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August 19, 2013



COMMODITY ALERT: Strawberry market continues to be active with very good demand and limited supply. The quality is fair which will not improve until new crop in September/October

Weather: Tim Lynch An upper level cut-off low pressure system off the Central California coast will remain off shore before moving out of the region late this week. Temperatures will remain below seasonal norms as this system lingers off shore. A weak high pressure ridge begins to build late this week allowing for slight warming Friday into next week. Temperatures will moderate to the mid-80s to low 90s in the warmer interior valleys with the expected marine layer and sea breeze allowing for seasonal temperatures in the mid to upper 60s near the coast.

Blackberry supplies limited with fair quality Potatoes continue with low pack outs on Burbanks. New Crop Norkotahs have started Lemons have are in a severe a demand exceed supply situation and looks to go through August and into September this way Avocado supplies are very short. Demand is out pacing supplies. Mexico supplies are very light and looks to gap before new crop starts in September Broccoli volumes will be in short supply this week. Cello Spinach quality is fair at best with bruising being the main problem industry wide

Freight: Mike McIntire AUAI

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Trucks in California remain steady but should tighten up toward the end of the week when the Labor Day pull starts. Trucks in the Northwest and Idaho are steady. The national average for diesel remained steady at 3.896 per gallon and should trend steady when it comes out later today. Crude oil remains over 100.00 per barrel and is currently at 107.24 per barrel.

Commodity Updates APPLES/PEARS John Tole Washington Reds continue to peak on extrafancy 88/100’s and the market is steady. Some suppliers will deal for volume on the smaller sizes. Most packers have finished with Golden Delicious. Gingergolds & Earlygolds are steady and peaking on higher grade 80/88’s. Granny-Smiths are also steady but are now peaking on 80-100’s in the Premium grade. California will start packing new-crop Granny-Smith in approximately 10 days. Washington C.A. Galas are finished for the season. Washington will have new crop Gala’s next week. California Gala’s are slightly lower on 88’s and larger and are steady on 100’s and smaller. They are still producing mostly smaller fruit. Washington Fuji’s are steady but extremely short on the smaller sizes. Most Washington Fuji’s are peaking on 72/80’s. Washington D’Anjou’s pears are essentially finished for the season. Washington Bartlett pears are steady to lower and are peaking on 100/110’s. California Bartlett Pears are steady to lower on the 90’s and larger and are steady on 100’s and smaller. California Bartlett’s are peaking on 100/110’s as well. Red Pears are also available in California and they are steady on all sizes. Washington Red pears are heavy to 50/55’s and prices are steady but supplies are light.

Commodities at a glance… Quality


Apples Asparagus

Good Good

Steady Lower

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)





Fair Fair Good Fair Good Good Good Fair Good Fair Good Good Average

Steady Higher Steady Higher Higher Steady Steady Steady Steady Steady Higher Steady Higher

Eggplant (Western)



ASPARAGUS - Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco Supplies are stronger in Mexico and Peru, and this has softened the market. Demand has fallen off as well. Mexico production will end late September to early October pending weather. Standard and large sizing is still having the best availability. Jumbo and Extra Large asparagus are still tight.

Eggplant (Eastern)



Grapes, Green Grapes, Red Green Onions Lettuce: Leaf Lettuce: Iceberg

Excellent Excellent Good Fair Fair

Steady Steady Steady Steady Higher

Melons: Cantaloupe



AVOCADO Tim Kelley Demand remains strong on all sizes and is exceeding supplies on 60’s and smaller and now pushing supplies on larger fruit. Shipments are still setting industry records. Mexico’s supplies are still very light and Mexican growers are demanding much higher field prices than US shippers are willing or able to pay. California size curve has adjusted upward slightly producing more of the larger fruit and much less on the smaller fruit; overall resulting in a rising market on the 60’s and 70’s

Melons: Honeydew Onions Pears Potatoes Squash (Western) Squash (Eastern) Stone Fruit Tomatoes (Western) Tomatoes (Eastern) Watermelon

Excellent Good Good Fair Good Fair Excellent Good Good Good

Steady Steady Lower Steady Higher Steady Steady Higher About Steady Higher

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Commodity Updates Z and an industry not getting enough supply to meet demand. Peruvian fruit has arrived and is helping out some on the supplies of larger fruit, but not much on the small fruit. Market is very volatile.

BELL PEPPERS Western Bells: Mike Cantu Green bell market is trying to find its spot. Crops are currently shipping from Southern California and have started with mostly large fruit available. Bells are loading from Bakersfield, Thermal, Gilroy, Los Angeles, and South Texas. Recent weather though, has affected harvesting as some districts are experiencing stages of bloom drop. New lots expected to pick up pace in terms of supplies. Open field colored Red bell market is generally higher as they have gone through recent hot weather also. Demand exceeds availability from Southern California. New districts are coming online soon. Gold bells markets continue steady availability depends on growing district. Extreme demand exceeds Eastern Bells: Janine Baird As continued wet weather hampers pepper production in all of the Northern growing regions, production is at a minimum and quality is marginal. BERRIES Mike Gorczyca Strawberries: The strawberry market continues to be active with great demand. Production has fallen of sharper than originally forecasted for all shippers. Strawberry plants are in their late summer stage, which produce weaker quality fruit. This will continue till the fall crop starts up the end of September beginning of October. Expect to see some quality issues upon arrival with bruising, overripe, light mold and decay. Only order what you need due to the short shelf life of the fruit. Same day of orders will be non-existent and will have to load following day. Please send all orders with as much advance notice as possible. The weather forecast is calling for a chance of thunderstorms into Wednesday then clearing Thursday through the weekend. Look for this market to be active for the next month or longer. Hold on for the wild ride. Raspberries: The raspberry market is steady with better availability and moderate demand.

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Supplies are still coming out of Watsonville/Salinas and Oxnard. Quality is good. Blackberries: The blackberry market is very active with late summer supplies slowly winding down. Expect to see declining production until Central Mexico kicks in early October. This market will continue to firm up for the next couple of weeks. Supplies are still coming out of Watsonville/Salinas, Santa Maria, and Central America loading in Florida. Quality is being reported as fair to good. Blueberries: Blueberry market is starting to firm up with moderate demand and lighter supplies (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Michigan and Indiana). Indiana will finish up for the season this week. Quality is being reported as good. BROCCOLI Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The broccoli market is firm on bunched product as well as crowns out of Salinas and Santa Maria. Quality is still nice with solid green color and good crown size. Expect bunched product as well as crowns to have light to moderate availability at least thru the middle of the week. CARROTS Tim Kelley Supplies of JBO carrots are snug some as carrots grown in the coastal areas of California are going and size is an issue. Quality is good, but full size has not come yet. Market is firm. CAULIFLOWER Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The cauliflower market is firm to begin the week. The best size continues to be in twelve counts with most suppliers. Supplies are expected to be moderate at best, so with a good demand, this market could get stronger by the end of the week. The gap in pricing amongst shippers has closed considerably. Issues of yellowing and brown spotting continue to be an issue sporadically from order to order. CELERY Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The celery market has remained unchanged from last week. Small sizing is still demanding a higher price. Michigan is in full swing with production. Volumes are good out of Salinas and Santa Maria. The best deals shippers are offering continue to be in twenty four and thirty counts so push as much as possible.

Commodity Updates Z CITRUS Tim Kelley Lemons: Demand exceeds supplies on all sizes from all shippers. Summer time demand is great and relief from the off shore imports have not come yet. Chile is sending most of their crop to Europe for higher prices and Mexico is only now beginning to pick some limited volume and will not have much to the market for a few weeks. Look for short supplies until new crop desert lemon start in September. Oranges: The Valencia oranges are beginning to re-green. Re-greening occurs as the orange continues to ripen on the tree and the summer’s warmer weather and longer day’s cause the orange’s skin to reabsorb chlorophyll, resulting in a green skin at the stem end. The fruit is still fully ripe, sweet and eats well. Valencia sizing is currently peaking on113’s and 138’s. Demand for small oranges has increase and market is firming. Limes: Supplies are fair and steady. Rains in the growing area of Mexico are on and off. Quality is now becoming an issue with these rains (stylar, Brown/sugar spots and lighter color).

CUCUMBERS Western Cucumber: Mike Cantu Market is generally steady albeit high FOBS. Supplies’ meeting demand but movement is brisk and pre-books are helpful. Cucumbers are mostly from Baja California other from Fresno some gaps occurring. Eastern Cucumbers: Janine Baird Cucumber production continues to be extremely low due to cool, wet weather in Michigan. Similar issues in the Northeast mean no relief can be found there. With no increase in temperatures on the horizon and rains persisting, we can expect continued high markets and limited availability. Additionally, quality issues are arising in the available product as a result of disease caused by the recent rains. Expect this market to remain high and quality to be marginal, at best. EGGPLANT Western Eggplant: Mike Cantu Market is very unsettled as supplies are very light and demand is outpacing supplies. There is a wide range of quality and lighter supplies

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due to impending transitions and awaiting new lots to come online. Some districts wrapping up earlier than expected due to late June’s heat wave. Most sizing harvested is 24ct. Eastern Eggplant: Janine Baird With wet weather hampering eggplant production, look for this trend to continue as there appears to be no relief in sight from the rain and cool evening temps. GRAPES: Amy Grolnick Most shippers in the valley are finishing up in the next couple of weeks on the Flames and transitioning to Crimson and Scarlet Royals. It looks like with the cooler temperatures in the valley they are coloring up nicely and we will continue to see plenty of reds. The green grapes also are plentiful with Sugarones, Princess and Thompsons shipping out. Black seedless has excellent quality and very good availability as well. The market on flames has firmed up slightly with good demand and lighter supplies as we transition to other varieties. GREEN ONIONS Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The market is steady on all sizing with most suppliers. Good supplies and quality are expected throughout the week. Mexico and California are the major growing regions currently. This market is expected to remain steady throughout the week. LEAF LETTUCE Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco The leaf market is steady with most suppliers. There are a few shippers that are commanding a higher price, but this is not indicative of the true market. Supplies are good, overall. There continues to be quality issues such as tip and fringe burn. Romaine Hearts will continue to be in good supply this week. Green and red leaf will have good supplies as well with most suppliers throughout the week. LETTUCE Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco This market is softer as demand has lightened up considerably. Schools have begun in a light way with more to open in the next few weeks. This will inevitably cause the market to get stronger. Supplies are on the light side with a few suppliers, but overall, there is definitely a surplus of product compared to past weeks.

Commodity Updates The weights continue to range 38 to 43 pounds. Some issues on quality include tip burn, some mechanical damage, light weights and pink ribbing. MELONS: Amy Grolnick Cantaloupe: The market has been stabilizing for the past several days. The run of sizes has spread across the board with most sizes being available. The 18’s are the least available size. Demand is good and product is moving nicely. Quality is good to excellent. Honeydew: With better temperatures for melons in the valley the honeydew are making sugars. The honeydews are also available in all sizes. Demand is good and quality is also good to excellent. ONIONS John Tole New Mexico and California continue packing and they are steady but both areas are winding down. Washington and Idaho/Oregon continue packing yellows and they are also steady. It appears that the old will transition out smoothly as the new comes in. Reds are also steady in California, New Mexico, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Red onion availability remains low in New Mexico and California. Whites are steady in both California and New Mexico but most shippers have light supplies. There are a few whites in the northwest but supplies are still fairly limited. The quality has been good on all colors. POTATOES John Tole Idaho Norkotahs are steady on all sizes and packs. The quality/maturity on the Idaho Norkotahs has been fairly good. Idaho Burbanks are quickly disappearing in fact we only have one supplier still quoting them. Washington Norkotahs are steady on all sizes and continue to peak on 80-count and smaller. Nebraska & Colorado Norkotahs are also steady and they are peaking on the smaller counts. Wisconsin russets are steady on all sizes and they continue to peak on 90-count and smaller. Stockton, California continues packing Red, White, and Gold potatoes and they are all peaking on A-size. Eastern Washington is still packing Reds and Golds and they remain heavy to B-size. Western Washington has started packing red potatoes. Wisconsin red potatoes are steady to lower and

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Continued the availability is improving. Minnesota & Texas continue packing red potatoes as well and they are also down slightly. SQUASH Western Squash: Mike Cantu Market continues unsettled on both Italian and Yellow S/N. Production has started in earnest with wide range of quality. Light supplies of both Italian and yellow s/n squash causing market to inch up as demand pressures pricing. New districts started up in Southern California but, recent hot weather has affected harvesting and production. Eastern Squash: Janine Baird With temps in Michigan and throughout the Northeast continuing to drop to well below average levels and rains showing no sign of letting up, squash production has been extremely low. Expect this market to remain high and rain-related quality issues to abound. STONE FRUIT Amy Grolnick Peaches have good availability on large fruit but small fruit is very scarce. Peaches, however, will get more limited over the next couple of weeks as the San Joaquin valley is at the end of their season. Bakersfield will have peaches available starting at the end of the month for late season fruit. Peaches are peaking to 40’s and larger. Nectarines will continue with good availability through Labor Day, these are the item to promote on. There are good supplies of black plums with reds a little more limited. However, plums should be available through September. TOMATOES Aaron Aliotti Western: Supplies in the west continue to be spotty with a majority of volumes consisting of larger sized fruit. Prices are firm across the board where all varieties continue to run tight. More hot weather is expected over California and Baja regions exceeding 100 degrees through the beginning of next week. Eastern: Inconsistent weather patterns continue to support the elevation of recent markets with more rain in Florida and unusually high temperatures in the Northeast. Demand is up for rounds and Romas coming to market in lighter volumes, most of which are coming from Alabama, Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Commodity Updates More rains are expected North of Florida through next week moving south with tropical th. moisture drying up around the 18 VALUE ADDED Gabe Romero/Mike Pacheco Supplies are getting better on lettuce as demand has fallen off. Both broccoli and cauliflower supplies will be light to moderate throughout the week. Averages continue to be watched on these two commodities. There is no escalated pricing on any value added item currently. WATERMELON Mike Cantu Market settling availability is demand exceeds as some districts are wrapping and the available fruit is in limited hands. We expect New Mexico to start mid-August. Most availability is in bins and very limited cartons.

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