PRODUCE COMMODITY UPDATE – WEEK OF JUNE 3, 2012

nina | June 6th, 2012 - 9:00 am

PRODUCE COMMODITY UPDATE.

APPLES/PEARS
New York is still packing light volumes of Empires, Rome’s, and Red Delicious but will finish early this year. Washington Red is peaking on 88/100’s and the higher grades.
Lower grade fruit remains tight as we approach the end of the storage season. Golden’s are heavy to the higher grades and the 88/100 sizes. Lower grade Golden’s are also limited.  Granny-Smiths are peaking on extra fancy 88/100 sizes and are also limited on the lower grades. Galas are peaking on 88’s and smaller and the higher grades but are very limited. The Gala market will continue to rise as supplies dry up. Washington Fuji’s are peaking on extra fancy 72-88’s but supplies are very short as they are almost finished for the season.

D‘Anjou pears continue to peak on the US#1grade and are evenly spread across the size spectrum but supplies are limited especially on the fancy grade. Washington Bosc pears are essentially finished. There are a few Red Pears still available but they are also almost finished as well. California will have new crop Bartlett Pears at the end of July.

ASPARAGUS
This market is firm. Suppliers continue to have very light availability. Supplies out of Mexico continue to be very light. Production from Peru shows light availability as well. Domestic grass is winding down. Demand exceeds supplies. Suppliers continue to deal with the issue of seeding and feathering with this commodity.

AVOCADO
Mexican supplies are declining weekly, with decent volume through June. California volume is increasing; peaking on 60ct, with 48ct and larger in short supply. California fruit has good maturity, flavor and oil content.

BELL PEPPERS
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. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week. 

Southern California product starting but will be into mostly big fruit. Colored bell market is unsettled. There is a wide range of quality on red bells as growers begin to wrap up on open field product. Transition will continue to other districts in Baja California and southern California. Nogales will continue to with colored bells (mostly hot house) but, supplies are gradually becoming lighter as some growers wind down. We suggest loading from southern California after this week.
Eastern Bells:
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
Strawberries: The main growing area currently for strawberries is the Salinas/Watsonville areas. Strawberry counts are running large 9 – 14 count with 95% full color. Quality is good.  Santa Maria growing area has hit their peak a few weeks ago. Strawberry counts out of this growing area are running 18-22 count with 95% full color. Quality is good to fair. The strawberry market is steady to slightly weaker.
Raspberries: Quality is being reported as good. The cool weather has slowing harvest and has tightened up supplies. Market is firm.
Blackberries: The blackberry market is short due to rains down in Mexico. Local supplies out of California have started but are very limited and will not get up to speed for a few more weeks. Quality is being reported as fair to good.
Blueberries: The blueberry market has dipped due to increased volume on both coasts.  Quality is reported as good.

BROCCOLI
This market is active. Suppliers are not offering special pricing on crowns but availability is fine to fill all orders. Bunched product is lighter in supplies. Salinas and Santa Maria are the main growing regions for this commodity. Demand looks to be active throughout the week.

CARROTS
California carrot supplies remain good. Sizing of the carrots are improving with steady warm weather, with availability of jumbo size carrots improving.

CAULIFLOWER
This market continues to gain strength. The main sizing is coming in the twelve counts. Demand has increased, 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
This market is softer. Supplies are good on large sizing, 24s and 30s in particular. 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. Salinas will not begin production for another month.

CITRUS
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. The Valencia orange crop continues to increase in supply but sizing is running heavy to the 88’s and larger.
Limes: Supplies are good on all sizes.

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is settling, fancy product is lighter supplies some growers wrapping up wide range of quality. We are approaching the wrapping up point on this commodity. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week.
Eastern Cucumbers: 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.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: 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. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week.
Eastern Eggplant: Supplies still mostly from Florida but should begin to see a few GA eggs begin to trickle by the end of next week.

GRAPES:
The market on the red grapes is lower in Nogales and should come off more next week in Coachella. Coachella is still demanding a premium price on both red and green. Greens have very limited availability in Nogales on Perlettes and in Coachella Sugarones are demanding a much higher price. The demand remains good with limited supply on green.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is firm. The supplies have lightened up out of Mexico with some suppliers.  The quality continues to have a few issues with decay upon arrival. Pencil sizing will have the best availability. Supplies are expected to be light to moderate throughout the week.

LEAF LETTUCE 
The leaf market is steady. Romaine in particular has begun the week with sharp pricing from most suppliers. 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. Green and red leaf will have good availability as well.

LETTUCE
The lettuce market is active. Most suppliers are out or on stand buy for pricing. Many suppliers are harvesting in new fields, but issues of quality continue to pop up. Decay, pink ribbing and brown outer leaves continue to be an issue. Santa Maria has production also available, with weights similar to Salinas’s lettuce. The weights on palletized lettuce will be 44-46 pounds.

MELONS
Cantaloupe: Mexican cantaloupe is very limited with very few crossing. Arizona domestic fruit is also limited as the weather has cooled off and shippers are just starting to scratch. The supplies should be better next week. Demand exceeds supplies.
Honeydew: 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. Arizona is just starting to scratch but should have better availability next week.

ONIONS
Yellow are steady in all areas. The California desert is finishing, The San Joaquin valley is just getting started, and New Mexico is just starting as well. Reds are mostly steady in all areas but there are only light supplies this week. Whites are limited as well and only available in the desert and New Mexico. The transition out of the California desert has been smooth as all areas have been packing at the same time we just have limited quantities this week. Next week expect much better availability as more suppliers in both areas will be going full-bore.

POTATOES
The carton market in Idaho is lower again due to light demand. Most packers are pushing on 80-count and smaller Burbanks. Number-two’s are still more limited but they are available. Most shippers will discount for volume orders as well. The Washington market is steady to lower and they are still peaking on 60-80’s. Most Washington shippers will also flex for volume. The Colorado market is steady and they continue to peak on 50-80’s. Colorado shippers aren’t flexing as much now so they don’t run out of product. The russet quality has been excellent in all areas. Bakersfield will start packing new-crop russets the week of June 4th. Bakersfield is still packing new-crop red, gold, and white potatoes and the availability is good for all colors. California is heavy to A-size now but they have plenty of B’s also. Idaho is done packing few storage reds and golds and but they still have a few on the floor. Florida continues packing all colors and the market is steady but limited on as they are almost finished for the season. Most Florida packers are still heavy to A-size in all colors and are limited on B’s and smaller.

SQUASH
Western Squash:  Market is settling as supplies are diminishing on both Italian and yellow straight neck squashes. Lighter supplies on both yellow s/n squash and Italian squash as some older districts run their course and/ or cease production. We suggest loading from Southern California after this week.
Eastern Squash:  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
California apricots, peaches and nectarines are starting to get better size and quality is excellent. We will see better sizing and availability over the next few weeks. Plums are just starting with limited sizes available. Cherries are available for loading up north in the Stockton and Lodi area.

TOMATOES
Western: Not a lot of tomato product available presently in the Mexican deal through Nogales, Arizona and McAllen, Texas. 4×4 and 4×5 vine ripes are about the only items that are being traded with any regularity. The mature green harvest in the Imperial Valley of California near Indio is picking up but is traditionally short lived. And the main green deal in the San Joaquin valley should begin harvest around mid-June in Firebaugh up to Merced, with later start times in the northern part of the valley near Tracy & Manteca.
Eastern: The Palmetto/Ruskin tomato deal is all but finished, and supplies have become short in the state of Florida overall, with a corresponding stronger market situation. Harvests are continuing in the Panhandle near Quincy & Tallahassee, but even that area has seen occasional rain from Tropical Storm Beryl. Speaking of, the new district in the Charleston, South Carolina area has also seen its share of heavy rain from Beryl, but it is not known yet if quality or yield will be affected.

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