Eastern Canada's Market Update
September 27, 2021
Although yield losses are nowhere near what we experienced a year ago, there has been a noticeable increase in some of the invasive pathogens and plant viruses which caused a significant amount of acres to be plowed under last year. The main culprit last year was Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV), which was not a new virus in the Salinas Valley, but it had never become so widespread and devastating as we saw last year. INSV has been seen sporadically and in low percentages through this 2021 Salinas season, but is now starting to flare up.
Over the past two months, other pathogens such as Sclerotinia, Fusarium Wilt, Pythium Wilt, and Verticillium Wilt have been more prevalent and have led to more significant die-off and lost acreage. If these viruses and pathogens continue to spread, we could be faced with a supply shortage before we make the transition to the desert growing regions of Arizona and California.
MARKET UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
MARKETS TO WATCH: AT A GLANCE
Washington Apples: New crop Red Delicious are starting this week. Small fujis and galas remain tight.
Peeled Garlic: Supplies of quality peeled garlic from China remain very tight. The California market remains tight even as California continues packing new crop. Pricing continues to be very high.
Asparagus: Asparagus supplies continue to be extremely tight. Wet weather and transition is causing Mexican grass to be limited. Peruvian grass is logistically a struggle to get to Florida. Look for the market to stay strong going into next week.
Avocados: Markets on large sized fruit remain on the strong side with good demand. Markets on smaller sized fruit are steady with light demand.
Field Pepper: Markets are steady to slightly higher. Crops continue to wind down in the east and should be wrapping up the first week of October.
Blueberries: We are experiencing a gap in production into next week when we should see more import product become available from Mexico and Peru.
Strawberries: Quality issues in the North have caused a 2-tiered market to emerge.
Broccoli: Demand exceeds supplies on all broccoli packs. Look for the market to remain active the next couple of weeks.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower supplies are starting to become limited due to the recent heat.
Brussels Sprouts: Supplies and quality are starting to get better. Look for the market to continue to correct downward as more supplies come through the pipeline.
California Lemons: Supplies out of Ventura County continue to be light with markets holding firm on both fancy and choice grade fruit.
California Valencia Oranges: Small sizes on 113’s & 138’s remain very limited on both grades. Moving forward we can expect small sizes to remain very tight until we transition to Navels early November.
Field Cucumbers: Markets remain elevated. Supplies limited on both coasts but should see relief over the next few weeks as new growing regions increase production.
Green Onions: Green onion supplies continue to improve. Look for this market to continue to adjust lower as we move into next week. Iceberg: Demand continues to exceed supplies with this commodity.
Romaine & Romaine Hearts: Romaine as well as romaine hearts are very active. Expect moderate to light production throughout the week. Pricing will get stronger throughout the week.
Green Leaf & Red Leaf: Green and red leaf have firmed up in the marketplace. Expect moderate to light production throughout the week. Pricing will get stronger throughout the week.
Honeydew: Markets are active and demand is strong. Supplies will remain tight for the balance of September. Quality is great.
Onions: Market is elevated on all sizes and colors. Supers and colossal sized onions are extremely limited.
Idaho Potatoes: Market is declining on 40CT thru 70 CT. New crop norkotahs are trending larger marking small 80 - 120 CT less available.
Tomatoes: Round supplies continue to be light out of the east coast. Expect to see increased production over the next several weeks.
GARLIC- The peeled garlic pipeline from China continues to be clean due to late container arrivals. When we do receive product, it is questionable quality due to all the delays. As a result, pricing remains very high. We do not expect any relief until early October. Much longer transit times and delayed vessel arrivals are adding as much as 70-90 days to a trip that takes 21 days. New crop harvest in China was finished at the end of May. Even with new crop product arriving the length of time on the water and stuck at port is causing quality issues. China: Demand is strong as supplies are light. Expect pricing remain active through mid-October. California: New crop California garlic continues but supplies remain light but; growers are pro-rating. Growers are no longer using imported garlic from China, Mexico and Argentina.
ICEBERG- California: Lettuce supply continues to be lighter than normal. The weather forecast calls for slightly cooler temperatures with overnight lows in the mid-50s. Weights are lower than normal while yields also continue to be lighter. Demand has been very good for both cartons and value added. Some common defects being reported include discoloration and misshappen heads. Demand has been steady for the most part. The market has been active and is forecast to stay at these levels for the week. The primary shipping points on the West Coast are Santa Maria and Salinas. Canadian: Supplies of Quebec iceberg are very light as we enter the tail end of the deal. There is about one week left in the season. Weather has been favorable; however what available iceberg is showing tip burn. Variable case weights continue to be an issue.
ROMAINE / LEAF- California: Romaine and romaine heart production is beginning to trend down, just as the CFIA will require pathogen testing in order to enter Canada on September 30th. Romaine hearts are active as many suppliers have less acreage to harvest compared to past weeks, while green and red leaf are plentiful. The weather forecast calls for slightly cooler temperatures with overnight lows in the mid-50s. We are experiencing some quality issues at the field level ultimately reducing yields. Plants that are healthy are exhibiting good color, texture, and quality overall. Fringe and tip burn has been reported upon arrivals on all leaf items. We will continue to see occasional fringe burn and lighter weights. Overall demand is steady, with slightly better movement on romaine hearts. The primary shipping points on the West Coast are Santa Maria and Salinas. Canadian: Supplies of Quebec romaine are very light with very strong demand for east coast buyers who would normally buy in California. There are only about 2 more weeks of product in Quebec. We can expect pricing to remain strong. Quebec leaf lettuce is priced steady compared to last week, but expected to rise throughout the week as leaf also winds down. Overall quality is good.
WEST COAST: SPRING MIX/BABY SPINACH/BABY KALE- Supplies are steady and easily meeting demand. Shorter shelf life and dehydration may be issues. Pricing should remain steady.
EAST COAST: ARUGULA / WATERCRESS– Watercress and arugula supplies are very good with good quality.
BROCCOLI- Demand exceeds supplies on all broccoli and all value-added. The recent warm weather has brought fields forward and fields have been lost due to quality issues. Look for this market to stay strong through next week. Ontario and Quebec production continues with heavy demand and much higher pricing.
ASPARAGUS– The asparagus market has been challenging for a few weeks, to say the least. Wet weather and transition is causing Mexican asparagus to be limited. Peruvian asparagus is logistically a struggle to get to ports. Look for the market to stay strong going into next week.
CABBAGE- Green, red and savoy cabbage are in good supply this week as there are lots of local deals offering promotable volume. New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ontario, Quebec and Michigan continue steady production with red, green and savoy cabbage all available in good supply. Texas also has good quality product with red and green available. California is light on red supplies but there is ample green out there and growers are looking to promote.
CAULIFLOWER– California: Overall quality and appearance are very nice. Supply is starting to lighten up and the market is starting to get active. There is still supply available, but we could see that change as some shippers are talking about lighter supply. Expect this market to follow broccoli going into next week. Canadian: Production from Ontario and Quebec continue with good quality. The main complaint is inconsistent head sizes. Supplies are lighter as demand is stronger due to lighter supplies on the west coast. Overall quality is very good.
BEANS- We are seeing very light production in the east mainly due to rain. We expect some South Georgia production to ramp up over the next few weeks and should begin to bring this market back in line for the fall and prepare for the holidays barring no weather as we transition to Florida. In the west, supply is light out of Fresno and Southern California and will remain light until transition to Mexico in October. Quality will be marginal until we transition to Mexico. Snipped: Snipped bean supplies are coming up very short as yields are variable. Expect intermittent supplies for the next 10-14 days.
CELERY- Celery supplies are steady with promotable volume available. Demand is moderate at best. Small sizing, thirty-six counts in particular are the least sizing available but all orders are being covered. The quality continues to be good with slight seeder being reported. The weather forecast calls for average temperatures with cloud cover this week. Row crop items are getting active but in terms of value and quality, this item has excellent value. Santa Maria and the Salinas Valley are the primary shipping locations for celery off the West Coast. Ontario and Quebec celery are also both available at very reasonable pricing again this week. Continue to feature celery!
EGGPLANT- Markets are fairly steady with decent supplies. West: Eggplant out of the Central Valley is winding down and should transition to the desert over the next two weeks followed by Nogales first week of October. East: Local eggplant out of the Northeast, Ontario, Quebec and Michigan are winding down, we should see South Georgia start over the next 10-14 days. We expect this market to remain very reasonable into the fall.
MUSHROOMS- Overall, we are seeing stable pricing, however there is going to be shortages of button sized mushrooms as labor costs and a shortage of labor continue to impact the mushroom industry North America wide. The shortages are forcing growers to make economic decisions that produce the best yield per man hour; button mushrooms produce the lowest yields per man-hour. Additionally, covid outbreaks at farms has reduced the overall volume available.
CUCUMBERS– Field: It looks like volume from Georgia is starting to improve. We are seeing more open availability of product in Georgia and North Carolina. One major grower in North Carolina is scheduled to finally start by the end of the week. We are just not seeing the anticipated yields from North Carolina. Michigan, Ontario and Quebec are practically done for the season. English Cucumber: Cucumber demand is very strong right now and supply is very tight. We are seeing much higher prices. Western USA/Canadian markets are quite strong. We expect the west to be in a buying position over the next 6 weeks. Into October, demand levels are expected to remain very strong and elevated. We are seeing additional product in production as a result of some growers pulling tomato crops early and planting the shorter cucumber crop to keep their greenhouses filled.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS- Supplies and quality are starting to get better. Look for the market to continue to correct downward as more supplies come into the pipeline. Local delas are starting in the Midwest and East adding more volume.
CILANTRO- The cilantro market remains steady out as supplies are meeting demand. Yields have returned to normal in Oxnard, Salinas, and Santa Maria, California; burn, disease pressure, seeder, and yellowing are less frequent. Value-added washed and trimmed cilantro is currently achieving specified quality and shelf-life, but there is potential for early breakdown due to heat-related stress. Triggers have been removed. Supplies are good out of New Jersey, Quebec and Ontario with lower pricing due to lighter overall demand. Quality is very good.
ONIONS- The Pacific Northwest continues to ship a smaller size profile, with Colossal and Super Colossals being very limited. Typically, the onion market is seeing a reduction in price during harvest. This season, given the slow start for a lot of growers, in addition to poor size and yields, we are seeing the market increase on all colors and sizes, outside of medium yellows. This is an unprecedented situation and is indicative of the crop this season in the Northwest. We should see jumbo yellows normalize in the coming weeks when growers are full steam ahead, however, the typical influx of supply that pressures pricing down may not occur this season. Additionally, there are still New Mexico and California onions being put onto the market as well in certain parts of the country. As those supply areas dry up, the demand pressure on the Northwest should increase as well. Northwest growers are continuing to express great concern for the long-term health and supply of this years’ crop due to both wind and heat events during the growing season this summer. Record high temperatures in Idaho/Oregon/Washington are already negatively impacting yields in the early fields. The situation should be somewhat clarified as growers continue to get into new fields as well and realize just what type of supply they have on hand. Labor is also presenting some major challenges and limiting production out of both Idaho/Oregon and Washington. Once we get past the first of the year, supply is expected to further tighten, and if the heat has detrimental effects on the onions long term storage ability, we may see elevated levels of shrink. Freight continues to be challenging out of all onion growing regions. A lot of freight analysts are predicting some relief sometime in 2022. At this point, we are not hopeful of it taking place any sooner as we will be approaching the holiday season soon.
HOTHOUSE PEPPERS- Pepper demand remains fairly strong. Sizing is quite small right now so demand levels are even stronger on the XXL/XL sizes. There remains to be a lot of opportunities to promote smaller sized product. Quality is fairly decent right now outside of having a size imbalance weighted towards large/mediums. Into October we are expecting to see demand levels remain somewhat stable. We are going to see sizing remain on the lower side moving forward. Day light hours will be getting shorter, and we are seeing less production overall for Canadian grown production. Mexican crops are expected to come on stronger by this point as well so the larger sized production will become more prevalent.
FIELD PEPPERS- Green Pepper: Product is lighter this week out of the south as transition is on the horizon from North Carolina back to South Georgia while the Northeast is rapidly winding down for the season. In the west, the excellent production continues out of the intercoastal valleys with steady volume expected on all sizes but larger sizes. Demand seems to have slowed down and is keeping markets in check. As we look ahead to the Florida season, there will be less pepper being planted (growers are cutting back due to the high cost of growing in Florida, and growers leaving the industry). Red Pepper: West: Supply is stable and quality is outstanding. East: Canadian greenhouse growers are expecting steady yields over next two weeks with smaller sizes being the better value. Larger sizes are in very light supply. Prices are steady. Quality is good. Ontario field grown red peppers continue with red bell and red shepherd available.
ASSORTED CHILI PEPPERS- We are seeing some local deals continue in the east with stable supply. In McAllen, we are seeing supply start to improve as crossings increase out of Mexico. Serrano’s remain very tight and we need to keep a close eye on some of the microclimates as some regions are reporting loss due to damage from recent flooding. We do need to keep in mind that particularly this time of year quality issues can easily come about, and pricing can reflect quality particularly when dealing with older plantings and older growing regions. On the west coast, there is lighter supply crossing form the Baja while California continues to produce decent numbers. West coast volume is also down on tomatillo and serrano.
GREEN ONIONS– Green onion supplies are starting to improve. Look for this market to continue to adjust lower as we move into next week, however, it will take another 2 weeks for markets to return to normal. Local / regional green onion prices are also easing as the season ends in about 2 weeks.
CORN- Local volume will start tapering off as cooler weather moves in. Most Georgia farms will start around the first of October. There are a few farms that will start slightly early, but they have very small harvests. Volume will be light likely until after the first of October.
YAMS & SWEET POTATO: New crop harvest starts this week for some sweet potato growers. We are looking at new crop shipments starting in about 6 weeks after they cure. Last year’s crop is starting to dwindle, and inventory is getting tight with prices rising, but supply should hold to avoid gap.
CARTON BAKING POTATO: Prince Edward Island: Prince Edward Island has experienced excellent growing conditions with ample rainfall this year. The warm days and cool nights have been ideal for growing potatoes. August was a relatively dry month; however, on September 2 the remnants of hurricane Ida dumped 3-6 inches of rain on P.E.I.’s potato crop. The soil was dry, and the much needed moisture was quickly absorbed. The timely rainfall is expected to boost yields for full season varieties. Reports indicate that the crop is in excellent condition, but growers are cautious about increased disease pressure due to the damp growing conditions. The province was expecting more rainfall this past week as Hurricane Larry brings additional precipitation to the Atlantic Provinces on Friday. Based on current conditions we are projecting a significant increase of 22.4% from the 2020 crop. Drought reduced last year’s yield to the lowest level since 2001. The Island’s harvested area is likely to be 83,000 acres, down 500 acres from last year. The local processing plant began running new-crop potatoes this week. Harvest is underway, though it has been too warm to begin digging the storage crop. USA: The potato market is now beginning to experience pricing relief on 40ct through approximately 80ct. Size profiles have flipped, and larger count cartons are now more plentiful, while smaller size cartons and consumer retail packs are now in short supply. We do not anticipate relief on small size potatoes for a few weeks as growers try to move through the larger profiles. In typical seasons, we generally see pricing stressed to some fairly low numbers on all sizes. The behavior of the market this season during harvest is a good indicator of the long-term outlook of the crop. The concern regarding as much as 30% or more of the crop remain alive and well, however, we likely will not feel just how tight the market is until we get to the spring and Norkotahs begin to wind down. Once we get to the later part of the crop, and are shipping Burbanks exclusively, size is going to be a real challenge. Unfortunately, we are not in a situation where we can make up the Idaho shortfall with supply from other growing regions, as Washington experienced similar growing conditions, and they are up against the same challenges related to low yields. The immediate concern surrounding trucks continues as rates these past few weeks have continued to increase. In normal circumstances, we see a drop in rates during the first quarter, but it remains to be seen if that will take place this coming year.
KALE- Steady supplies are keeping this market steady on green, red and black kale. Look for this market to continue to stay steady. Product is available from multiple shipping points; California, Georgia, New Jersey, Ontario and Quebec. Quality is excellent.
ZUCCHINI– West Coast: In the west, good supply continues out of Santa Maria and Baja. Quality is good on green and marginal on yellow. Mexican season is around the corner, and we are looking to get going by the first week of October. East Coast: Ontario, Quebec and Michigan’s season is wrapping up sooner than expected, and the Northeast is not producing the expected volume from their fall crop. Current weather has been in our favor in Georgia and plants continue to produce higher yields. Weather permitting, this trend will continue, and we should see good volume in the upcoming weeks. Quality is mixed in the east on old crop while new crop is gorgeous.
TABLE POTATOES– Canada is expected to produce more potatoes this year than it did in 2020. A 17,600 acre increase in the country’s harvested area and strong yields in the eastern provinces should compensate for reduced yields resulting from record-breaking heat and dry conditions across the western part of the country. Canada’s table potato supplies should be plentiful as most of the country’s table potatoes are grown in the eastern provinces, where growers are reporting some of the best growing conditions in several years. Some provinces could produce record-breaking yields this year if weather remains favorable during the harvest season. Excessive heat could reduce this year’s size profile in the western provinces. Ontario: Ontario’s 2021 potato crop is expected to exceed 2020 production 16.7%. Overall, growing conditions for the 2021 crop have been nearly ideal with more than enough rainfall. Temperatures were hotter than usual during the last two weeks in August. Last Tuesday night, some areas were hit by severe thunderstorms with up to 1.5 - 3.5 inches of precipitation and isolated pockets of hail. Growers indicate that they have not seen any disease problems yet. We expect this year’s average yield to be up from last year. Ontario growers planted 1,825 more acres to potatoes this year than they did in 2020. Yields and quality for early table potato varieties have been good. Growers are expected to begin storing chip potatoes this week. Yields have been above average, while movement has been slow. Quebec: Quebec experienced hotter than usual temperatures during the end of August and early September. Crops have been stressed by the excessive heat. Temperatures have since cooled down and some areas have received much needed rainfall. We expect Quebec’s 2021 yield to be up from the 2020 crop. Stats Canada used a five-year average for this year’s acreage estimate. It indicates that growers planted 43,000 acres to potatoes in 2021, which is 2,638 fewer acres less than they planted in 2020. Sources indicate that the local French Fry processor expanded its contract volumes by 12-15% this year. Therefore, we believe that the province’s growers planted closer to 47,000 acres, which would be 4,000 acres more than the current estimate. Early white potato varieties produced excellent yields with good quality potatoes. Reports indicate that red and russet table potato yields could be average, but the size profile is smaller than usual. Harvest is now underway for russet table potatoes. Growers started storing potatoes last week. British Columbia: The crop was planted earlier than usual which allowed row closure before the heatwaves came, beginning in mid- June. The table potato harvest is in full swing. Reports indicate that yields and quality are good, but the size profile is smaller than usual due to heat stress. We expect this year’s average yield to fall short of the five-year average yield. Growers planted 6,000 acres to potatoes in 2021, 500 fewer acres than they planted a year ago. We expect production to be down 14.2%, from the 2020 crop. Cooler temperatures this week have allowed growers to begin storing this year’s crop.
SEEDLESS WATERMELON- As all the local/regional watermelon deals wind down in Indiana, Delaware, Ontario, Michigan and Washington. There is good volume out of California although logistics continue to be a challenge in all markets. Expect a good transition to Mexico; season will begin in early October. Most suppliers are starting to switch over to cartons for the winter. Overall quality is very nice. Demand is fairly light.
MANGO- Year to date, Brazil has shipped about 40% more fruit compared to last year; the increase has to do mostly with an earlier start to their season. The Brazilian crop is at the peak of their season and is shipping about 200 containers per week to North America. Due to a shortage of vessels and containers, nothing shipped last week, which will mean the next arrival will be the week of October 3rd. This delay could cause a gap. Weather in Petrolina, Brazil is forecasting mostly sunny days with minimal overcast throughout the week; weather is not affecting the crop at the moment. Brazilian fruit has been coming in with all sizes; containers on the water have a spread between mostly sizes 6 through 12. We are starting to see an increase on 10s on containers that are currently sailing. Demand for Brazilian fruit has been picking up. Due to gaps in arrivals, we expect this market to fluctuate over the next 2-3 weeks.
PAPAYA- Historically, we have seen volume increase from May to July; but, this year, high volume got pushed back to the last couple weeks of May. There is ample supply and this will continue through mid-August. Warmer weather has been helping the growers to harvest more fruit at farm level so we’re noticing more availability in the market. Supplies have been good and will continue to be for the next two months. Quality has been looking good with good shell color and solid brix.
BLUEBERRIES– Blueberries continue to be in tight supply again this week, with little relief on the horizon. There are struggles to get fruit out of Peru and Argentina due to weather, vessel delays and import delays due to lower staffing and COVID restrictions at the ports pushing many arrival dates back by weeks. The market is holding steady at higher prices due to the lack of supply from all these impacting factors. Mexico has started their season in a light way. Fruit will be in light supply for the near term.
CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRIES- Increasing supplies of “new crop” fruit from Santa Maria and Baja, Mexico are causing a two-tier pricing structure with the “old crop” fruit and markets lower this week. We may see more quality issues on arrival, especially with older crop fruit from Santa Maria and the Salinas/Watsonville growing areas due to the warmer summer weather patterns. Santa Maria, California new crop fruit has good color and size, while the old crop fruit has bruising, dark color, soft shoulders, and is overripe with much smaller fruit.
GRAPEFRUIT- California: The grapefruit market has remained very steady. Supplies continue keeping up with demand. Quality is excellent with no issues being reported at this time. We have transitioned into the Marsh Ruby variety, peaking on 36/40/48s. Large size pricing has remained steady for the last month with very little movement. Small sizes are where the deals are. Offshore: There are very good supplies at very reasonable prices from South Africa arriving into ports on the east coast. All sizes are readily available. Quality is good.
RASPBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES– Raspberries: Lighter supply again this week as growers end the summer crop and move into new crop from Mexico for the winter season. Volumes should turn around by mid-October. Markets should remain steady. Quebec has wrapped up production for the season. Blackberries: California is still going with good supply, but that will end within a few weeks. Mexico is starting to get into a rhythm as far as pickings, but crossing delays are still an issue causing a two-tier market between California product and new crop from Mexico.
GOLD PINEAPPLES– Costa Rica: The Intertropical Convergence Zone will be located over Costa Rica, generating conditions of high humidity throughout the Pacific region and partial morning cloudiness for most of the country. Afternoon rainfall and downpours with storms in the Central, South Pacific and Northern regions are expected, but somewhat dryer weather compared to previous weeks. Quality is reported as good with better internal condition and stable brix levels. Radiation seems to be higher than average which could promote UV damage to the fruit. The USDA crossing report for last week is slightly lower at below 1,200 loads. Demand is reported as light with a lower market. Delays at Texas ports continue and are expected to stay this way for at least four more weeks. Mexican: Demand is slow on all sizes with more supplies arriving from both Mexico and Costa Rica. Mexico is officially over their summer gap and new crop fruit has started to arrive. Markets are stable as we see higher volumes arriving. There are currently good supplies of fruit from Mexico and quality is reported as very good, with brix over 13%. Most shippers are peaking on 6 and 7 counts, but all sizes are available in the market.
ORANGES- California Valencia: California Valencias are in full swing and pricing is now starting to increase a bit across the board, but mainly on 88s and smaller, peaking on 72s/88s. Fruit is firm and eating well. Expect crop yield to be smaller this year. 113s/138s will be very tight all season long. California Navels will start in October. Navel Imports: Offshore navels have been reporting strong quality all season so far, peaking on 56/64/72s. In the coming weeks, expect prices to settle in as more and more containers arrive on West Coast if ports stop having delay issues. There have been reports of a lot of vessels being stuck at port for up to a few weeks causing a lot of supply issues. This is forcing shippers to repack after they receive product to make sure it is clean. All sizes are currently tight, but especially 56 count and larger are a bit tight.
LEMONS– California: California lemons are coming out of District 2, but the crop is mainly choice fruit, with very little fancy fruit. District 3 has just started so the expectation is that quality will improve; overall California lemon quality is improving compared to the last few weeks. Mexico: We are seeing more and more shippers with lemons loading in Texas, but supply is on the lighter side at the moment; it is expected to pick up as we head into the peak of the season. Currently peaking on 140s/165s. Offshore: Chilean lemons are peaking on 140s/165s as well. Argentinian, South African and Chilean quality has been strong on arrival to port all season. However, we have seen some blowers here and there as there have been some delays at ports, but most shippers are saying they are focusing on repacking those containers that experienced delays. Dozens of containers are sitting on vessels waiting to unload so supplies remain tough.
LIMES- The weather forecast in Veracruz, Mexico is showing rain starting on Tuesday through Thursday. The demand for limes has been moderate to low. Size profile is peaking on sizes 230/200/175; size distribution is: 110-6%, 150-11%, 175-18%, 200-20%, 230-23%, and 250-22%. Quality issues being reported on arrival are decay, light color, and short shelf life. Expect to see these quality concerns for the next few weeks. Looking ahead, we expect a little decrease of the available fruit in October; however, quality will start to improve.
CANTALOUPE- California: Cantaloupe production remains steady and is expected stay steady through September. Demand is keeping up with the production. Sizing is peaking on 9 count with light supplies on jumbo 9 count and 12 count. Very few 15 count as well. Quality and sugar remain good. Ontario: Ontario cantaloupe production will wind down this week and be done by Friday. Quality continues to be very good with excellent flavor and 14-15% brix.
HONEYDEW- Demand exceeds supplies. Honeydew are extremely tight in California and are expected to stay that way throughout the rest of the California season until transition to the desert begins in early October. Sizing has been an even split between 5/6 counts followed by jumbo 5 count, although limited supplies. Sizing is peaking on 8 count. Quality and sugar have been good with some scarring present. Flexibility with sizing may be required to cover orders.
PEARS- We have new crop California Bartlett, red pears and Bosc pears as well as new crop Washington new crop Bartletts, red pears, and Bosc shipping now. The California crop has been shipping for around 8 weeks now and they have a good crop of all sizes with good quality. The crop in Washington is looking a little smaller in volume this year and the fruit will run one to two sizes smaller than last season. Overall, there will be plenty of fruit to promote and advertise. Ontario Bartletts, Clapp pears and now Bosc pears continue. Quality is very good.
STONE FRUIT- California: Markets remain steady. Nectarines look to finish up in the next week. Peach volume is decreasing as we get into October. Plenty of plums through November. Quince and California pomegranates continue with more volume than last week. Pricing still remains high but will ease as production increases. Domestic: Ontario peaches are finished. Ontario nectarines, will wrap up early this week. Blue Damson and prune plums continue.
CLEMENTINES/MANDARINS- Both Clementine’s and mandarins have started to get tighter. Product is currently coming from Chile and South Africa in 15x2lb packs. Quality and brix have been pretty good, but we hear they are not eating great right now. Shipments have been delayed at ports as well causing some supply and quality issues. Expect these issues to continue for the near future.
AVOCADO- Avocado supplies have been fairly limited during the past week and pricing has remained at higher levels. Mexico’s production was limited by rain and a holiday slowdown, along with lighter California and Peruvian inventory. Mexico is now more than 80% of the total supply to the United States and the Flora crop size curve is showing more large sizes while small sizes become less available. Meanwhile, Mexico’s Aventajada crop is starting up and the size curve is expected to be heavy to smaller sizes during the start of the crop. Industry arrival totals last week are around 47.5 million pounds. Mexico shipped 37.5 million pounds, California harvested 2 million pounds, Colombia brought in 320,000 pounds, and Peru delivered 7.6 million pounds. Current inventories at the border are estimated to be in the mid 40-million-pound range and are expected to increase gradually through the end of the week. Mexico leads the industry with 80% of total inventory. Weekly averages for the next four weeks are expected to adjust upwards to the 55-59+ million-pound range, when combining arrivals from the end of the crops from California and Peru, in addition to Mexico’s new crop harvest. Mexico- Michoacán reported a 47.6-million-pound harvest last week with 37.5 million pounds shipping to the U.S. The new Aventajada crop makes up 31% of last week’s harvest. This week, Flor Loca continues to make up most of the harvest, however more of the Aventajada will become available each week and is coming in with a more normal size curve. With the new crop ramping up, the industry expects supply to continue improving in the coming weeks, barring any rain. California- Harvest last week was 2 million pounds. Expected harvest for this week is around 1.2 million pounds, and for next week is around 350,000 pounds. The season forecast remains around 250+ million pounds. Peru- Peru’s delivery last week was 7.6 million pounds. Expected arrivals for the current and next week are 4+ and 2+ million pounds, respectively. Peruvian arrivals are listed at 195+ million pounds for the 2021 season. Market Outlook- Industry inventories remain flat. This week, the industry expects to see a slight increase in shipments out of Mexico, due to the continued harvest of the Flor Loca crop and the start of the new crop. The size curve continues to lean toward smaller fruit, but is expected to improve as the industry sees more shipments of the Aventajada crop in the coming weeks. Harvest out of California is winding down and is expected to finish in the next few weeks. Peruvian shipments are decreasing week over week.
GRAPES– As we start to see the seasons change, we have started to also see some change within the California grape season, as late season varieties begin harvest and supply begins its turn into heavy red seedless production from the fields. Looking ahead, we will see the push from the vineyards on red seedless varieties for opportunistic value and volumes. Don’t forget about varieties like Candy Hearts, Candy Dream, Kissy Pops, Sweet Carnivals, and more. There are also good supplies of Ontario blue coronation seedless grapes available now.
HOTHOUSE TOMATO- Red Tomato On-The-Vine: Demand is very poor on tomatoes right now. Markets are depressed. Due to heavy production on right now for field grown tomatoes (and other seasonal tomato items) which is causing shoppers to have more buying options. Into October, we should expect to see a lot more vine tomatoes in the market at this point as crops grown under lights cycle back in. Expecting field grown options to drop as quality and production levels drop for field grown. Retailers will be looking for high quality new crop tomatoes. There should be good options available into the later part of September and early part of October as all the greenhouse crops cycle back in along with Mexico. Beefsteak: Much like vine tomato, we are seeing very light demand as there are a lot of options available. Greenhouse growers have not been focusing on tomato promotions due to threat of the rugose virus and crops cycling out. Expecting the markets to remain weaker in pricing until field production starts to fall off. Quality on Canadian greenhouse crops is on the weaker side due to all the heat we experienced recently. Into October, USA grown crops start back into production and we expect to see more production become available. Field crops are anticipated to slow down at this time but still be in good supply. We’re anticipating an earlier exit to the field deal though as we have experienced a lot of heat and this will push a flush of field grown off mostly all at once. Bite Size (Cherry, Grape, Cocktail, Tomberry, Medley): We are seeing demand easing for snacking now also. Field supply on tomatoes and more is very abundant at the moment and greenhouse supply is expected to start picking up over the coming weeks as crops start back up. Quality is good right now all around. In October, we will be nearing our supply peak at this time as almost all crops in Canada will be back in production and Mexican crops will be all in full supply. Quality and taste levels will be good. We are expecting demand levels to pick up at this time too as field grown options become less available and quality becomes poorer.
MATURE GREEN TOMATOES– Round, Roma, and grape tomato inventories have been affected by poor weather in many growing regions; markets remain elevated due to stronger demand and very light supplies. East Coast: Mature green round and roma tomato supplies are lighter as regions recover from past severe weather. Markets are higher. Volume is lower due to previous tropical storms which has impacted plant health and yields. Tennessee and North Carolina regions are expected to have a shorter season this year; additional grading is required. Virginia fall crops are settling into moderate production with crown picks; grape quality is nice. Michigan and Ontario vine ripe and roma production continues, however, recent record rainfall will have a negative impact, possibly ending the season. Grape tomato supplies remain strong, with good quality. Cherry tomato volume continues to be light. Expect light volume on cherry tomatoes through the remainder of the summer program. Looking ahead the Quincy, Florida growing region is expected to start sometime in mid-October baring any major weather events. West Coast: California mature green round supplies will remain steady for the week. Overall quality from Northern California is good; sizes are peaking at 6x6 and 6x7. Roma supplies remain light this week and that should continue to be the case for the balance of the season. Expect better supplies by mid-October. The Oceanside region is expected to have good supply of vine ripes over the next two to three weeks. Mexico has steady volume as it works past previous weather. Vine ripe and roma volume in Jalisco and San Luis Potosi is on the lighter side due to prior rain storms; quality is good. The Baja region is experiencing rain this week and some grape and roma harvests are delayed; overall volume is expected to increase mid-October. Roma quality is good; large to jumbo sizes are more prevalent. Prices should remain elevated over the next two to three weeks. Grape tomato volume remains decent crossing through all major borders, while cherry tomato volume remains lighter. Quality is good.
APPLES- Washington: The apple market remains firm this week as demand remains good. We expect this tight and higher priced market to remain this way for the next several weeks as inventories are less than last year at this time. The tightest items are Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and large Royal Galas. The varieties that are the best value right now are small Fuji and Ambrosia apples. New crop Galas, Honeycrisp, Granny Smiths and early Gold Delicious have now started in Washington and another round of varieties will start up over the next couple of weeks. It is too early to predict the size of the new crop but the impact of the heat wave in Washington will most certainly have a negative on the crop. Expectations at this point are for a crop similar to last season or less but it is still very early to get any accurate reads on the size and condition of the new crop. Ontario/Quebec/Michigan/New York: There are still some very light supplies of Northern Spy’s left in storage from last season. Quality is good with steady pricing. New crop Royal Gala, MacIntosh, Empires, Cortland and Ginger Golds have started, with good supplies.
NEW ITEMS NOW IN SEASON
NECTARINE / PEACH / RED and BLACK PLUMS / QUEBEC ROMAINE / QUEBEC ICEBURG / QUEBEC LEAF / SHELLED PEAS / ONTARIO PICKLING CUCUMBER / ONTARIO POTATO / ONTARIO CORN / ONTARIO BROCCOLI / ONTARIO PEELED BABY CARROT / ONTARIO FIELD TOMATO / ONTARIO ROMA / ONTARIO GREEN PEPPERS / ONTARIO RED PEPPER / PRUNE PLUMS / BLUE CORONATION GRAPES / ONTARIO PEARS / PUMPKINS / GOURDS / INDIAN CORN / POMEGRANATE / QUINCE
ITEMS THAT ARE SHORT
ITEMS NO LONGER AVAILABLE
STARFRUIT / PUNTARELLE / PERSIMONS / SEVILLE ORANGES / HONEY TANGERINE / MEYER LEMONS / POLE FLAT BEAN / BLOOD ORANGES / FLORIDA JUICE ORANGE / RHUBARB / ENGLISH PEA / CHERRIES / GARLIC SCAPE / GOLD KIWI / APRICOTS / ONTARIO YELLOW PLUMS / ONTARIO PEACH / PICKLING DILL / ONTARIO STRAWBERRIES / FAVA BEANS / CARA CARA ORANGE