UPDATE SUMMARY: WEEK OF MARCH 3, 2022

March 4, 2022

Bell Peppers

Green bell pepper prices are rising as supplies tighten in Florida and Mexico. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available; packer label is being substituted as needed.

Green Bells

  • Mexican supplies are tight as some growers are between fields
    • Extra-large and large sizes are snug
    • Quality is good: extra grading is required in some lots
  • Florida yields will fall over the next two weeks due to bloom drop issues from early February’s frost
    • Quality ranges from average to very good
    • Large sizes are most plentiful
  • Expect prices to increase over the next several weeks

Red Bells

  • Mexico stocks are relatively limited
    • Small sizes are less abundant
    • Quality is good: some bruising/color issues are being observed
  • Florida harvests a minimal amount of colored peppers
  • Canadian greenhouses are expected to start production in mid- to late March
  • Expect prices to remain steady this week

Cucumbers

Mexican cucumber prices have eased due to weak demand. MFC and ESS Cucumbers are available.

  • Mexican supplies increased this week as some initial spring crops on the mainland and Baja peninsula have begun
  • All grades and sizes are available
  • Quality is good: some wind scarring defects are being reported
  • Offshore Honduran imports are limited
  • Quality ranges from average to good
  • The import season will wind down over the next two to three weeks
  • Florida production will start in late March; growers are slightly behind schedule due to February frost issues

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine

Supplies of green leaf, iceberg, and romaine are limited throughout the industry due to inconsistent weather patterns in the Arizona/California desert region. Strong demand is pushing markets up rapidly.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf is available
  • MFC Premium Iceberg and Romaine are sporadic; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed due to light weights
    • Quality is average: freeze-related blistering/peeling, growth cracking, insect pressure, and uneven size/texture are present in some lots
    • Demand is strengthening as supplies continue to tighten
    • Industry volume is expected to remain limited until Huron production begins in mid- to late March; the Salinas season is forecast to begin in early to mid-April
    • Expect elevated prices until the transitions to Huron and Salinas are completed

Gold Potatoes

Gold potato supplies are beginning to wind down in Idaho.

  • The effects of last summer’s heat wave in the Northwest are finally appearing in remaining stocks
    • Although volume typically lasts through late April, some growers will have depleted their supplies by the end of March
    • Idaho growers typically bridge the gap between the storage crop and new production with California and Arizona potatoes
      • The California season will get underway in mid-April
      • Arizona’s crop will not be harvested until June
    • Remaining Idaho stocks are on the larger side, dominated by size A; size B potatoes are limited
  • The Florida season is now underway with ample supplies
  • North Dakota storage stocks are sufficient and will be available through June
  • Washington potatoes were also affected by the record heat this past summer; volume is low

Limes

Supplies remain extremely limited; prices continue to rise. MFC and ESS Limes are limited; packer label will be substituted as needed.

  • Unfavorable growing conditions and lower-than-normal temperatures in Veracruz, Mexico have reduced fruit set and will lower yields for the upcoming crop
    • Over the next 7-10 days, growers will begin to harvest small fruit to take advantage of high prices
      • Small sizes (230- and 250-count fruit) will become more prevalent; there may be price relief on these sizes
      • Larger sizes (110- through 175-count limes) will tighten further
  • Overall indications are now pointing to limited Mexican supplies into April
    • Extremely high Mexican prices will lead to more offshore stocks entering the Canadian and U.S. markets
    • No lime juice shortages are expected at this time; processors who are juicing will source from all regions as needed to ensure steady supply
  • Expect volatile market conditions longer than normal this year

Onions

Texas-grown MFC Onions will be available by the end of this week. Northwest storage supplies remain on pace to be depleted sooner than normal.

  • Texas-grown MFC Yellow Onions will be available to ship Thursday, March 3
    • Packer label domestic white onions will also be available
    • Red onions will start the week of March 14
  • Idaho/Oregon-grown MFC Onions will ship into April; supply typically runs into May
  • Utah-grown MFC Onion stocks will be depleted in early to mid-March (similar to recent years)
  • Washington-grown MFC Onions will begin to wind down in early April; supplies ordinarily run through May
  • Colorado storage yellow onions will continue to ship through March 11; red and white onions will be depleted this week
  • Mexican onions (crossings into South Texas) remain limited; pricing is elevated
    • The Tampico growing area received rain this past weekend; rain is forecast for Wednesday, March 2 as well
    • The Mexican market is strong, keeping many onions below the border

Tomatoes

Recent growing conditions have been favorable for Florida and Mexico tomatoes; prices are weak. MFC Tomatoes are available.

  • Mexico continues to supply a steady volume of round, Roma, grape and cherry tomatoes
  • All sizes are available: larger sizes (4×4 and 4×5) and extra-large Romas are abundant this week
  • Overall quality is good
  • Grape tomatoes are a bargain
  • Florida stocks are expected to tighten slightly over the next couple of weeks due to February frost/bloom drop
  • Mature green crops are dominated by 5×6 and larger sizes
  • Roma crops are producing more extra-large and jumbo fruit
  • Grape and cherry tomato quality is erratic as growers transition to new fields
  • Expect markets to remain depressed for several weeks

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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