production is down by about 20 to 25% caused by extreme heat and rain but as the season progresses, the volume will have to be better. The 2.3 KG boxes have started.
GRAPEFRUIT- New crops of California grapefruit, out of the central valley have started, and supplies are healthy now. Florida and Texas grapefruit growers started packing and we are starting to see healthy supplies from both areas as well. Texas grapefruit is peaking towards 48/56 count and grade is favoring fancy over choice.
GRAPES– The 2019 grape season is winding down quickly out of California, with market pricing firming up rapidly on both colors of grapes. With many growers finishing packing all varieties over the next few weeks, pricing will continue to rise through the month as inventories begin to decline industry-wide. With red seedless grapes, Scarlet Royals have virtually finished for the season and the focus has now shifted to the Allison variety, which is the main red seedless that is left to be picked and packed. Virtually the only green seedless variety now being shipped is an Autumn King, with the large majority of this late-season grape already harvested and set aside in storage for shipping over the next 4-6 weeks. Autumn Royals are still available in small volumes for black seedless grapes. Overall, the California grape crop will finish significantly shorter than in 2018, particularly on green seedless varieties. The first Peruvian containers of both red and green seedless grapes are expected to arrive in late November/early December to both coasts. Expect availability on all varieties to become extremely tight through December and well into January of 2020. Green: Green grapes have been a challenge all season. Weather has played a big role in this year’s crop. Rain in the spring resulted in some mildew issues early in the season. Then we saw a very warm summer which advanced many plantings and has left the industry in a bit of a shortage as we approach transition. Additionally, the quality of the remaining storage crop will be fair at best. Depending on the particular variety, quality can vary slightly, but overall, we can expect to see issues as we move forward. Wet and soft berries, early decay, shatter, and discoloration will all be present in the storage fruit from now until transition. Supplies will be limited throughout transition. Market prices have already started to climb up and will continue to be higher through November. We expect limited supplies of California fruit to last through the US Thanksgiving holiday, then taper off quickly. Import fruit is expected to arrive on the east coast by the end of November. Volume will pick up quickly by December. We do not expect any major disruption in fulfillment unless the quality turns worse before expected. Markets will be higher as we transition into import fruit. Red: The overall quality on red varieties has been fairly consistent. Storage crop is strong. Berries are firm and crunchy; stems are green and the color is a little pale. We anticipate this to be the case through the US Thanksgiving Holiday. According to the USDA storage crop report, there are currently 1.8 million Scarlets left to go and another 5.4 million cases of other red varieties. Prices have started to firm up over the last week and are expected to slowly climb up as we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday. After the American holiday, we can see a bigger jump in price as we get closer to the end of the season. We expect storage crop of California red grapes to last through the middle of December. Import fruit will start to come into the east coast ports as early as the first week in December. Prices will be higher on new import fruit. Volumes will ramp up as we move through December and we expect to be fully transitioned by the end of December.
HONEYDEW / CANTALOUPE- Arizona: Supplies continue to be a challenge as the season winds down. A cold front that moved through the desert a few weeks ago has resulted with some quality issues and also slowed production drastically. These cooler temperatures and less daylight seem to be preventing the fruit from sizing up. Growers are reporting some internal breakdown on the melons due to the unseasonably cold temperatures. The overall quality is just fair. All sizes are limited, but large fruit is extremely tight. This industry-wide shortage has open market fruit at a premium. Mexico: Mexican growers continue to struggle with production. Very light volume is crossing due to low brix levels and quality issues. Quality has been hit and miss on this late-season fruit out of Hermosillo, with mostly small fruit available. Hermosillo is tapering off and Guaymas will ramp up in about a week or two with new crop fruit. Growers in the Guaymas region are anticipating good volume on larger sized fruit. Mexican cantaloupe will be available for another few weeks, honeydews will be available into the spring. Offshore: Cantaloupe is arriving in a light way in Pompano, Florida. Honeydews are expected this week in a light way as well. Guatemala will be the dominant source of supply out of Central America until Costa Rica and Honduras ramp up in January. We anticipate better availability moving forward as the fruit is already on the water headed for the east coast ports in Miami. The first arrivals will lean heavily towards large-sized fruit. Arrivals will continually pick up momentum as suppliers see a strong demand and a hot market.
AVOCADOS- Not much change this week with avocado. Industry arrivals for last week totaled 43 million pounds. Mexico delivered 42.9 million pounds and Chile provided 90,000 pounds. Industry inventories reflect 61.6 million pounds overall (57.7 million conventional), in correlation with Mexico’s harvest flow. Mexico should continue to lead industry supplies with a weekly average of 46 - 52 million pounds throughout November and December. Mexico- We continue to see a strong harvest from Mexico with a better size curve. Michoacán harvested 54.07 million pounds last week, of which 42.9 million pounds shipped to the United States. Harvest this week should be between 44-49 million-pounds, of which roughly 85-90% will ship to the US. Field prices should adjust as size curve normalizes. The weather forecast for the state of Michoacán calls for mild to intense rains, which could limit harvest. Chile- Arrivals for last week totaled 90,000 pounds. Expected arrivals are 45,000 pounds for this week. Chile is experiencing a drought and the harvest has been heavy to smaller sizes, reducing the overall volume available. Season arrivals are expected to finish this week or next. Market Outlook- Harvest’s from Mexico have slowed down this week due to an increase in inventory on all sizes but mainly focused on 60s and smaller. Despite the fact that we are entering the slowest demand period of the year for avocados, retail ad activity remains strong so the market is stable. We are anticipating strong December pulls with good volume and quality. We expect the consistency to continue for the coming weeks and there should be confidence in continuing to promote avocados through the holidays. With so much Mexican fruit in the pipeline, there is little to no demand for Chilean fruit.
TOMATOES– East Coast: The mature green round tomato market continues to trend downward from last week. More growers are harvesting in central Florida helping to boost supply. Roma tomatoes are still very short, and quality is mixed. Premiums are expected for better quality lots. There are plenty of grape tomatoes available right now and the market remains affordable. Similarly, there are also steady volumes of cherry tomatoes in good supply and the market remains affordable. West Coast: California has finished for the season, shifting western demand to Mexico where the market is steady at the beginning of the new Mexican programs. Although volume is building, prices are relatively unchanged from previous weeks. Baja and Mainland Mexico are each harvesting Roma tomatoes where prices vary by region. Grape and cherry tomatoes are widely available from Mexico but slightly higher than their Florida grown counterparts.
PEARS– Washington: The pear market continues on a steady course. All pears are off the trees and into the storages. Bartlett’s, Anjous, and Bosc are available. Red pears (Starkrimson, Red Anjou) are available in ½ and full cartons. Markets are steady and quality is excellent. Specialty varieties such as Seckel, Forelle, Comice, and Asian are also available. Quality is excellent. California: California shippers should be done around the US Thanksgiving with mostly larger sizes remaining (70ct-100ct, some 110ct). This time of year, calls for attention to quality as Bartlett pears tend to quickly ripen; therefore, greatly reducing shelf life. Asian pears are also still available; 10ct-24ct (1 and 2-layer). Smaller sizes (66ct-96ct, 3-layer) are sporadic in availability.
APPLES- Washington: Much like the Midwest and east coast, markets remain steady in the northwest. With Red Delicious production under 20% for the state of Washington, many shippers are encouraging customers to transition into another red skin…Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, Pink Lady, etc. With that said, many of the same shippers are dealing with these varieties in hopes of encouraging usage. Quality across the board remains excellent. New York/Michigan/Ontario: Market remains steady in the world of apples. With Thanksgiving around the corner, we will see movement begin to slow due to holiday break for schools. Fortunately, we have seen some smaller, regional shippers end their harvest and with no CA (controlled atmosphere) program, they will sell what they have left and be done for the season, which should lessen the number of apples available in the pipeline. Deals are available mostly on Gala and Red Del. with a few other varieties sprinkled in.
WILD FORAGED PRODUCTS
** NEW ** BLUEFOOT- From France. Back in stock. Limited quantities available.
** NEW ** PORCINI- From Ukraine. Limited quantities available.
PINE MUSHROOMS- From BC. Still going.
BLACK TRUMPET- From Bulgaria. Top Quality.
HEDGEHOG- From Oregon. First of the season.
YELLOWFOOT- From Sweden. First of the season now available.
CHANTERELLE - From Oregon. Going Strong.
CHANTERELLE BUTTONS – From Oregon. Limited.
BURGUNDY TRUFFLES- From Italy. Season is fading fast.
WHITE TRUFFLES- From Italy. Tight supply.
** NEW ** WINTER TRUFFLES- From Italy. First of the season.
NEW ITEMS NOW IN SEASON
CASTLEFRANCO / FORLELLE PEARS / GOLD KIWI / OFFSHORE POMEGRANITE / LOCAL BRUSSELS SPROUTS / FLORIDA JUICE ORANGE / PERSIMMONS (FUYU & HACHYIA)
ITEMS THAT ARE SHORT
PRICKLY PEARS / CRANBERRIES / PLUMS
ITEMS NO LONGER AVAILABLE
SEVILLE ORANGES / GALIA MELONS / RHUBARB / ENGLISH PEAS IN THE POD / CHERRIES / APRICOTS / YELLOW WATERMELON / CHAMPAGNE GRAPES / FAVA BEANS / CARA CARA ORANGE / SHELLED PEAS / BLUE PRUNE PLUMS / NECTARINES / ONTARIO PEARS / PEACHES / QUINCE