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February 16, 2016

Market News

Avocados: Mexico has dropped their crop estimate for this season down by 25 percent. They have been shipping to the states weekly on the average of 45 million pounds of fruit with peak weeks of 50 to 52 million pounds. They are now telling us that we are to expect only 25 to 30 million per week through the end of this crop ending in June. Mexican growers have raise field prices, are doing so every other day. US shippers are agreeing to these price increases and are still falling short of fruit need to fill demand. Market prices have jumped up 25-30 percent across to board and all sizes and grades of fruit.
Blackberries: Blackberry availability continues to be very limited this week. Although there has been some slightly warmer temperatures in Mexico, the changes have not been sufficient enough to make a big difference in production. Yields remain low and volume is limited. Shippers anticipate increased supplies over the next 2 weeks as the weather continues to improve.
Blueberries: Blueberry supplies continue to remain tight this week. A delayed vessel has limited the amount of available import fruit in California. This vessel is expected to arrive Thursday and will help relieve some of the shortages on the west coast for the weekend and early next week. Peruvian production is coming to end and volume continues to decline. Chilean production has been gradually decreasing and is expected to last another 2-3 weeks. Mexico harvest is ramping up and is expected to improve as we move forward. Peak Mexico production will be late March.
Raspberries: Raspberry availability continue to be limited this week, but supplies are expected to gradually improve as we move forward. Mexican production is slowly improving as the weather warms up and we expect to see improvements every week as we move toward spring. California harvest will be light this week (depending on weather) and is expecting to see increased production over the next 2-3 weeks.
Lemons: The desert crop is fully harvested and this is the last week of shipping. Central Valley crop is faced with limited production with the on and off rains they are getting. Rains coming again beginning on Thursday and forecasted through Wednesday of next week. With this rain comes size growth, with more 95s/115s/140s and less 165s/200s. The Ventura crop has just began some limited harvest of their crop, but they are also will be getting rain this week, so harvest has been limited. Over all supplies are beginning to tighten with the desert finishing and rains in the other two areas.
Limes: The lime market is steady to higher on all sizes. The higher market is due to an overall increase in demand and shorter supplies especially on 110’s through 175’s. The old crop harvest is in the larger size profile 110/150’s while the new crop is 230/250’s. The supply of old crop limes is dropping off faster than the new crop is producing. The quality is good with very few problems being reported other than an occasional stylar end breakdown. Rain is being reported in the growing region so we may have disrupted supplies and quality.
Navel Oranges: Rains last week put harvest off and growers got behind in picking and bin inventory was very low to begin the week. Clear weather to begin this week and growers are picking as much as the can before a new series of wet storms hit the growing area for California Navels again on Thursday and is forecasted through Wednesday of next week. What harvest that does get done before rains begin again is expected to just enough to meet this weeks demand. Availability for next week will be very limited on all sizes and grades until weather clears and groves dry out.
Iceberg Lettuce: Overall, this market is firm. Heavy rains in Southern California will be the norm for 5-6 days straight starting Thursday. This will inevitably hurt production of all lettuce items in Oxnard and Santa Maria. Value added lettuce items will be light in availability through the month of February. Next week looks to be the worst in terms of production. Shippers will be holding to twelve week averages. The market will be active next week. Quality issues continue. Discoloration, pink ribbing, misshapen heads, and mildew have been reported. These defects are being reported from most shippers. Rain in the desert has been predicted by the end of the week, furthering shortness of supplies.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes from Mexico continue to cross US boarders in heavy volumes. Large sizes are more available with most all crossing into America at the mandated anti dumping price minimums. Roma tomatoes are also widely available and large in size. Grape tomatoes have dipped in production slightly but not enough to see a change in the market. With favorable weather this week supply will continue to exceed demand well past valentine’s day. With favorable weather conditions no change to the market is expected for the foreseeable future.

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