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 May 25th, 2020
MARKETS TO WATCH: AT A GLANCE
Apples: Markets are active due to consistent, retail demand and the injection of volume from the USDA Box Program.
Asparagus: Supplies are better this week with local production increasing. We will see much better supplies going into next week.
Blackberries: Blackberries out of Mexico are short due to high temperatures. California production remains low but looks to increase weekly.
Raspberries: Supplies are lighter due to hot weather in Mexico.
Strawberries: Heavy retail demand has kept supplies short. Recent rains have caused lighter yields.
Green Peppers: Transition from Mexico to California continues with some gaps.
Brussels Sprouts: Expect light supplies all week. Quality is also only fair. Expect a continued strong market and high pricing.
Imported Carrots: Peeled and snack pack retail packs are still in heavy demand.
Cherries: Markets are stronger due to good demand. Rainer cherries are now available.
California Oranges: Valencia’s have started, while late navels are very short and will finish up this week. Large sizes supplies are steady. Food service sizes 113/138’s, are very tight with active markets.
Eggplant: Harvest is peaking on small sizes 18ct/24ct and are limited in supplies
Garlic: Light supplies will continue throughout the month.
Iceberg: Lighter availability is being reported. Demand is good. Expect better supplies next week.
Green Grapes: New Mexican product is available. Quality is very good. Pricing remains high, but should ease as supplies increase.
Red Grapes: Supplies will get a bit snug for 2 weeks as we transition into Mexican fruit. Chilean fruit has cleaned up on both coasts.
Cantaloupes: The offshore season has concluded. Transition into the desert will be delayed due to abnormal weather conditions. Crop will be heavy on small sized fruit and tight on large sizes. Market is firm and active.
Honeydew: Offshore season has concluded. Transition into the desert will be delayed due to abnormal weather conditions. Crop will be
heavy on smaller sized fruit and tight on large sizes. Mexican fruit out of Nogales is the best option.
Watermelon: Markets remain active this week and supplies are limited due to heavy retail demand.
Onions: Oregon/Idaho/ Washington are all done for the season. Pricing is moving up. California desert and New Mexico are in full swing. California valley to start next week.
Pears – Smaller, Washington shippers are concluding their season with larger shippers feeling the demand brought on by the USDA Box Program.
Potatoes: Markets have risen on larger size 40 count through 70 count due to increases in foodservice business and the Burbanks having a smaller profile. Some lots may exhibit peepers and light mold.
Tomatoes: New production areas are increasing harvest and supplies are improving. Round prices coming down slowly. Florida will transition north to Quincy, and California will begin harvesting in June.
GARLIC: Pricing on peeled garlic continues to increase as China is amidst transition from old crop to new crop. Additionally, continues to increase with foodservice re-opening. California- The 2019 California storage supplies are extremely tight, but are expected to remain available until June when 2020 new crop stocks begin shipping. Demand for whole bulb garlic is extremely strong due to retail pull; demand exceeds supply. California prices will hold firm through May, into June.
ICEBERG- Supplies of iceberg are tighter as demand was good for the US Memorial Day holiday. Demand seems to be increasing as foodservice opens up. Some growers are still struggling to find enough labor due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Growers that have a sufficient labor force are able to pack without interruption. Quality reports show very nice overall quality with good size, color, condition, and occasional mildew, which is expected after the recent rains. Demand should ease this week and we expect pricing to ease for next week. The weather forecast calls for warm sunny conditions, providing ideal growing conditions.
ROMAINE / LEAF- Supplies of romaine and leaf lettuces are abundant with promotable volume available. Quality reports show very nice overall quality with good size, color, condition, and occasional mildew Demand is steady on romaine, romaine hearts and leaf lettuces. New Jersey has also now started romaine and leaf production, allowing east coast buyers the option to purchase locally. Quebec romaine and leaf will be late this season, due to the recent old weather at the start of last week. It should be available around the 21st of June.
WEST COAST: SPRING MIX/BABY SPINACH/BABY KALE- Baby leaf supplies are steady this week, as grower/shippers settle back to Salinas. The coronavirus has created a stir-crazy retail market but has crushed the foodservice industry, which are the biggest users of baby spinach, spring mix and baby kale. Supplies will continue to exceed demand even as various areas begin to open up. Quality lhas been good with occasional yellowing and bruising of the tender leaves.
EAST COAST: ARUGULA / WATERCRESS / BABY RED KALE– Arugula: Arugula supplies have returned to normal with very good quality. AS foodservice continues to open up, supplies still are easily meeting demand. Supplies will continue to exceed demand for the foreseeable future. Baby Red Kale: Production of baby red kale continues and supplies far exceed demand.
BROCCOLI- Supplies have tightened up on both bunched and crowns, due to an increase in demand. Prices have reacted upward as expected. Quality remains excellent in all areas. This trend is likely to continue at least through next week.
ASPARAGUS– Supplies are increasing from all growing areas; Mexico, California and Washington. Lack of air freight is still causing Peru product to come up short. As the season starts to kick into gear and warmer weather hits domestic production areas, we will see markets to continue to see some relief. Please be aware that prices are day to day, based on supply. Ontario asparagus continues with much better production after the really warm weather over the weekend. Supplies are increasing as prices start to ease. Now is the time to feature Ontario asparagus.
CAULIFLOWER– The cauliflower market is steady due to light demand and very good supplies. Overall quality is good with slight bruising and yellow cast with weights in the 25 to 28-pound level. Look for this market to remain steady over the next week.
BEANS– The bean growing regions continue with favorable weather conditions. Prices remain stable as production is good from Mexico and Florida. Demand remains minimal. Quality is very good on both green and yellow. Snipped: Snipped bean supplies are steady, but pricing is still slightly elevated. Overall, quality is good.
CELERY- Celery supplies continue to be lower to start the week due to lower yields from seeder and increased demand from school lunch programs. Oxnard is the primary shipping point off the west coast. Overall quality from Oxnard is showing good condition and color, with reports of seeder. The weights are still approximately 56-60 pounds per case. There is also product available in Mexico. Salinas will start celery in June.
GREEN ONIONS– The green onion market continues to stay steady with good supplies with good weather in Mexico. The temperatures continue to be hot in the Mexicali Valley, limiting harvest crew capacity. Quality is good with occasional leaf minor the wet weather. The market is expected to continue to stay steady going into next week, based on lackluster demand.
EGGPLANT- East: Overall acreage is lower in Florida and Georgia versus previous years and supply is light, even with new fields that have started harvesting in Georgia as Florida winds down. Quality is very good from various growing regions in Georgia. Look for markets to level out through the week. West: Modest supplies of eggplant are available this week from California. Mexican product is still crossing light volume through Nogales, Arizona being harvested in Sinaloa, Mexico. Quality on eggplant crossing through Nogales is mostly fair as their season winds down. The eggplant market has increased this week due to lighter supplies as Mexico.
FIELD CUCUMBERS– Mexico continues to have a surplus of supply with multiple regions going. We expect Sonora to remain in production through most of the month of May. Baja and San Luis are coming up with really good yields and excellent quality. Florida fields are finishing up this week. Georgia is starting to ramp up in volume and warmer temperatures are expected again toward the end of the week which should contribute to better volume. Cucumbers will be a good item to promote at least for another week or two.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS- The brussels sprout situation remains very short with low yields from poor quality and good demand. Expect to see high markets and tight supply for at least 2-3 more weeks.
CORN- West Coast yields have dropped off, pressing the markets higher. Florida is cleaning up 5 days early with some quality issues in pollination and immaturity. Georgia yields also are not at anticipated levels so their volume is down compared to last year.
IMPORTED CABBAGE- Georgia volume on green cabbage is steady as growers break into new fields. Quality is good and fresh. Supplies exceed demand. Demand will hopefully get better.
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.
IMPORTED CARROTS- Processed snack packs and other smaller pack styles are under extreme pressure from continued heavy retail demand. Shippers are running lines to produce these at maximum capacity. All other packs are readily available with excellent demand for cello retail packs as well. Quality remains steady and the market remains firm.
CILANTRO- Cilantro supplies are good and the market is steady. Supplies have been much better with the warmer growing conditions. Cilantro quality is fair with an occasional yellow leaf. Look for the cilantro market to stay steady going into next week with the dry warmer weather in the forecast. Cilantro production has started in New Jersey for east coast buyers.
ZUCCHINI– Production from Mexico has started to wind down and volume has slowed. They will be done for the season in the next 7-10 days. Florida is pretty much done for the season. Georgia fields will continue to ramp up in volume. Production in Adel and Omega, Georgia, remains pretty strong with exceptional quality thus far with definitely more green than yellow. New regions from North Carolina all the way to Texas are starting slowly. We expect green zucchini to continue fairly abundant the rest of this month into June.
EAST COAST PEPPERS- Green pepper availability has improved a little compared to the past 2-3 weeks; however, peppers are still short and will continue like that at least for another 7-10 days until Georgia starts with significant volume. Mexican and Florida supplies are extremely limited and pretty much done for the season. Pepper crops in Adel, Georgia have started with crown picks and so far the quality has been exceptional. Big sizes will remain predominant in Georgia for at least the next two weeks. XL, Large and smaller will remain a challenge.
WEST COAST PEPPERS– Serrano: Limited supplies of Serrano peppers continue to be available to load in Nogales, from Mexico. California is just starting Serrano production as Mexico winds down. Serrano supplies are expected to remain light through the week as Mexico winds down production. California is just staring and supplies should be better for next week. Jalapenos: Light supplies of Jalapeno are crossing through Nogales, Arizona this week as Mexico winds down. California is ramping up production and supplies will improve for next week. The Jalapeno market is higher this week. Green Pepper: Mexican supplies are finished as the winter/spring crop is done. California fields are in production but with the current labor constraints they can barely take care of the West Coast demand. Demand continues to remain strong on all sizes and pricing remains high. Quality is excellent As California continues to ramp up production, we expect pricing to ease over the next 4 weeks. Red Pepper: The red pepper market continues to be strong as supply winds down out of Central Mexico. Baja is shipping light numbers from their new crop. California red pepper production is expected to begin in Coachella this week. Hothouse production in Canada continues to ramp up helping to fill the void on field grown product.
TABLE POTATOES– April table potato disappearance fell significantly short of the 2019 pace due to supply limitations in Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec. The manic shipping pace set during March has subsided. Most growing areas will be out of storage table potatoes by the end of June or earlier unless packers take steps to ration the remaining potato supplies. Ontario: A 40% drop in chip potato movement was responsible for a 30% decline in Ontario’s April disappearance. The downturn in chip potato movement contrasts with other areas, which are reporting strong demand for chip potatoes. Last year’s April chip potato disappearance was exceptionally large. Nevertheless, this year’s downturn may indicate that chip companies are holding back on Ontario supplies, to cover needs during June and July. At the April usage rate, Ontario’s remaining chip potato supplies still would only last through July 6. April table potato disappearance increase by 25%. At that rate the province’s remaining table potatoes would be cleaned up by June 12. Quebec: May 1 potato stocks exceed the year-earlier inventory by 5%. April disappearance fell 9% short of last year’s pace. Usage was helped by an increase in seed movement, probably due to an earlier start to this year’s planting season. Table potato movement fell short of the April 2019 pace. At the current April usage rate Quebec would be cleaned up by July 28. A separate provincial report separates processing potatoes between chip varieties and fry-quality potatoes. That report shows that chip potato disappearance increased by 22.7% during April, relative to the 2019 pace. At the April usage rate Quebec’s remaining chip potatoes would be cleaned up by June 16. In contrast, April disappearance of fry-quality potatoes fell 31.0% short of last year’s pace. At the April usage rate, Quebec’s remaining fry potatoes would last through September 19. Imports: California red, white and yellow supplies continue to increase as growers ramp up production leading production. North Dakota, most of the Washington and Idaho supplies have finished up for the season. California crops are expected to have great supplies and will see volume this month. Southern Florida continues to produce supplies and will transition to Northern Florida later this month. Markets remain active with heavy demand for retail.
ONIONS– The onion market has finally firmed up as the Pacific Northwest is finishing for the season and demand has been increasing. California and New Mexico will continue to ramp up with more volume in the coming weeks, which will replace the supply from the Pacific Northwest. As a reminder, we will experience thin, flaky skins on the fresh new crop onions. Texas is still shipping all colors, while Mexican onions crossing through South Texas have nearly finished up. Foodservice demand continues to increase as businesses open up, as well the USDA box program is creating a high demand on all onions as well. We anticipate with each passing week we will experience improvement in market conditions as demand will continues to improve.
CARTON BAKING POTATO: The Canadian potato industry held 13% more potatoes on May 1st than year-earlier holdings. The stocks data provide the most recent information on the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on North American potato usage. On April 1, PEI and Manitoba were the only Canadian provinces with more potatoes in storage than they held a year earlier. By May 1, British Columbia was the only province with less potatoes in storage than it held at the same time during 2019. PEI: P.E.I. had 18% more potatoes left in storage on May 1 compared to prior year. April disappearance level was the slowest April disappearance that PEI has reported since 2002, when it was struggling with limited supplies created by a 2001 crop failure. Processing potato disappearance fell short of the 2019 pace as well. At that pace, the remaining inventory would last through October 2. While PEI’s processing use downturn is less than in other areas, at only 14.3%, it is important to remember that a year ago processors were bringing in potatoes from as far away as Idaho to supply local needs. The Island’s table potato disappearance continued to outstrip movement from the 2019 crop. April movement increased by 18%. At the April usage pace, PEI’s table potato stocks would be cleaned up by June 29. USA: Larger size 40 count through 70 count are starting to rise. Foodservice demand continues to rise each week, and the smaller size profile of the Burbank varieties is causing pricing on larger sizes to move up. Additionally, the USDA Produce Box program has resulted in a sudden influx of new demand that is helping growers to keep all sizes cleaned up. We are anticipating a more ‘normal’ demand, and we expect pricing to remain firm and continue to increase in small steps until we get to new crop in the fall, Retail demand continues to pull heavy on consumer packs which typically uses the smaller sizes of 90 count to 110 count potatoes. Retail demand is also steady making poly bags slightly more available. Washington, Colorado, and Wisconsin continue to follow Idaho markets. Some lots will continue to show occasional soft rot and shoulder/internal bruising.
SEEDLESS WATERMELON- Supplies will continue to be tight on all sizes for another week due to the US Memorial Day holiday last week as growers build inventory. Seedless are heavier to 45 count on the west coast. In the east, seedless are shipping from the Arcadia growing region in southern Florida. Quality is very good. The Newberry, Florida area has also just started with light volume as growers continue to transition north. Texas has supplies from Tampico, Mexico, and from Edinburg. Nogales has product from northern Mexico this week.
PAPAYA- Demand continues to outweigh supply and the market has climbed. We expect limited supply until June. Overall supply out of Tecoman, Colima, Mexico is still limited this week and is also expected to be next week as well. We expect a gradual increase starting the in June. Peak sizing at the moment is between an 8 count/9 count, with a few 12s coming. Currently, there is nothing in the weather that is delaying harvest.
GOLD PINEAPPLES– The Intertropical Convergence Zone is highly active and generating a very unstable environment favoring the presence of heavy clouds and rain showers over Costa Rica. The transition period continues to be unstable and slow, with some rainy days and other sunny to partially cloudy days. This was a rather dry week with 18 mm (0.75 inches) of precipitation recorded. Air temperature is stable; soil temperature rose slightly. Solar intensity was moderate. Quality is reported as good but with some fruit showing internal issues due to the weather conditions. This will be more of a problem for processors as clean internal fruit will become more of a challenge. The USDA crossing report is showing a dramatic drop in inbound volume from Costa Rica for last week at only 180 containers. This number is likely to be revised. The USDA is reporting moderate demand and about steady market. The market remains strong, pushed by good demand and tight volume. Growers remain confident that supply is sufficient to keep up with demand and are holding their position of higher prices at the farm level. We are now seeing good inbound volume from large shippers which might have a direct impact on the market if demand remains as is. Some farms will start seeing a reduction in yields as a result of natural floration as early as next week.
MANGO- We are currently receiving product from Michoacán, Jalisco, and Nayarit in Mexico. The mango season from Oaxaca, Mexico is winding down quickly. We are seeing more competitive prices on small fruit like 10s and 12s as we get into new growing regions in Mexico. We will see Kents closer to June. At this time, the predominant variety is Tommy Atkins, with Ataulfo (golden) also being shipped. As we get into these new fields from Jalisco and Nayarit, it is normal to see some scarring on the first few inbounds. At this time, there are no major quality issues to report.
BLUEBERRIES– Blueberries from Mexico are finished. California has good volume in Oxnard, with Reedley ramping up. Georgia expects tight supply over the coming weeks, until the transition into Rabbiteye varieties in June. Expect demand to increase as foodservice continues to open over the coming weeks and supplies to struggle with the loss of fruit in Georgia and North Carolina looking at later starts. This will cause blueberry prices to potentially spike and supplies to drop quickly over the coming two weeks.
STRAWBERRIES- Demand is steady in California for the best quality fruit. The Salinas/Watsonville area continues to increase volume, while the Santa Maria area is producing decent numbers. In Oxnard. fruit quality is just fair at best, with quality and market factors influencing the shippers’ decisions to continue their harvest as the season winds down. Santa Maria, California, fruit has occasional bruising, water damage, decay, overripe, some dark fruit, soft spots, and scarring from the wind. Average counts are 18 to 20. Salinas/Watsonville, fruit has occasional bruising, some dark fruit and some soft spots. Average counts are 16 to 18.
RASPBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES– Raspberries: Raspberries continue to be in good production this week in Mexico and Baja; however, we are on the downward side of the most current production cycle, so production will decrease over the coming weeks before it rebounds into the next cycle in June. California production will be starting soon. Blackberries: Blackberry supplies are starting to decline and this is starting to be noticed in the market. There is talk about a small delay between when Mexico ends and California starts due to how early Mexico started this past fall.
STONE FRUIT- There are still a few Chilean plums around, but they are quickly wrapping up and the quality is questionable as they are getting old. California has started with apricots, peaches and nectarines in much better supply this week. California grown plums will start shipping the week of June 15; sugar levels vary from 12 to 14 Brix. Plum supplies are expected to be plentiful into October. The Georgia peach season will run from early May and run into September. Current supplies are getting better and pricing is adjusting lower.
CHERRIES- Supplies this week are much better, and pricing has eased. Some shippers are communicating that the cherry deal is going to shorter this year than originally thought. Harvest volumes are slightly trending downward with peak volumes last week. They will continue to pack as long as weather and quality allows with average availability on all sizes. This year’s crop is not expected to be heavy but it should be nice size. The estimated sizing will peak at 10-10.5 row. Early estimates have state crops totaling 5-5.5 million cases (16lb equivalent). The Washington cherry season will run from June to August and British Columbia will have cherries from mid-June through August.
ORANGES- California Navel Oranges: We have seen a gigantic spike in orange demand. The largest driver of this is the government contracts to recently purchase oranges and send them to food banks. As a result, demand has been strong for oranges and we have seen prices shoot up on all sizes and supplies are extremely limited. The remaining balance of navels will all be the “Late Lane” variety. The majority of the remaining navels will be consumed between continued strong retail demand and the USDA program. The fruit is running on the bigger side, with very, very limited 113’s and smaller. Foodservice is being moved to Valencia’s, especially on the small fruit side. Navels will be going until June 1st. California Valencia Oranges: Growers are trying to harvest as many 88/113/138 Valencia’s for food service orders, but are still running very short on small fruit. The USDA bag program is also taking Valencia’s and majority of the business will be going towards covering those orders. The fruit is very solid and clean, with limited choice fruit. Growers are selling out every day. We still expect supplies to be limited and prices to rise the next few weeks. Offshore Navel Oranges: The offshore Navel season has already started from Spain, Egypt and Brazil. We expect Chile to start early to mid-June.
LEMONS– California: With warmer temperatures across North America, consumption of lemons is up. The California lemon market is going strong, inventories are down a little, which will increase pricing. This would be a great time to promote larger size, 75’s. Big fruit is very nice and there is a decent amount of it when it comes to 75/95 choice and fancy. California lemons are peaking at 115s/140s. Choice lemons are very abundant. Quality has been excellent and the fruit is beautiful. District 1 is on the tail end of their season with the heat coming on, but there is still a good supply of fruit coming out of the valley. District 2 fruit is also looking beautiful and going strong. There is optimal growing weather and the fruit will continue to be exceptional as long as this weather continues.
CLEMENTINES- California: The California season is winding down quickly. We will be keeping an eye on availability over the next few weeks. Clementines / Mandarins will be the go-to item for customers seeking to boost their immune systems with Vitamin C. Prices spiked two weeks ago, but we are now seeing them stabilize. Offshore: We have transitioned to the Orri variety of mandarin, in 2lb bags from Israel. Quality is good as the season begins. Retail demand continues to be strong.
GRAPEFRUIT- New crop California grapefruit harvest continues with more and more growers starting. Rio Reds and Marsh Ruby are then main varieties being run. The volume is limited with a red-hot market. The USDA program is also pulling grapefruit, this will definitely keep the market extremely limited and pricing above historical averages. The fruit is amazing and supplies will continue to go up. The fruit is running very clean with a very limited amount of choice fruit. Texas grapefruit has just about come to an end. Growers are telling us that large-size grapefruit (32s and larger) will continue to be tight in the final week. There have been reports of quality issues as the Texas season comes to an end. We are starting to see more demand for California/Florida grapefruit than Texas grapefruit. California grapefruit is limited with a stronger market.
LIMES- Lime market is coming off a little, as more volume is coming in. Quality has been great the past few weeks with deep green color and minimal scarring. Lime Peak sizing is mostly 200/230 count with very little 110/150 count. Crossings last week were steady. This week, we are trending to see higher volumes cross.
CANTALOUPE- Supplies of cantaloupes are demand-exceeds-supply on larger fruit 9/12’s and good supplies on smaller fruit 12/15’s. Offshore fruit out of both Honduras and Guatemala is done. This leaves us with primarily domestically grown new crop in the desert Southwest. The size profile is heavy to 12/15’s with 9/12’s very limited. The California cantaloupe deal has been pushed off and will be going at one of the latest start dates in recent years. Mexican-grown cantaloupe are winding down at this time.
HONEYDEW- Offshore and Mexican supplies of honeydew are winding down and we anticipate improving supplies out of Arizona and the California Imperial Valley. As with cantaloupes, smaller sizes 8/9’s are in abundant supply, while 4/5’s are very short. In addition, some of the fancy melons which are grown seasonally in the desert will be available beginning this week.
GRAPES– The start to the Mexico and Coachella grape season continues to be pushed back, with extreme high temperatures slowing sugar levels and low color across the board on both red and green seedless. This delayed start out of Mexico has helped to move much of the excess Chilean red seedless inventories on both coasts, as many importers saw excellent movement into last weekend. While Mexican green seedless varieties have slowly ramped up volume over the past few weeks, the start on red seedless grapes out of both regions has been extremely slow. Most growers were passing very few pallets of red last week. Volume has been pushed back until this week. While the overall start to both regions has been very slow, volume is still anticipated to ramp up with heavy volume and sharp pricing by the first week in June.
AVOCADOS- Industry arrivals for last week totaled 54.7 million pounds. Avocado supply increased last week versus the week prior. Mexico shipped 38.6 million pounds, California harvested 14.8 million pounds and Peru delivered 1.2 million pounds. Mexico continues to lead industry supplies. Volume ranges have broadened given the degree of uncertainty presented under COVID-19 pandemic; weekly averages for the month of May should adjust to the 52 - 61 million+ pounds range with the addition of Peruvian arrivals. Mexico- Michoacán harvested 45.8 million pounds, of which 38.6 million pounds shipped to the United States. We should see 42 to 48 million lbs. of harvest with 78-83% shipping to the US. California- California had a large week of harvest on 60s/20s and 70s/24s, creating an over-supply situation on those sizes. California harvested 14.8 million pounds last week. Estimated harvest is 13 million pounds for this week and next also. California’s harvest estimate is now set for 370 million pounds for the season. Peru- Peru delivered 1.2 million pounds last week. Estimated arrivals are expected to spike going forward, 1.9 million lbs. pounds for this week, then up to 5+ million pounds for next week. The Peruvian season estimate has adjusted down to 208 million pounds. Market Outlook – There was good, stable demand headed into the Memorial Day holiday. Large harvests in both California and Mexico in recent weeks hasn’t deteriorated the market too much as avocados remain on promotion. Small fruit has come under some pressure, while big fruit remains stable. Peru fruit is starting to trickle its way into the market, with stronger arrivals expected to start this mid-June.
PEARS– Washington: There are still good supplies of Anjou pears out of the Pacific Northwest and will have availability right on through to the new crop in late summer. Deals can be had on US#1 large (60/70/80 ct) Anjou at this time. Bosc pears from the Pacific Northwest are now finished until the fall. Imports: We have good supplies of both Bartlett pears and Bosc pears arriving on both coasts weekly now. The fruit quality on these pears is very good with ample supplies available. Expect this market to remain a little weak with good deals available.
TOMATOES– East Coast: Tomato supplies in Florida are starting to get better as production in the Palmetto/Ruskin area increases. Social distancing regulations are still slowing production, even so, supply is keeping up with demand. Mature green round tomato prices are coming down slowly. The transition in Florida will continue further north to Quincy at the end of May. As foodservice lockdowns are now being lifted, demand is increasing and supplies are easily keeping pace. Mexico is also getting into better numbers easing west coast demand in Florida. Prices on extra large (5x6) are slightly lower, while large (6x6) are down significantly and mediums (6x7) the best buy of all sizes and quite a bit less than previous weeks. Roma production continues to be steady with excellent supply with pricing lower than rounds. Quality on romas is good. Grape and cherry tomatoes supplies are getting tight as growers’ transition north. Pricing on cherries is higher than grapes as cherries are very light in supply compared to grapes. Quality remains good. East coast supply will transition from Florida to Georgia and the Carolinas in late May/early June. West Coast: Volume from Mexico is increasing. Yields are getting better from the early summer growing regions in Mexico. Prices are easing with the extra product available for west coast buyers. Tomatoes from the Indio, California area have started with one grower producing light supplies. Volume will increase into June. Central California supplies will begin shipping in early July. Roma tomatoes are in good supply and priced at the mandated minimums. Roma harvesting will begin in Baja, Mexico with some light early volume this week. Quality has been good on romas. There have been several shipments that have been refused at the border and returned back to Mexico due to the Suspension Agreement Inspections that have been in place since April 1st. As volume increases with the late spring/ early summer crops, growers expect there to be more supply which should help soften the market. Demand continues to increase as “shelter in place” regulations are relaxed and foodservice begins to open across North America. Current supplies are outpacing the increase in demand, so pricing should continue to ease.
APPLES- Washington: The apple market out of Washington State has tightened up significantly over the past week. There are several USDA foodbank programs in effect that were put in place to help support the growers as well as the foodbanks due to the COVID-19 situation. This program is so large that it actually has created some shortages in the markets and has created a new floor to the markets with prices rising across the board on all items. We are expecting this to continue this week so expect prices to tick up again and for orders to take a little longer for growers to make. The tightest item remains the Honeycrisp in trays and bags. Honeycrisp prices have risen considerably over the last two weeks and will continue to get tighter and more expensive every week from now on. Imports: The offshore apple crop looks to be average but the fruit is running a little smaller this year due to water issues in some of the growing districts. The import season runs from May through August, and will help keep the markets from rising on the Gala, Granny, Pinks, and Fujis.
WILD FORAGED PRODUCTS
Fresh Morels: From Oregon / BC. Limited quantities.
Fresh Porcini: From Oregon.
Stinging Nettles: Pre-order only.
Ramps: Pre-order only.
Due to Covid-19, please contact your sales rep if you are looking for any wild or foraged products as a regular supply.
NEW ITEMS NOW IN SEASON
CASTLEFRANCO / FORLELLE PEARS / IMPORTED POMEGRANITE / FLORIDA JUICE ORANGE / PICKLING CUCUMBER / SEVILLE ORANGES / CUBANELLE PEPPER / RUNNER BEANS / ONTARIO HOT HOUSE RHUBARB / NEXTARINES / PEACHES / APRICOTS / FAVA BEAN / ENGLISH PEA
ITEMS THAT ARE SHORT
RED/BLACK PLUMS / ONTARIO ASPARAGUS / DRAGON FRUIT / STARFRUIT
ITEMS NO LONGER AVAILABLE
GALIA MELONS / YELLOW WATERMELON / CHAMPAGNE GRAPES / SHELLED PEAS / BLUE PRUNE PLUMS / CRANBERRIES / PRICKLY PEARS / PERSIMMONS / QUINCE / GOLD KIWI / STEM STRAWBERRIES / CARA CARA ORANGE / BLOOD ORANGES / HONEY TANGERINES / POMELLO