Supplies remain extremely scarce; prices will continue climbing this week but are close to reaching their peak. Packer label is being substituted to meet demand when necessary.
- Limited quantities are being harvested in Southern Baja and Sonora; many growers stopped harvesting earlier this month
- Small-diameter stalks dominate yields
- Cooler weather and shorter days combined with elevated markets have hindered maturation and reduced incentives to pack larger sizes
- Large and jumbo sizes are in strong demand; substituting standard packs is recommended to ensure orders are filled over the next two to three weeks
- Expect supplies to increase and prices to ease a bit by the first week of January, but remain elevated until Caborca growers begin harvesting in late January
- Markon is sourcing delivered options where available to help supplement short supplies in member DCs
- Minimal volume is being imported to the U.S. (via Miami, Florida)
- Many Peruvian growers are prioritizing the more lucrative European market
- FOB costs remain comparable from both regions, though some freight savings are available for Eastern DCs
- Expect high prices and extremely tight supplies into early February
Red bell pepper supplies are extremely scarce; prices have escalated. Green bell volume is lower; the California season is ending and Florida fields have been affected by storms.
- Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Red Bell Peppers are extremely limited; packer label is being substituted as needed
- The California desert region continues to experience cold (mid-60 F), wet weather which is delaying the ripening process
- Many growers are packing every second day so color has time to deepen
- Quality is average; coloring is the main concern
- Mexican production is expected to start in a limited manner next week
- Past hurricanes have delayed growers in the state of Sinaloa by two weeks
- Peak volume isn’t expected until January 6
- Expect elevated markets over the next two weeks
- MFC and ESS Green Bell Peppers are available
- The California desert season is ending this week for most growers
- Mexican production is steady
- Quality is excellent
- All sizes are available
- Florida supplies are snug as it rebounds from severe storms last weekend and recent low temperatures
- Quality is good
- Choice grades are the most prevalent
- Expect slightly higher markets next week
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower prices have risen in the Arizona-California desert region. Markets for both commodities are set to climb further this week before leveling off and falling again.
- MFC Premium Broccoli Crowns are available in Yuma, Arizona and Mexico (into South Texas)
- Quality ranges from fair to good
- Impacts from precipitation over the weekend are leading to increased incidences of cat eye, brown bead, and crown yellowing
- Mexican-grown product is available for loading in South Texas at slightly lower FOB costs
- Quality is better than in domestic stocks
- Both Northern and Central Mexican regions are producing ample supplies
- Overall markets are expected to climb through the next two weeks
- Barring any heavy storm activity, Mexico should maintain a price advantage through early January
- ESS Cauliflower is available in Yuma, Arizona
- Quality has diminished; reports of discoloration/spotting, ricing, and early breakdown are prevalent due to precipitation and low temperatures seen over the last 7-10 days
- The relatively mild temperatures forecast for end the year will help maintain sufficient supply levels and improve quality
- Product is also available in Santa Maria, California at an FOB cost savings for members that can load out west
- Expect prices to continue climbing this week before stabilizing in the new year
As the California Navel season progresses, small fruit (113- and 138-count oranges) will become extremely tight. Lemons are being harvested in all three major California growing regions (the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, and the California desert region).
- MFC and ESS Lemons are available
- California supplies are dominated by small sizes (140- through 165-count fruit); markets for 95- through 115-count remain elevated
- Quality is excellent
- Expect steady markets and ample supplies through the month of January
- MFC and ESS Navel Oranges are available
- Stocks are currently being shipped out of California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida
- Small sizes (113- through 138-count) will tighten in January; size and grade substitutions may be necessary to fill orders
- Expect great quality and rising markets for small sizes through January
Florida – Severe Storms
- Growers are reporting minimal crop damage after last weekend’s storm
- Harvest disruptions occurred during the front part of this week due to muddy/wet fields
- Supply levels are rebounding; however, cooler weather will keep yields low
- Markets for bell peppers, squash, and tomatoes have risen in Mexico; demand has increased as Florida supplies have tightened
- Expect higher temperatures next week and a return to normal production
Markon will continue to monitor and update as more information becomes available.
From the Fields: Desert Region Rain
The slow-moving low-pressure system that brought significant rainfall to Southern California over the past few days is now over the Arizona/California desert region. Heavy rain started falling early this morning and may bring anywhere from .75” in the Coachella region to over an inch in Yuma.
Grower/shippers have been packing ahead in anticipation of the rain and most will cancel harvest activities today and possibly tomorrow pending field conditions and demand.
Rain-related challenges that can be expected over the next several days included:
- Harvesting, production, and loading delays due to wet/muddy fields
- Sporadic dirt/mud in some commodity and value-added packs
- Elevated mechanical damage and/or bruising
- Premature pinking in some lettuce packs
- Reduced shelf-life due to high moisture content
Markon inspectors will continue to monitor conditions and update further as needed.
Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuces
Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine lettuce supplies remain abundant in the Arizona and California desert growing regions. Low markets persist despite rain events and the Christmas holiday curtailing or cancelling harvests.
- MFC Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are readily available in the Arizona and California desert regions
- Quality is very good
- Epidermal blistering and peeling are minimal following recent ice events
- Mechanical damage and pinking may increase following rain tonight and tomorrow
- Markon is working with growers to pack ahead of the storms and holidays to ensure coverage
- Holiday demand has subsided and will continue to decrease next week
- Markets will remain relatively flat through December
Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Washed & Trimmed Green Onions are available. Packer label is being substituted as needed to fill orders.
- Volume is down slightly after early December’s cool weather limited production in Mexicali, Mexico
- A seasonally reduced labor force will further decrease available product through the New Year’s holiday
- Expect markets to rise slightly due to reduced harvests
- Demand is strong, further pushing prices higher
- Expect slightly elevated markets to persist until labor availability returns to normal in early to mid-January and younger plantings enter the market in early February
Onion markets have stabilized as holiday demand declines. Prices are expected to remain elevated over the next four to six weeks until Mexico begins crossing onions in late January/ early February. White onion supplies remain scarce; demand is strong.
- MFC Onions are available out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Washington
- Demand has tapered off from the recent holiday pull, but markets are expected to remain strong through January
- Pacific Northwest quality is very good with minimal defects
- Mexican grown onions are expected to begin crossing into South Texas by late January/early February
- Sizing is currently peaking on smaller sizes (80- through 100-count); mixer volume on larger sizes (40- through 70-count)
- Quality remains excellent for both varieties; pack-outs favor No. 1 quality, with limited No. 2 availability
- Price levels are expected to stay steady through the season
- Norkotah and Burbank stocks are expected to ship through late July to early August
Demand exceeds supply in California, Florida, and Mexico (into South Texas). Markon DCs are advised to consult with their Markon representative about loading out of South Texas.
Santa Maria/Oxnard, California
- MFC Strawberries are available
- The industry is in a demand-exceeds-supply situation
- The forecast calls for rain Friday, December 29 into Wednesday, January 3
- Expect strong demand and elevated markets through the month of January
- Plastic clamshells may need to be substituted for corrugated packs due to rain
- MFC Strawberries are available
- The forecast calls for rain Thursday, December 28 and into next week
- Yields will fall over the next two weeks
- Quality is good; issues include white shoulders and early bruising
- Expect elevated markets and short supplies through the next two weeks
Central Mexico (loading in South Texas)
- Markon DCs are advised to load out of South Texas due to limited domestic supplies from Friday, December 29 through January 6
- Quality is good; issues include white shoulders and occasional overripening
- Size ranges from small to medium (22 to 25 berries per one-pound clamshell)
- Expect to see pricing increase as Mexico fills shortages from California and Florida
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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