Market Report for the week of February 11, 2019
ALERT! Strawberries will be extremely tight this week as all growers from all growing areas have been prorating all orders due to weather. This shortage isn’t coming at the best time, but cool weather and rain has really had an impact on yields and quality. Look for pricing to be higher through mid-February. Late February should bring improved volumes and more affordable prices.
Roma Tomato markets are rising up a bit as harvests begin to slow down. Look for a slight increase in pricing, however still a great item. Quality remains excellent. GrapeTomatoes are looking great. Growers continue to have a flush of product, leading to excellent pricing and great quality. Cherry Tomatoes are also looking great from Florida.
New crop Cluster Tomatoes will be available from greenhouse growers. Quality is excellent and price has come down. Hothouse Beefsteak Tomatoes are also very a great item this week. Quality is outstanding with large sized fruit.
Asparagus prices are coming down. Quality has been excellent, and volumes are increasing. Look for even better availability in mid to late-February.
Demand has been light on Cantaloupes, and despite a light supply, prices have dropped to move some inventory.
The Honeydew market remains strong because of a very light supply.
After the Big Game, Hass Avocado pulls are predictably slow. Mexico has slowed production for this week in order to match demand and firm up prices.
ALERT! Green Leaf, Red Leaf, and Romaine Lettuces are poised to go up in price from the desert growing region. There was a heavy frost last week which affected quality. Issues with fringe burn, wind burn, and epidermal peeling persist with Romaine Lettuce and Cello Iceberg Lettuce.
Broccoli prices from multiple growing regions are on the rise. Quality remains excellent across the board. Bunched Broccoli is extremely limited.
The Potato market remains steady this week with promotions going on currently for Idaho Potato Lover’s Month.
Red Potatoes continue to be in good supply and pricing remains steady on that item.
Red, Orange and Yellow Bell Pepper prices are a little higher this week, but still at promotable levels. Green Pepper pricing is coming down some, but will remain relatively steady. Shippers are reporting outstanding quality.
The supply of import Grapes is much better this week. Vendors are getting more fruit released from the ports and filling the pipeline. Prices are still higher with most fruit being the high end extra-large and jumbo fruit.
Red Mangos are very tight due to light volumes. Honey (Ataulfo) Mangos have started harvesting. The quality is adequate, as there is some staining and scarring. Color is nice and the fruit is maturing well.
Select Cucumbers are in decent supply. Mini Seedless Cucumbers remain in lighter supply but new crop harvests are on their way soon.
Celery continues to be challenged by rain and cold weather. There are widespread issues with pitting and blight. We are seeing minimal volume. Shippers report significantly better quality in the desert but supplies remain lighter than normal.
Pricing on new crop Yellow Onion will be at a premium in comparison to storage Onions. White Onions are not expected to start to ship for another two weeks. Limited supply on White Onions has caused this market to jump in recent weeks and that trend is expected to continue.
Sweet Potatoes continue to see strong demand in the marketplace. Lower yields and pack outs cause the price to continue to rise here this week. Expect this price to continue to increase slowly headed into March.
A rainy late January has caused some occasional post-harvest quality issues on some recent arrivals of California Navel Oranges. Quality and volume is set to improve again for late February. “Vintage Sweet” Heirloom Navels continue to sell very well – expect a slightly more intense flavor, good sweetness and juiciness. SUMO Citrus Mandarins continue in peak season along with Cara Cara Oranges, Blood Oranges and Minneola Tangelos from California.
New crop California Mandarins are back in season with excellent quality and bigger flavor now that the Tango Variety Mandarins is being packed. Beautiful Stem & Leaf Tango Mandarins are also in peak season.
Cauliflower will go back up in price. Lighter supplies are expected in Yuma, AZ this week following their cold weather issues.
Blueberries will continue to be in a harvest flush for the rest of the month as import growers continue to send lots of volume packed in pints. Blueberries will be a great item to promote for all of February. Excellent flavor! Raspberries and Blackberries are in steady supply, and quality has been very nice.