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The Source



May 21, 2012




Red grapes extremely limited

Central California will see a change in the typical summertime weather pattern early this week as a cool low pressure system approaches the region. As this slow moving system moves through the region it will bring cooler temperatures and a deepening marine layer (fog and low clouds, especially along the coast) along with strong winds the latter part of the week. Temperatures will moderate through the week with seasonal norms today gradually cooling into the weekend. Temperatures will be well below normal late this week throughout the region with gradual warming next week.

Small oranges are extremely limited

Romaine, Green Leaf, and Red Leaf are showing signs of blister and epidermal peel

Weather is seasonal in most growing areas with temperatures being seasonal and warm in some areas

Freight: Mike McIntire Trucks in California tightened up a little this week with rates higher than normal due to the Memorial Day pull. Trucks in the Northwest remain steady. Crude oil remains below 100.00 per barrel and is currently at 92.29 per barrel. The National Average dropped slightly last week to 4.004 per gallon and should drop slightly when it comes out later today.

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Commodity Updates APPLES/PEARS John Tole New York is still packing light volumes of McIntosh, Empires, Rome’s, and Red Delicious but they are almost finished for the season. Washington Red Delicious is still peaking on higher grade 88 & 100’s. Lower grade reds remain tight as we approach the end of the storage season. Golden Delicious are heavy to the higher grades and 88/100 sizes as well. Lower grade Golden’s are also tight. GrannySmiths are heavy to higher grade 88/100 sizes too and are also limited on the lower grades. Galas are peaking on 88’s and smaller and the higher grades but remain limited. Washington Fuji’s are peaking on extra fancy 72/80’s but supplies are very short right now and the market is higher on all sizes. D‘Anjou pears continue to peak on the US#1 grade and are evenly spread across the size spectrum but supplies are limited especially on the fancy grade. Washington Bosc pears are still heavy to the smaller sizes but supplies are very short. There are a few Red Pears still available but they are almost finished. ASPARAGUS Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco This market is firm to start the week. Suppliers are very light in availability. Supplies out of Mexico continue to be very light. Production from Peru shows light availability as well. Domestic grass is being harvested in the Salinas, Bakersfield and Stockton region. Demand exceeds supplies. Suppliers are dealing with the issue of seeding and feathering with this commodity. AVOCADO Tim Kelley Very good demand continues to drive the avocado market. Mexican supplies are declining weekly and will so through June as they major season come to the end. Maturity and flavor are excellent. California fruit harvest continues at a steady pace and is now out pacing the Mexican harvest. California fruit has good maturity, flavor and oil content. BELL PEPPERS Jaime Contreras Western Bells: Green bell market is steady, continuing light supplies of fancy large sized green bell pepper. Diminishing supplies on choice and small fruit as some growers winding down on production as older fields play out.

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Commodities at a glance… Commodity







Excellent Excellent

Steady Steady



Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Fair Fair Good Good Good Good

Steady Lower Lower Steady Steady Steady Steady Higher Lower Higher Higher Steady Steady



Good Fair Good Good Good Good Excellent Good Excellent

Higher Steady Lower Steady Steady Steady Higher Higher Lower

Squash (Western)



Squash (Eastern)


Stone Fruit Tomatoes (Western) Tomatoes (Eastern) Watermelon

Good Good Fair Good

Apples Asparagus Avocado (Mexican) Avocado (California) Bell Peppers (Western) Bell Pepper (Eastern) Berries: Strawberries Berries: Raspberries Berries: Blackberries Berries: Blueberries Broccoli Carrots Cauliflower Celery Citrus: Lemons Citrus: Oranges Cucumbers (Western) Cucumbers (Eastern) Eggplant Red Grapes Green Onions Lettuce: Leaf Lettuce: Iceberg Melons: Cantaloupe Melons: Honeydew Onions Pears Potatoes

Steady Lower Steady Steady Steady

Commodity Updates Z Eastern Bells: Janine Baird Product also winding down in Florida and with GA crop not as good as expected demand and pricing should remain high. Majority of the pepper in GA remains big in size (JBO/XL) with very little off-grade pepper available at all.

BERRIES Mike Gorczyca Strawberries: The strawberry market continues to be strong. Quality in the Santa Maria and Salinas/Watsonville areas is being reported as good. The volumes coming out of Santa Maria are dropping as that region has peaked. The Salinas/Watsonville deal is still running light on volume as we are several weeks behind our normal production for this time of the year. Demand continues to be very good in anticipation of Memorial Day. Raspberries: Quality and supply remain good. Harvested volumes continue to increase daily with the market adjusting slightly to reflect this. Blackberries: The blackberry market has dipped to seasonal lows due to a large influx of volume. However, recent rains in Mexico could adversely affect supplies coming into the U.S. If this happens we have the potential for a rapid turnaround in fob pricing with limited volumes available. Quality is reported as good. Blueberries: The blueberry market has dipped due to increased volume. Recent rains in the Eastern growing regions could change this. West Coast suppliers are experiencing an influx of business from the East Coast. This increased demand is cleaning up available supplies and we are beginning to see a firming on the fob market as shippers begin to sell out. Quality is reported as good. BROCCOLI Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco This market is steady. Suppliers are not offering special pricing on crowns but availability is fine to fill all orders. Bunched product is lighter in supplies compared to last week. Salinas and Santa Maria are the main growing regions for this commodity. Demand is expected to pick up at the end of the week, but for now, this market is steady. CARROTS Tim Kelley California carrot supplies remain good. Sizing of the carrots are improving with steady warm weather, with availability of jumbo size carrots improving.

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CAULIFLOWER Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco This market is a little stronger. The main sizing is coming in the twelve counts. Demand has increased slightly while supplies have lessened. Light brown spotting is being seen upon arrivals, so please be aware. Most shippers continue to deal with this issue. CELERY Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco This market is slightly softer. Supplies have been better, particularly on the small sizes. Many suppliers continue to deal with seeder, but the problem is not as big compared to past weeks. There have been reports of browning on the ends of bunches. Oxnard is the main area of production on this commodity. Santa Maria also has light production. CITRUS Tim Kelley Lemons: Ventura crop harvest is going at full production. Demand is exceeding supplies on 140 and 165 lemons which are normal this time of year. We will not see much relief until Chilean imports begin sometime around mid July. Oranges: The Navels production and supplies are light. Size curve is peaking on 56’s, 72’s. Smaller sizes, 88’s, 113’s, 138’s are demand exceed on supplies. There are a few Valencia oranges being packed, but still limited on them. The sizing of the Valencia’s this year is larger, and many shippers expect 138’s will be a demand exceeds supplies situation throughout the Valencia season. Limes: Supplies are good on all sizes. CUCUMBERS Western Cucumber: Jaime Contreras Market is unsettled upward trend, fancy product is lighter supplies some growers wrapping up wide range of quality. Some growers are winding down. Eastern Cucumbers: Janine Baird Cukes are all but finished in Florida and with reduced acreage/production in GA; cucumber demand should remain high with shortages possible over the next week. Cucumbers have drastically tightened up even more so today. Be prepared to pay more for cukes heading into next week.

Commodity Updates Z EGGPLANT Western Eggplant: Jaime Contreras Market is steady. Still light production on fancy fruit and most availability is on choice and smaller fruit as most growers are winding down in production. Eastern Eggplant: Janine Baird Supplies still mostly from Florida but should begin to see a few GA eggs begin to trickle by the end of next week.

GRAPES: Amy Grolnick The market on the red grapes is steady to lower. We expect to see better availability by the end of the week on flames however for now they are still very limited. Greens have very good availability both in Nogales on Perlettes and in Coachella with Sugarones. The Sugarones are at the premium price. GREEN ONIONS Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco This market is steady. There are good supplies coming out of Mexico. This has made pricing very competitive. The quality continues to have a few issues with decay upon arrival. Pencil sizing will have the best availability. Supplies are expected to be good throughout the week. LEAF LETTUCE Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The leaf market is softer. A few shippers have offered aggressive sharp pricing on all leaf items. Supplies will be good throughout the week. Supplies out of Santa Maria are expected to be stronger, but Salinas will have the best availability of product throughout the week. LETTUCE Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The lettuce market is firm. Many suppliers are harvesting in new fields so the quality is expected to be much better compared to previous weeks. Santa Maria has production also available, with weights similar to Salinas’s lettuce. The weights on palletized lettuce will be a solid 46-48 pounds. MELONS: Amy Grolnick Cantaloupe: Central American fruit just about finished with only bits and pieces left. California fruit very limited in the desert with Yuma and Maricopa, AZ starting at the end of the week into next week.

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Honeydew: There are very few off shore dews left. Mexican fruit continues to cross over into Nogales where both volume and quality are good. The Imperial Valley has good quality and availability of honeydew with mixed melons now available as well. ONIONS John Tole Yellows are limited but steady in Texas. They are packing more this week though so supplies will improve. California is steady on all yellows and they are heavier to jumbos and larger now. Some of the smaller shippers will finish at the end of the week. California reds are steady to lower with a slight increase in availability. Expect the red market to remain steady this week. White onions are available in all areas and are steady to lower. New Mexico is supposed to start packing a few yellows at the end of the week and Huron, California could start packing light volume next week. POTATOES John Tole The carton market in Idaho market remains steady to lower with some flex on volume orders. Number-two’s are slightly lower as well now that most suppliers are packing Burbanks only. Idaho is still peaking on 80’s and smaller. The Washington market is also steady to lower and they are peaking on 60-80’s. Many Washington shippers will also flex for volume. The Colorado market is steady to lower as well and they continue to peak on 50-80’s. Most Colorado shippers are also flexing on volume. The russet quality has been excellent in all areas. Bakersfield is packing new-crop red, gold, and white potatoes and the availability is good for all colors. California is heavy to Bsize and smaller right now. Idaho is still packing a few storage reds and golds and they continue to peak on A-size. Florida continues packing all colors and the market is steady on most sizes and varieties. Most Florida packers are still heavy to A-size in all colors and are limited on B’s and smaller. SQUASH Western Squash: Jaime Contreras Market continues unsettled to upward trend on both Italian and yellow straight neck squashes. Lighter supplies on both yellow s/n squash and

Commodity Updates Italian squash as some older districts run their course and/ or cease production. Eastern Squash: Janine Baird Yellow squash has also finished up in Florida. After rains last week both green and yellow squash has really tightened up, especially good squash. This trend should continue through at least the middle of next week as long as the weather continues to improve. STONE FRUIT Amy Grolnick California apricots, peaches and nectarines are starting to get better size and quality is excellent. The yellow peaches are a little limited but with notice they are available. We will see better sizing and availability over the next few weeks. TOMATOES Jay Martini Western: Volume is definitely diminishing in some Mexican districts, even with harvest out of newer fields. Prices have begun to increase on the mature greens as more business has come out their way due to higher prices in the East. Roma tomatoes have spiked in price as well, with quality variable. st Eastern: The crown (1 ) pickings in the Palmetto/Ruskin district in Florida are about nd rd finished, and reports have the 2 and 3 picks to be minimal because of the heat that bunched up the initial harvest that had been staggered. As we move towards late May, expect yields to decrease more and if demand stays constant, prices will continue to trend upwards. The next area on deck around Memorial Day, the Quincy/Tallahassee district, has reports of much less planted than in previous years. WATERMELON: Jaime Contreras Markets are steady. Continues demand exceeds on s/less watermelon. Current availability on Seedless watermelons is light but, supplies are improving as Northern growing district is coming on line which will help settle the market. Most availability will be in bins on s/less. Lighter production from Northern Growing areas is keeping FOB’s strong. Availability on seeded watermelon is sporadic as those growing districts wind down in production.

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continued VALUE ADDED Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The lettuce quality is expected to be much better for processors to work with. The Romaine supplies are strong. Broccoli supplies are ample for all orders. The cauliflower supplies should be moderate to good for the entire week. Occasional brown spotting has been reported on this commodity.

The Source 05-21-2012  
The Source 05-21-2012  

Produce news for North America.