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Retail Produce Market Report 12-14-17

Retail Produce Market Report 12-14-17

 December 14, 2017

  

WEATHER OUTLOOK

California: High pressure continues out west as warm dry conditions persist into next week. Southern California will see another occurrence of the powerful Santa Ana winds on Thursday, reaching speeds of 20-35 mph. Warm temperatures in the Southwestern Desert region will rise slightly into next week.

Mexico: Warm temperatures continue in Central Mexico under weak high pressure as moisture from the south brings scattered showers to the northern regions.

Florida: A weak cold front moves into Northern Florida with scattered showers and cooler temperatures. A stronger system is expected by next week, bringing rain to much of the state.

 

TOMATOES

ALERT: The tomato market continues to be elevated against ALL varieties with no relief in sight until mid-January. The after effects of Hurricane Irma and cold weather in Florida and Mexico have continued to restrict tomato supplies to historical lows.

Heirloom Tomatoes: Supplies and sizing will be down until the third week of December at minimum.

Cherry Tomatoes: Some downward pressure on pricing this week as demand weakens.

Grape Tomatoes: Steady supplies from Eastern Mexico and Baja, along with balanced demand is resulting in steady prices for next week. Quality is good, though some issues are evident in older fields. The transition from Palmetto/Ruskin to South Florida will begin over the next few weeks, fortunately a supply gap is not expected.

 

ORGANIC TOMATOES

Organic Heirloom Tomatoes: Supplies are expected to gap through mid-January.

Organic Hot House Tomatoes: The market is elevated and supplies are exceedingly low.

Organic Cluster Tomatoes: The market remains elevated.

Organic Cherry & Grape Tomatoes: Volume remains limited out of Mexico.

Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes: Supplies are limited and the market is trending upward.

 

BELL PEPPERS

Green Bells: Supplies are extremely limited out of the east with Georgia now done for the season. Improvement is expected over the next couple weeks. On the west, supplies are low but quality is good.

Red Bells: Product is currently shipping out of Coachella, Otay, and Nogales. Supplies will be lighter for the week due to cooler temperatures. FOB prices are firming up, and quality is good.

Yellow Bells: Sufficient supplies are currently loading through Nogales.

Mini Sweet Peppers: Supplies are tight as heat has affected volume in the west and eastern crops have been damaged by Irma. The market is expected to remain firm for the balance of December.

 

ONIONS

Idaho: Volume is significantly reduced compared to the previous season. Pricing will likely remain elevated as demand exceeds supplies. Sizes are peaking mostly on mediums and jumbos with fewer larger onions. Transportation remains the largest factor on pricing, with trucks being extremely limited. This is propelling heavier movement from regions outside the northwest, creating no relief on pricing.

 

AVOCADOS

Mexico: We continue to see issues with the supplies crossing the border from Mexico due to closures of several packing sheds in the region. These closures are the result of a politically driven decision by the board of elected growers in Mexico. Unfortunately, domestic marketing companies have no control over supply or any influence on re-opening these facilities. We expect a gradual increase in FOB prices over the next several weeks. Negotiations are currently unresolved, with the potential of organized shutdowns occurring this weekend, which will further tighten supplies.

 

CITRUS

Lemons: Demand continues to be strong and exceeds supplies. With this year’s Desert crop significantly lighter in volume, shipper production is starting to fall off. The Central Valley crop has just begin to harvest and pack limited volume, consisting mostly of fancy grade. The market is expected to remain extremely active going into January.

Limes: Supplies are expected to remain steady this week. Demand has slowed down slightly and shippers are looking to make aggressive deals in order to push volume. Sizing has been consistent, though occasional light color is being reported. Supplies will continue to improve over the next 2-3 weeks. Market prices will be steady to slightly lower over the next week and volume deals will be available.

 

BERRIES

Strawberries: We are receiving reports of ash in most fields in Santa Maria, though many shippers are confident fruit will not be affected. These fires follow a week of temperatures below freezing. Sunny skies with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s are forecasted. This region is reporting some bruising, soft shoulder, overripe fruit, frost damage and ash residue. The Oxnard winter crop is anticipated to start within the next couple of weeks.

Berries: Prices have stabilized. Chilean temperatures are rising, increasing volume and improving flavor. Mexican supplies are slowly increasing. Excellent quality being reported with a deep blue color, firm skins and flesh that tastes mildly sweet.

About TidBits

TidBits is a blog by Veg-Fresh Farms, a place to find training, trends, recipes, and more. Check back weekly for retail and food service insights, as well as what's happening in the Veg-Fresh Farms Test Kitchen.

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