UPDATE SUMMARY: WEEK OF FEBRUARY 17, 2022

February 17, 2022

Avocados

As of February 12

Effective Saturday, February 12, 2022, the United States government has temporarily suspended avocado imports from the Mexican state of Michoacan. This decision comes after a USDA inspector, working in Michoacan, received a threatening call to their cell phone. Mexican Law Enforcement authorities are working with USDA to find a solution to ensure USDA staff members safety and resume activities ASAP.

  • Inventories of Mexican avocados vary based on supplier
    • Many have fruit in route that was shipped prior to the suspension
    • If this persists longer than 2-3 days, supplies will become increasingly limited
  • California production is ramping up, supplies are expected to tighten considerably as demand shifts west
  • Markets are expected to strengthen until the suspension is lifted

As of February 16

It is being reported that the meeting between officials from the USDA and Mexican government has concluded with positive progress. A comprehensive proposal was well received by both sides. No date was given for the resumption of activities, but officials will be working to provide that information ASAP. As soon as more specific details are available, Markon will update.

Asparagus

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available
  • After an initial production increase in late January, Caborca yields have fallen significantly; harvesting will continue through April before growers transition to Central Mexico
    • Recent Caborca temperatures have been inconsistent and similar patterns are anticipated through the end of the month
    • Forecasts into next week call for highs ranging from 61 to 83 F degrees with evening temperatures from 29 to 42 degrees F
  • Peruvian asparagus is available (shipping into Miami, Florida); however, stocks will remain limited through March
  • Expect inconsistent supply levels and elevated markets for the next three to four weeks at minimum

Cauliflower

  • Markon Essentials (ESS) Cauliflower is available in the Arizona and California desert growing regions
  • Warm weather increased growth, resulting in better available supplies over the next five to seven days
  • Quality is strong with great color; size is increasing
  • Demand ranges from light to moderate
  • Expect Arizona and California markets to continue easing this week

Cucumbers

  • MFC and ESS Cucumbers are available
  • Prices are climbing
  • Growers in Mexico are transitioning to new fields, reducing overall volume
  • All grades and sizes are available
  • Quality is very good: texture is firm and color is deep green
  • The offshore Honduran import program is being affected by port congestion and labor shortages
  • Some lots are on boats longer than normal, creating freshness concerns
  • Florida production is expected to start in mid-March

Grapes

Green Grapes

  • ESS Green Grapes are available  
  • The market has started to inch down due to increased supplies
  • Chilean green grapes will be on the market until mid-May
  • Peruvian supplies will ship through mid-March
  • Mexican stocks will become available by mid-May

Red Grapes

  • ESS Red Grapes are available  
  • Pricing has begun to ease; volume is rising
  • Chilean red grapes will be on the market until late May
  • Peruvian supplies will be available through mid-March
  • Mexican stocks will begin shipping by mid-May

Iceberg and Romaine

Recent erratic weather patterns in the Arizona and California desert regions have resulted in decreasing supplies of romaine; the market is rising rapidly. Iceberg stocks are sufficiently meeting demand though some weights are light due to inconsistent growing conditions; prices are fairly steady.

  • MFC Premium Romaine is available
    • Quality is good: freeze-related blistering/peeling and fringe/internal burn are present in some lots, but most defects are being trimmed at harvest
    • Industry supplies of romaine are forecast to rebound in two to three weeks, pending weather
    • Expect elevated prices into early March
  • MFC Premium Iceberg is limited; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed due to light weights
    • Quality is very good: epidermal blistering/peeling and growth crack are sporadic issues
    • Supplies are plentiful; however, light weights, small size, and fluctuating densities are affecting some lots
    • Pricing is forecast to remain steady to slightly higher through February

Limes

  • Mexican supplies (crossing into Arizona, California, and South Texas) are below normal; yields are approaching a seasonal low in the primary growing region of Veracruz
  • Limited quantities of offshore limes are beginning to make their way into the Canadian and U.S. markets
  • Stocks from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru will become more prevalent in the coming weeks with Mexican prices soaring
  • Quality is fairly good with an increase in choice grade fruit
    • Suppliers are culling higher percentages of fruit with scarring, skin breakdown, and oil spotting
    • Stocks are dominated by 150- and 175-count sizes
  • The market will continue rising over the next two weeks and remain elevated through March

Mixed Berries

Blueberries

  • Mexican volume has dipped; supplies will increase in late February when spring production moves into full swing
  • Import shipments from Chile and Peru are experiencing vessel delays and unloading challenges
  • Texas-grown fruit is limited
  • Stocks will be extremely limited through next week; expect volume to rise the week of February 28

Blackberries

  • Mexican production is past its peak; supplies are tightening
  • Texas-grown stocks are tight
  • Markets are inching up
  • Quality remains strong

Raspberries

  • Mexican volume is lower this week
  • Texas-grown supplies are limited
  • Prices are firm
  • Quality is very good

Squash

  • Mexican volume is rising due to great weather in the state of Sinaloa
    • Quality is good: medium sizes are abundant
    • The harvesting transition to the northern state of Sonora will occur in mid-March
  • Florida production is sporadic due to recent cold weather
    • Yellow squash is limited
    • Quality is average: scuffing and scarring are concerns
    • Growers anticipate more consistent supplies by mid-March
  • Expect lower prices over the next several weeks

Onions

  • Northwest storage onion quality remains adequate overall; however, occasional internal defects such as translucency, dryness, and watery scale may be seen
    • Size profile runs small in remaining storage stocks, with medium sizes dominating remaining volume
    • There is a significant price gap of $8.00 to $10.00 between yellow medium and yellow jumbo onions
    • Medium-size yellow onions make a viable substitution option for a No. 2 jumbo yellows
  • Mexican onions (crossings into South Texas) are limited this week, as rain hit the Tampico growing area at the end of last week; pricing remains elevated
    • Yields will increase as no rain is forecast through the end of February
    • White and yellow onion volume is sufficient; limited numbers of red onions are being crossed into the U.S.
    • Fresh-run onions have feathery skins and light color/exterior skins compared to Northwest storage onions
  • Texas-grown onions are on track to hit the market the week of March 9
  • California/Imperial Valley onions are slated to start shipping mid-April
  • The New Mexico season will open in early June

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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