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.View Our Condensed Market Update
MARKET UPDATE FOR AUGUST 13th, 2018
CAULIFLOWER– Ontario cauliflower is getting going with some volume. Quality is reported as outstanding. – BMW Farms, Stayner.
MELONS– Yellow watermelons continue with good supply. Cantaloupe and seedless watermelons are also in good supply, with very good quality. – Thames River Melons, Innerkip.
STONE FRUIT –Ontario cherries and apricots are done. Prune plums have now started. Yellow plums, nectarines and early varieties of semi–freestone peaches continue. Quality is good. Freestone peaches should start sometime this week. – Vineland Growers Co–Op –Jordan Station.
FIELD TOMATO – Ontario field tomatoes continue with better supplies. Quality is good with pricing easing. – Thames River Melons, Innerkip.
GREEN PEPPERS– Good production continues. All sizes are available. We expect to see some red peppers in about 7–10 days. – Shabatura Farms, Norfolk County.
SWEET CORN–Ontario sweet corn continues with ample supplies this week. Quality has improved as growers have transitioned to later super sweet varieties. Markets will be depressed and in a supply exceed demand situation for the weeks leading up to Labor Day.– Thames River Melons, Innerkip.
BLUEBERRIES– Ontario wild blueberries continue but are winding down. Wild blueberries are packed in 11QT baskets. – Feskiw Farms, Coldwater.
GREEN/WAX/FAVA BEANS – The Ontario bean season continues. Supplies are excellent. There are still sporadic supplies of fava beans as well, but will be finished soon. –Boots Farms, Scotland.
BROCCOLI BUNCHED/CROWNS– Broccoli supplies are vey good. Quality is also reported as very good. –Visscher Farms, Exeter.
ENGLISH PEAS– Fresh Ontario peas continue. Quality is outstanding. Right now, we have shelled only. Peas in the pod have gapped due to the heat in July. There should be some in the next 10 days. –Boots Farms, Scotland / Millcreek Farms, Picton.
GREENS – Collard greens and bunch spinach continue, along now with red and green swiss chard and dandelion greens. Supplies are plentiful and quality is very good.
GREEN/YELLOW ZUCCHINI – Supplies of green and yellow zucchini have improved. Supplies exceed demand. Quality on both are excellent.
STRAWBERRIES – ** GAP ** We are waiting now, for the ever–bearing varieties to start in about 7–10 days. They will run until first frost.
– Strawberry Thyme, Simcoe
BUNCH RADISH – Ontario bunch radish continue. Supplies are good and quality is outstanding.
CHINEESE VEGETABLES – Ontario bok choy and shanghi bok choy are in good supply. Quality is outstanding.
MUSHROOMS – Cremini and portobello mushrooms are in very short supply. Growers are all battling production issues.
HOTHOUSE TOMATO – Ontario red vine and tray hothouse tomatoes continue with good supply. Pricing has stabilized as production has increased. As well, gourmet medley, yellow grape and Campari. All are of excellent quality. – Various growers – Leamington.
EGGPLANT – Eggplant supplies are good as this crop starts. Quality is very good. – Shabatura Farms, Norfolk County.
HOTHOUSE PEPPERS – Red, yellow and orange hothouse bell peppers are in better production with supplies meeting demand. Quality remains excellent. Pricing has eased as supplies have increased. –St. David’s Hydroponics.
POTATO – New crop “C” White and Red have started. “B” whites continue and large #1 chefs are just getting going. Yukon golds will be another 2–3 weeks for new crop. We are still in old crop yellow flesh.
CABBAGE – New crop green and red cabbage continue. Sizing has improved, but growers need rain. – BMW Farms, Stayner.
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS – The cucumber market has eased as the fall crop kicks into high gear. Supplies are good and keeping up with demand. Quality remains very good.
APPLES – The Ontario apple season is almost finished. McIntosh and Empire are getting in shorter supply as packers have only small fruit available. – Great Northern Orchards / Norfolk Fruit Growers, Simcoe.
HOTHOUSE LETTUCE – Hydroponic boston supplies have improved. Quality is very good. – Lake Erie Farms, LaSalette.
HARD SQUASH – Spaghetti, pepper and buttercup are getting started, with butternut about 14 days away from starting. Supplies are light, but expected to improve over the next month.
MARKETS TO WATCH: AT A GLANCE
Oranges – Small size Valencia oranges are extremely limited with the market trending higher weekly.
Blueberries – Supplies are lighter and prices will start to climb.
Strawberries – Quality is slowly improving, but some bruising is still present.
Lemons – Lemons continue to be extremely limited, poor quality, and elevated markets. Demand exceeds supply on all sizes of choice and fancy grades. Limes We expect supplies to start slowing down and we will see challenges with availability and quality through August into September.
Carton Baking Potatoes: Storage supplies are winding down as new crop starts in Washington and Idaho which will be followed by Colorado and Wisconsin.
ICEBERG – Salinas and Santa Maria are the primary shipping points for iceberg lettuce off the west coast. This market is starting to turn around with most shippers. This market is active both north and south. Expect moderate production from the middle of the week on. Defects that continue to be reported include some slight insect damage, puffiness, and some internal burn. Weights continue to be ranging from 42–48 pounds. Expect stronger pricing for the end of the week. This market is definitely firming up. Quebec is also in full production with good quality.
ROMAINE / LEAF – Salinas and Santa Maria are the primary shipping points for leaf lettuces off the west coast. This market has remained unchanged. Shippers continue to flex on pricing for large volume orders. Romaine hearts are plentiful as well, and suppliers are very open to special pricing. Some romaine defects worth noting include fringe and tip burn as well as some insect damage. Some of the growing areas had strong winds over the last few weeks and there are reports of occasional wind burn tips on the outermost leaves. These defects will be seen on green and red leaf. The culprit in this has been the warm temperatures in the growing regions. Expect heavy supplies to continue to be available all week. We are in the peak of the season. Quebec also continues with plenty of good quality romaine.
SPRING MIX/BABY SPINACH/BABY KALE – The warmer weather in the Salinas Valley has pulled a lot of the tender leaf forward causing a gap. Supplies on spring mix, baby spinach, and baby kale will all be affected. This warmer weather has caused some quality issues such as minimal yellowing, excessive moisture, or bruising of the tender leaves. This market will continue to be volatile for the next couple of weeks.
ROCKET ARUGULA / WATERCRESS – Supplies out of Tennessee continue to meet demand. Quality remains very good. Bunched watercress quality and availability is good.
IMPORTED BROCCOLI – The imported broccoli market has started to get really active. Supplies from California have become tighter with most shippers walking in sold out. Regional growing areas are short and winding down production as well. Mexico is short product due to quality issues from the heavy summer rains. Quality is fair with slight yellowing, some mechanical damage, and decent crown size. Next week’s outlook is looking to remain tight. Ontario broccoli and crowns are in excellent supply, with very good quality.
ASPARAGUS – It has started to rain again in Central Mexico, and they’re experiencing cool nights. Their season should be wrapped in the next week to 10 days due to seasonality, and the weather is not cooperating. In Northern Baja, the weather has been excellent and should remain this way for the next 7–10 days. Production is very good from this Mexican region and should remain this way through the remainder of August, and into September. Production and weather remain unchanged from both regions in Peru. Volume from Peru is still a little light as it is still winter in the southern hemisphere. Quality from Peru has been very good and we expect the quality to continue to be strong, but expect the market to increase while supplies are a little tight. Volumes from Peru will increase after the first week of September.
IMPORTED CAULIFLOWER – Cauliflower market continues to be level with steady supplies from the Salinas and Santa Maria areas. Overall, the quality has been good. The quality reports have shown weights in the 25 to 31–pound level, little yellow cast to cream color, and occasional bruising. Quebec continues and Ontario has now also started keeping local markets steady.
BEANS– The green bean market remains steady with local programs around the country. Supply and quality is very good. Wax (yellow) beans are available in a more limited way and priced higher than green. Snipped: Growers are now harvesting in Ohio/Michigan. Orders are being filled 100% and quality is outstanding.
CELERY– Plenty of product is available with this commodity. Large sizing continues to be the size most harvested, but all sizing is in good availability. The temperatures continue to be very favorable for the growth of this commodity. Although some seeder is being reported, the overall quality is good. Demand is unchanged. The weight is ranging 60 to 64–pounds. Michigan, Ontario and Quebec production all continue to be steady.
GREEN ONIONS– This market continues to be competitive. Sizing is still trending to the smaller sizing. With the hot weather in Mexico, quality has been improving overall, and the presence of thrip damage and leaf minor is minimal. This hot weather is continuing to help fight off thrip and leaf minor presence. Quebec continues with excellent quality and supply.
EGGPLANT– East: Michigan, Ohio and Ontario have all started with good supplies of good quality eggplant. New Jersey, Virginia and the North Carolina mountains have light supplies of fair quality. The eastern regions have received a lot of rain and the fields being harvested are older fields that growers have been working on for over a month. Michigan growers cut back on acreage this summer enough that supplies will not be abundant for the next two weeks. Eggplant supplies should stay tight for at least the next ten days. West: Eggplant is still available from the Arvin/Bakersfield district. Supplies are down, and quality has been mostly fair. Growers are packing more choice grade eggplant. The market remains steady.
ONIONS– The onion market is fairly steady out of California and New Mexico on all colors and sizing. Quality is good with a few fair lots being reported upon arrival. California is peaking on jumbo and larger with New Mexico peaking on jumbo’s and smaller. Supplies will start to transition to Washington and Idaho over the next couple of weeks as they have just fired up. Sizing is currently peaking on jumbos out of the new areas. Larger sizing will be coming quickly as more suppliers come online over the next week. Quality is being reported as good. All colors will be available by the end of this week with limited volumes. Northwest shippers are expecting high yields and large volume crop this year because of the ideal growing conditions.
ZUCCHINI– East Coast: Zucchini continues from all the typical summertime regions. The mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee are harvesting but have suffered a lot of rain causing issues in harvest and quality. The mid–Atlantic to New England are harvesting steady supplies, but this region has received enough rain to cause quality issues also. Michigan, Ohio, Quebec and Ontario are all in good volume of good quality product. Supplies should stay steady for the next week to 10 days. West Coast: Supplies are still available in the Santa Maria growing areas. The quality has improved. Production is expected to remain consistent through September. Demand is lower as growers compete with local programs in many areas across the country. Some growers have stopped harvesting older fields. This could cause the market to spike temporarily.
IMPORTED CILANTRO– The cilantro market continues to be tight due to the heat we normally see at this time of year. The heat has burned up the product and stunted the growth and even started to shoot seeder stems instead of regular growth. This has resulted in much lower yields per acre than normal. Other growing areas across the country have also had to deal with weather, and that has hurt some of the local growing areas as well. Mexico growing areas have also experienced heat and rain which has lowered yields. It looks like the next two weeks will continue to be a challenge.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS– The current market on brussels sprouts continues to level off. Supplies in Salinas continues to improve. Quality is much better from the previous weeks and is seeing less insect damage, black spotting and decay. Ontario has also started in a light way.
EAST COAST PEPPERS– Green/Red: The green pepper supply has gotten much better. Michigan, Ontario, Quebec and Ohio are ramping up with most shippers in steady supplies. Supplies are picking up along with newer fields in New Jersey, heavy rain along the east coast and the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee have interrupted harvest and caused quality issues. The quality issues are not as widespread as the issues in cucumbers and zucchini. Supplies should be very good for the next week to 10 days.
FIELD CUCUMBERS– East: There are good supplies of cucumbers coming from the mid–Atlantic up the east coast, west to Ohio and Michigan and Ontario. Significant rain along the eastern seaboard over the last two weeks has caused some quality issues that may last for another week to 10 days if the weather clears up this week. The product coming from the mid–west seems to be better quality. Cucumber supplies should stay steady for the next two weeks. West: There are supplies of cucumbers available from Baja California, but growers are experiencing a small gap in supply as the plants have produced heavy volume for the last two weeks. Production is expected to return to normal in the next 7–10 days. There was a tropical storm in the area, but growers don’t expect any damage from the storm, just some light rain and cloud cover. The quality of the fruit is mostly good. The market feels stronger with increased demand and lighter supply.
BUNCHED KALE– The kale market continues to be steady with no signs of changing in the coming week. Supplies continue to be good with steady demand. Quality is good with good color, full bunches, and only an occasional yellow leaf being reported.
WEST COAST PEPPERS– Green/Red: Green peppers are still available from the Arvin / Bakersfield area, but volume continues to decrease as the season winds down in that region. Growers have made the transition to the Coastal California growing areas, where volume is expected to increase steadily for the next few weeks. The quality of the coastal pepper is very good; the market is flat due to competing growing deals across the country. The Bakersfield growing area will see a steady decrease in supply of red peppers as the season winds down. Growers are expecting to make the transition to the coastal areas in approximately 10 – 14 days. Red peppers are also available to load out of San Diego, with hothouse peppers being grown in Baja California. The quality of the peppers has been mostly good. The market is lower, as there is less demand with fewer trucks loading on the west coast.
SPECIALTY POTATO– Purple potatoes remain in short supply, but Ontario should start this week, helping supplies. Fingerling supplies have improved as more grower’s harvest and ship.
YUKON GOLD POTATOES– This variety is practically sold out all across the country with shippers struggling to cover contracts. If you weren’t on contract with this item coming out of the winter months, you’ll be hard pressed to find this variety on the open market. If you do, be prepared to pay. Ontario should start with fresh crop in about 2–3 weeks.
CARTON BAKING POTATOES– Canadian: PEI is expecting to start harvest in September. U.S.A: Old crop Burbank supplies are winding up quickly and will be finished with most shippers by the middle of this month. Quality overall is still good. Light internal bruising, cracks (air checking) and end bruising are the main issues being reported on arrival. Few shippers will go through the end of this month with Burbanks. The carton market has held steady and we should expect this trend to go into next week. New–crop russet Norkotahs have started in a light way in both Washington and Idaho. The market is getting a premium but has already adjusted downward. As we transition from old–crop to new we still may have some minor quality issues: Skinning, white–mold, wet potatoes (wet boxes) and soft potatoes are the main ones. Colorado/ Wisconsin will start off with new crop sometime next week.
SEEDLESS WATERMELON– No change. Supplies and quality are good on seedless. There are supplies all across the country. Continue to promote the rest of the summer as supplies will be plentiful. Most retailers will run ads for the next 6 out of 9 weeks.
GOLD PINEAPPLES– Weather conditions are reported as typical of the rainy season with sunny mornings and afternoon rainfall. Volume is dropping fast just as it was forecast and the industry has felt the supply reduction. Tight supply is expected to continue until mid–October and well into November. Quality is reported as very good, with good shell color and solid 14+ brix reported at the farm. The USDA is showing a significant increase on inbound volume from Costa Rica for last week at 1000 loads vs week prior at 850 loads from Costa Rica. We have moderate demand with a higher market. There is still very good demand on size 5s and 6s.
STRAWBERRIES– Supply continues to exceed demand this week. There are multiple growers offering aggressive buys on volume orders. The caveat is quality continues to be a challenge industry–wide. Although we do expect to see some improvements this week, we are in the peak of the hottest time of the year in all growing regions. Salinas and Watsonville areas were warm all weekend with plenty of sunshine, and Santa Maria is still seeing highs in the low 90’s. Unfortunately, this warm weather is not helping with the bruising. Shippers are still warning of softer berries will occasional bruising. The difference between each is the age of the fruit. We need to be aware of the age of the fruit we are purchasing as there is some older cheap fruit being sold. Please remember, keeping the cold chain is imperative in situations like this. If the cold chain gets broken for extended periods of time or the fruit is at temperatures above 37 degrees, the quality will be compromised even further. We will look for the quality to improve over the next two weeks as we break into new harvest.
BLUEBERRIES– No major changes in supply or markets this week. Supplies remain lighter. In the Pacific Northwest, temperatures have been very warm This has advanced most of the early crops, and we saw a big push of product over the last two weeks. Oregon has passed its peak and production has really slowed down. Washington has also past its peak, and again the hot weather has had an impact on yields. British Columbia is in transition between varieties, and we can expect to see another peak in the next 1–2 weeks from there. Quality is the main concern as the heat has caused some shrivel and soft berries. On the east coast, New Jersey is essentially finished for the season. Michigan and Ontario have been steady but light. Quality is good, and prices are higher. Overall, demand has been consistent. Markets have started to climb back up this week and will remain firm until we reach our next peak in production.
RASPBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES– Raspberries: Supplies remain steady this week. There is no major uptick in production expected and no expected disruptions in order fulfillment either. For the northern growing regions (Salinas / Watsonville), shippers are expecting to see supplies gradually decline over the next 3–5 weeks. Santa Maria is expected to remain steady for the next two weeks; then we will see a slight decline. Quality overall has been good. Market prices are firm. Blackberries: Supplies are improving this week. We will see some open product available in Salinas and Watsonville from several shippers. Quality is being reported as strong. Market prices have started to come down gradually for this week. With several areas in production, we expect supplies to continue to improve over the next 3–4 weeks. The Pacific Northwest, Santa Maria, and Baja are all expected to get started and overlap with Salinas and Watsonville. This week, we expect better production out of Watsonville and steady harvest in Salinas and Santa Maria.
MANGO– Mangos are currently imported from the state of Sinaloa. The Kent variety is representing most of the volume and sizing is well distributed among all sizes. In addition, Keitt variety mangos are also being harvested with sizing peaking on 7s, 8s and 9s. The quality of the fruit is good with a fair amount of blush. Volume remains consistent but that too is expected to change during the month of August as some regions of production reach the end of the season. Altufo mangoes are now arriving by air as Mexican production is finished. Pricing is very high due to the air freight.
PAPAYA– Papayas are beginning to increase in volume due to hotter weather in growing region. Volume is expected to produce sizing evenly distributed between 8s, 9s, and 12s. Expect this trend to continue this month. Markets are stable and movement is increasing with summer demand.
LIMES– Weather in the Veracruz growing region is in the upper 80s to low 90s. Limes remain tight, and the market is very active. Old crop is pretty much done, and we are seeing a limited amount of new crop fruit. The rain that was expected a few months ago (May–June) never came. That being said we are now seeing a bit of a gap. Growers are predicting that we will see some relief come late August early September. Overall quality on the new crop fruit is fair to good. Larger fruit is limited (150s/175s) and smaller fruit (200s–250s) is what we are seeing for now.
AVOCADOS– Industry arrivals should close at 50 million pounds for last week. California’s crop is on a downward trend whereas Michoacán’s Loca crop is starting strong with high field prices. Peruvian volumes should maintain peak shipments for the next week and continue to provide relief volume until volumes begin to drop smoothly. Michoacán Loca crop shipments are now supplying more mid–size options that will help shift the industry to more of a standard size curve, leaving XL fruit tight. Mexico– Arrival volumes from last week should close at 29+ million pounds, with a predominant Loca crop harvest. Expected arrivals for this week should remain around 28 to 29 million pounds. The overall size of the new crop is weighted to be small to medium sizes leaving XL fruit tight. As new crop becomes fully available for harvest, field activity will become a fierce competition for volume. This will likely create a situation where the highest bidders secure harvest and increase prices, potentially to historical levels. Lastly, the forecast in Mexico continues to call for scattered thunderstorms. We don’t expect it to be completely rained out however, we are still in the middle of the rainy season, which means some areas could see limited harvest due to weather.
California– Last week closed at 6.6 million pounds and this week, California’s harvest levels are estimated to be 5.3 million pounds, signaling a smooth reduction in volumes. Overall industry numbers for the year have readjusted to 300 million pounds, highlighting a positive close to the season, despite this year’s severe heat wave on Southern California. Peru– For the last week, Peruvian shipments have totaled 16 million pounds. Expected arrivals for this week are 15+ million pounds and 15.7 million pounds for the following week. According to an official release from Prohass, forecasted arrivals to the U.S. have increased from 160 to 170 million pounds, with heavier allocations for the months of August and September. Chile– For the majority of Chile, the dry matter remains around 21%, with harvest expected to ramp up over the next 2 weeks. Last week, Chile exported 5 containers to the U.S., and this week 50 containers are expected to get on the water. In 2–3 weeks from now, we can expect a sharp increase of volume headed to North America. Market Outlook– The volume is expected to decline over the upcoming weeks. The cost will continue to increase for acquiring fruit at the field level in both Mexico and California. Relief in the market isn’t expected until the new crop out of Mexico begins in late September and early October.
LEMONS– California: The lemon market is still extremely higher than normal levels. Supplies remain extremely limited as well out of the Oxnard growing district. Lemons from Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina have been arriving on both the East and West Coast to help fill the void. It hasn’t been enough to adjust the market at all. We will continue to see a demand exceeds market until October. This is when we will have district 3 start their season. This is in the Mecca CA and Yuma AZ growing regions. Quality currently on California fruit is fair at best with arrivals showing mold, soft rot, and decay. The offshore fruit is also showing some mold upon arrival as well. Offshore: The offshore lemons season is in full swing, but lemons are not arriving fast enough to the support the market as demand is very high with limited volume and prices are rising fast. The fruit is arriving with only a few minor issues so far, but it is still early in the season and hopefully quality will hold for the whole season. The size structure is 115, 140, 165, 95. The lemons are looking good with few grade defects like tinge of green, slight spotting and scar, but the fruit looks good and in great firm condition. Mexican: The Mexican lemon crop is planning to start harvest with good volume over the next 3 weeks. The report is that the fruit should be of good quality. The gas time on lemons right now is 72–96 hours.
GRAPES– As we head through August, the Central Valley grape harvest is in full swing, with multiple varieties of red, green and black seedless grapes being harvested each day. Flames are still the predominant variety for red seedless, with Timco, Majestics and Krissy varieties also being packed in a small way. While Sugarones remain the primary green grape variety, many growers have also begun harvesting Ivory, Princess, and Sweet Sunshine varieties. Black seedless grapes are virtually all Summer Royals, with most growers now having at least pallet volumes. Overall, both quality and sizing has been outstanding through the first month of the season, with most growers expecting this trend to carry into the upcoming varieties yet to be harvested. Green: California greens are readily available and of excellent quality. The main area for harvesting right now is Arvin California with all colors. The Fresno area started a few weeks after Arvin but is now also in full swing. Fruit is seeing excellent size, color, with very healthy stems. Red: California reds are readily available and of excellent quality. The main area for harvesting right now is Arvin, Delano, and Fresno. Fruit is seeing excellent size, color, with very healthy stems.
STONE FRUIT– We are in peak season for stone fruit. There is plenty of fruit available in larger sizes, and in tray packs. As the fruit sizes up, there are fewer smaller sized fruit and volume fills available. Schools are beginning to pull, so expect to see the market firm up over the next few weeks.
SOUTH AFRICAN NAVEL ORANGES– The offshore navel season is in full swing with about a million cartons of navels to arrive in the next 2–3 weeks. The problem is that there will be lots of small sizes 88, 72, 64, 113 with limited volume on 56s and larger. Most growers are going to start harvesting the Midnight variety and the hope was we would get bigger sizes. The fruit will not be as small as the Fukumoto, but we will not see the heavy 56 and larger fruit we were expecting. The good news is we are expected to get limited volume on 88/113s and we will see more 72/64s and a just a bit more 56s. The navels are in good condition with only a few issues. The size structure right now is 72, 88, 113, 56.
VALENCIA ORANGES– California: The California Valencia demand has picked up from last week and is expected to trend that way into the end of this week. The good movement coupled with light supplies has created firm markets and some shortages. Schools are back in session, so watch for small fruit demand to pick up and pricing to rise. Supplies on small fruit will be very limited. Pricing will continue to rise on all pack sizes of Valencias. The California Valencia season is at about 58% harvested. Fruit is still hanging on with temperatures over 100 degrees for a straight 18–20 days. We are seeing lots of re–greening on the Valencias and are going to see more gassing time. The size structure right now is 72, 56, 88, 48. Most shippers have stopped exporting because of the long gassing durations and to make sure they extend the season through September, but there are still plenty of Valencias available. The eating quality is only getting better and brix is between 14.0 to 15.5. Import Navels are now available, so most retailers have transitioned over for their bulk displays. The import program has not slowed the Valencia deal, and we expect movement to be strong until the end of the season.
GRAPEFRUIT– The California grapefruit season is 72% harvested and the demand is strong. Most shippers have stopped exporting because of the hot temperatures affecting the condition of the grapefruit. Fruit is becoming more pliable, but still good for the domestic market. The size structure of the grapefruit is 48, 40, 36, 56, 32 with brix around 14.5 to 15.0.
CANTELOUPES / HONEYDEWS– Cantaloupes (9’s/12’s): Weather remains hot in the San Joaquin Valley growing region with temperatures in the mid–90s to low 100s. The market remains low to steady this week, and quality is good to excellent as we are in peak melon season. Brix/sugar levels are 12–14. With the warmer weather, the heat is bringing on the fruit a lot quicker. We are seeing a steady supply of larger fruit (6s, 9s, and 12s) and limited supply on smaller fruit (15s and 18s). Honeydews (4’s/6’s): Weather remains in the mid–90s to low 100s in the San Joaquin Valley growing region. The market remains low to steady with a solid supply on larger fruit 5s and 6s. This week there is a lighter supply on smaller fruit 8s and 9s. Overall quality remains good with brix/sugar levels in the range from 10–12.
PEARS– California pears are in full swing, and new crop Bartlett’s out of Washington have started in a light way. The markets are relatively competitive with a full range of sizes. California also has bosc and red crimson pears as well. Quality is excellent out of both California and Washington with decent sugar levels and mostly hard fruit. There have been offers for volume deals.
TOMATOES– Markets have increased due to the desert heat causing bloom drop reducing yields. East Coast: Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia farms continue to struggle with rainy weather. This is causing intermittent harvests and interrupted picking schedules, limiting the overall eastern supply. Arkansas has finished their tomato season also contributing to lighter supplies in the east. There is little change to price this week with heavy volumes continuing to ship from California. This is helping to stabilize the eastern market. New Jersey and Michigan operations are contributing to the overall supply. Quality has diminished over the past couple of weeks as the effects of repeated rain. Repackers continue to produce quality pack outs, however, shrink is higher than normal and shelf life becomes a concern as more water sits in the fields. Round and roma tomato availability is moderate helping to create firm price structure for the immediate future. Grape and cherry tomato volumes have also been reduced by weather but improving as harvest schedule begin to increase this week. Supply is snug helping to keep pricing elevated but should loosen up as the weather improves and fields dry out. West Coast: Mexico imports begin to slow down this time of year as planned, while California harvests the peak of their season. Heavy volumes of tomatoes are in the marketplace and pricing is starting to separate as quality and condition become a bigger concern for buyers, and extreme heat influences the integrity of fruit. Round tomatoes are nearly half the price of eastern grown tomatoes amid a slight uptick in price this week with Romas following suit. Quality and sizing are inconsistent from triple–digit temperatures influencing the ripening of fruit on the vine causing farms to harvest select fruit prematurely. Less volume from Baja is helping to strengthen the market, but prices will soften in the next couple of weeks when new farm operations begin shipping again. Until then, expect a slightly stronger Roma and grape tomato market while volume is reduced. On California’s coast, new vine ripened operations have begun in Oceanside California where volume continues to build, helping to promote a competitive market further.
APPLES– Apple projections on the new crop in Washington, show it down 2.1% as compared to last year. A few notables: Reds (–14.7%), Grannies (–11.5%), Braeburns ( –25%), and Honeycrisp (+ 23.8%), all compared to last year’s varieties. There have been several areas starting with new crop as well as the existing storage crop in Washington. Supplies of Red Delicious and Gala apples are limited. We have seen Ginger Gold apples start in a light way this week with storage crop Golden Delicious still available. We have California Gala apples available as well. The red varietals such as Fujis and Jonagolds are still in decent supplies. Honey Crisp and Pink Ladies are extremely limited, and that market is elevated. The overall market is relatively steady beside Galas and Red Delicious although, we will see a spike in the market next week as the smaller fruit is ordered by the increased demand for schools. The quality on storage crop is really nice, and of course, the new crop is excellent with decent sugar levels and pressure test grading 14 on some varietals.
New items now in season
ASIAN PEARS / FORLELLE PEARS / ONTARIO PEACHES / SANTA CLAUS MELONS / QUEBEC ROMAINE / RED/BLACK PLUMS / GALIA MELONS / ONTARIO YELLOW PLUMS / CASTLEFRANCO / SWEET POTATO SQUASH / ONTARIO NECTARINES / CHAMPAGNE GRAPES / PRUNE PLUMS
Wild foraged products
GOLDEN CHANTERELLE– From Saskatchewan. Perfect button size.
CHANTERELLE– From Cape Bretton. Beautiful quality.
HEDGEHOG– From Bulgaria. Small and clean.
LOBSTER– From BC. First of the season. Very limited quantities.
RED HUCKLEBERRIES– From BC. First of the season.
SASKATOON BERRIES– From BC. First of the season.
SUMMER TRUFFLES– From Spain/ Italy.
WINTER TRUFFLES– From Australia. Whole and pieces now available.
MORELS– From BC. Production going strong. Grey Morels now.
POM POM– From BC.
SEA ASPARAGUS– From BC. Beautiful and green
Items no longer available or very short
FLAT BEANS / VALES SOVEREIGN POTATO / QUINCE / RED BELGIUM ENDIVE / GREEN OLIVES / FUYU (flat) and HAYCHIYA (pointed) PERSIMMONS / PRICKLY PEARS / SEVILLE ORANGES / CARA CARA ORANGES / BLOOD ORANGE / FLORIDA JUICE ORANGE / FIDDLEHEADS / RAMPS / ENGLISH PEAS / ONTARIO RHUBARB / APRICOTS / POMEGRANITE (Peru) / CHERRIES / RED CURRANTS