News and Stories

UPDATE: Strawberries

January 05, 2017


Markon First Crop (MFC) Strawberries are not available; Markon Best Available (MBA) and packer label are being substituted as needed.


Rain continues to hit California’s West Coast, limiting supplies. The market will be slightly higher next week as another 0.75” of rain is in the forecast for Saturday, January 7 through Monday, January 9. Rain-related quality issues and shortened shelf-life are major concerns.


Most strawberry orders are shipped from Florida and Mexico (loading in South TX) during the winter months. Currently, these regions account for approximately 80% of all strawberry shipments across the U.S. and Canada. Availability and pricing is better from these areas, but quality is still a concern due to winter weather challenges. Markon recommends ordering from Mexico until spring supplies in Oxnard and Santa Maria, California ramp up in late January/early February.


Santa Maria, California

  • The fall season has ended
  • New crop spring harvesting is expected to begin in early February, pending weather

Oxnard, California

  • MFC and MBA Strawberries are not available; packer label is being substituted due to rain
  • Approximately 0.75” of rain fell yesterday afternoon, January 4 through this morning, January 5
  • Harvesting ended early yesterday for many growers due to muddy and dangerous working conditions
  • Some growers are harvesting fields today, packing limited quantities; many water-damaged berries are being sold to freezer and processing facilities or being culled
  • The following rain-related issues have been and will continue to be difficult for harvesting crews to avoid for at least the next three weeks:
    • Bruising
    • Decay
    • Shortened shelf-life
    • Water damage
    • Wind damage
  • An atmospheric river is expected to bring another 0.75” of rainfall to the region this weekend, further decreasing quality and supply levels on the West Coast
  • Expect order coverage to be extremely tight in California next week; prices are expected to rise


  • Florida growers are shipping more fruit than Mexico, but quality has tapered off over the past few weeks due to weather-related issues
  • Rain is in the forecast for Saturday, January 7; expect this weather to impact availability and quality next week
  • The market is steady to slightly higher, but prices are poised to rise because California stocks are rained out and Mexico is experiencing a truck operator strike
  • Prices are lower than in California, but higher than in Mexico 

Mexico (loading in South Texas)

  • MBA Strawberries are available in 2/4-pound clamshells; packer label supplies in 8/1-pound clamshells are being substituted as needed
  • Orders crossing through South Texas have been slow this week due to a truck operator strike caused by rising fuel prices
  • The protests have reduced stocks compared to previous weeks, but overall supply levels remain adequate
  • Quality is good: occasional issues include bruising, dark spots, light mold, and white shoulders
  • Prices are lower than in California and Florida, yet starting to climb
  • Markon recommends ordering out of South Texas through January for best coverage, quality, and supply

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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