MARKET UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 5, 2024
APPLES The market is weak; storage volume is high in Washington and Michigan. Quality is very good. Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious Apples are available.
ASPARAGUS Prices are falling. Mexican supplies will be abundant in Northern Mexico through the winter; jumbo and extra-large sizes are increasing. Peruvian stocks are tight.
AVOCADO The market is holding steady. Large sizes dominate Mexican supplies. The California season will get underway after the Super Bowl, peaking in May/ June.
BELL PEPPERS Expect slightly lower green bell markets over the next week. Although Florida supplies remain tight, Mexican volume has risen. Red bell stocks are expected to gradually increase over the next two weeks; prices are inching down.
BLACKBERRIES Prices are declining; demand is steady. Central Mexico’s temperatures are climbing. Quality is good; colder mornings are preventing soft fruit.
BLUEBERRIES The market has stabilized. Mexican yields are increasing, while Peruvian and Chilean imports are ample. Very good quality is being reported.
BROCCOLI Expect markets to remain relatively steady at low levels through February amid weak demand and abundant supplies in the Arizona- California desert and Mexican growing regions.
CANTALOUPE Prices are stable. Overall yields are lower than anticipated at this point in the season following all the rain Central America received in the fall. Guatemalan fruit is dominated by 12- and 15-count sizes; Honduras is harvesting larger, 9-count supplies. Sugar levels range from 12 to 15 Brix.
CAULIFLOWER Expect markets to slide before turning around next week. Stocks are abundant despite cooler weather and January's rain events. Industry-wide quality issues may include dark spotting and mildew pressure as well as some inconsistently sized and off-color heads due to poor weather.
CELERY Stocks are plentiful; prices should remain relatively flat, even as Super Bowl demand strengthens. The majority of industry production is in Oxnard, California; Santa Maria harvests will continue year-round. The Arizona- California desert and Florida seasons are in full swing. Quality is very good in all regions; disease pressure is minimal.
CHILI PEPPERS Anaheims, Jalapeno, Pasilla, and Serrano markets range from level to slightly lower than last week. Quality is very good.
CUCUMBERS Offshore prices are stable at high levels. Mexican supplies are increasing, but size has been small; this week's warm weather should aid growth. Quality is very good; small sizes dominate availability.
GRAPES The market is up. Peruvian/Chilean green, red, and portioned grapes are on the market, but limited. Delays at the Los Angeles port are being caused by longer fumigation times due to cooler weather.
GREEN LEAF Markets are expected to remain low, pending any ice events; supplies are abundant. Defects are currently minimal and being trimmed at harvest.
HONEYDEW Prices are stable. Overall yields are lower than anticipated at this point in the season following all the rain Central America received in the fall. Guatemalan fruit is dominated by 5-count jumbo sizes; smaller 8- and 9-counts are tight. Quality is very good; bruising and softness are occasional industry issues.
ICEBERG Prices are level. Quality is good, although weights are low across the industry. Blistering and peeling are more prevalent due to past ice events; bottom rot and elevated pinking have increased throughout the industry due to rains.
LEMONS A series of rain events are forecast for California citrus districts. Growers cannot harvest fruit when orchards are wet. Expect harvesting delays, tight supplies, and higher lemon markets over the next two weeks.
LIMES Markets are relatively steady, but higher prices are predicted by mid- February. Quality is good; fruit is juicy with smooth skins.
ONIONS Prices remain elevated. White onions are extremely limited. The Mexican season will start in mid-February; expect 30% to 40% lower volume due to water shortages. Texas supplies should begin shipping the first week of March; a normal crop is forecast but demand will be stronger due to Mexican onion shortages.
ORANGES A series of rain events are forecast for California citrus districts. Growers cannot harvest fruit when orchards are wet. Expect harvesting delays, tight supplies, and higher markets over the next two weeks. Navel Oranges are available.
PEARS Low prices persist. Washington D’Anjou will ship through April; this variety is juicy and subtly sweet with a hint of refreshing lemon-lime flavor.
PINEAPPLES The market is level; supplies are available out of Mexico, Costa Rica, and South America. Quality is very good; fruit is firm and juicy with tangy flavor.
RED/YELLOW POTATOES Prices are stable. Stocks are sufficient in Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington. Quality is very good.
POTATOES Overall Idaho volume has increased, as Burbank growers begin to release more product to the fresh market. Soft markets are anticipated through February. Norkotah and Burbank stocks are expected to ship through late July to early August. Quality is strong in both varieties, with stocks primarily yielding No. 1 quality potatoes; fewer No. 2 potatoes are available.
RASPBERRIES Prices are elevated; supplies are tight. Mexican production has been slowed by low temperatures. Demand exceeds supply. Quality is good.
ROMAINE Markets are expected to remain low, pending any ice events; supplies are abundant. Defects are currently minimal and being trimmed at harvest.
STRAWBERRIES Heavy rain is forecast in the California growing regions; volume will fall and markets will climb.
TOMATOES High markets persist. Florida round, Roma, cherry, and grape tomato yields remain low. Production remains behind schedule in Western Mexico as low temperatures hindered growth; seasonal volume should inch up by mid- February, weather permitting. Grape and cherry varieties are extremely scarce.
STONE FRUIT Chilean white and yellow nectarine and peach supplies are sufficient. Chilean red and black plums are also on the market. Volume will increase through the month. Prices will inch down as the season progresses and yields increase. Quality is very good. Expect adequate stocks through late March.
WATERMELON Markets are up but have the potential to ease soon. Quality is hit or miss but is improving as growers move into Northern Mexico. Expect lower prices and better quality in February. The domestic Arizona-California desert season will start in May.
ZUCCHINI High prices persist. Many Florida fields had weather damage and were taken out of production; low volume is expected until March. Warmer weather is temporarily aiding growth in Mexico, but quality struggles will likely continue for several weeks due to water damage, strong winds, and cold weather.