News and Stories

SUMMARY UPDATE: Week of December 15, 2014

December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

Rain continues to impact growing areas in Arizona and California, causing supply and quality issues in lettuce, tender leaf items, and especially strawberries. Heavy rains in Guatemala have also slowed cantaloupe and honeydew harvests, resulting in very low yields and rising prices.


  • Lemon and orange prices remain stable, however the market for 113-count and smaller oranges is beginning to rise; expect tight stocks by late January
  • Current supplies are adequate, but small sizes (113-count and smaller fruit) are the most limited
  • Despite recent rainfall in California‚Äôs San Joaquin Valley growing region, overall quality remains very good

Desert Supplies

  • Abundant stocks in the Arizona/California desert growing region and weak demand have caused low prices for the majority of lettuce and tender leaf crops
  • Current quality problems include growth cracking, large-frame heads, mildew, seeder, and weak tip; freezing temperatures may also cause epidermal blistering and peeling
  • Recent rainfall and abnormally warm weather over the past few weeks have pushed fields ahead of harvesting schedules by at least two weeks
  • Freezing temperatures are expected soon; crop growth is expected to slow dramatically, causing a supply gap


  • The domestic garlic market remains elevated due to limited supplies and strong demand
  • Imported Chinese garlic prices have eased due to increase availability
  • Overall quality is good: supplies have a flavorful aroma and high oil content
  • Expect low domestic volume all season, with possible price increases, as the industry is moving into 2015 with depleted storage stocks


  • Cantaloupe and honeydew prices continue to rise
  • Stocks are limited due to heavy rain damaging plants in Guatemala; demand exceeds supply
  • Cantaloupe and honeydew quality is very good; sugar levels average 10-12% Brix
  • Watermelon quality is good; sugar levels measure 12-14% Brix
  • Offshore supplies will be tight during the month of December; melons from Honduras will be on the market after January 1

Rain in the Desert Growing Region

  • Rain in Coachella, California and Yuma, Arizona caused light to moderate harvesting delays due to poor conditions
  • Harvesting crews worked to keep commodity lettuce cartons as clean and dry as possible, but some elevated levels of dirt/mud can be expected
  • Markon inspectors evaluated field conditions and will continue to monitor quality for any rain-related issues


  • Two major storm systems have hit the California coast causing industry-wide quality issues such as bruising, decay, mold, small size, and soft texture
  • Limited Coachella, California stocks are on the market; volume will increase weekly
  • California supplies are tight; limited quantities are available from Florida and Mexico as substitutes
  • Prices will begin to ease by late December when the Coachella season starts

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.