UPDATE SUMMARY: WEEK OF OCTOBER 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

Bell Peppers

Red Bells

  • The California market is active due to increased demand and snug supplies
    • Cool weather is slowing the ripening process; rain is in the forecast this weekend and may affect harvesting/supply levels
    • Quality is good
    • Large sizes are limited
  • The main red pepper season in Sonora, Mexico is expected to start in mid-December with good quality and size variety
  • The East Coast does not produce a large volume of colored bell peppers; prices are elevated
  • Overall markets are expected to rise over the next two weeks

Green Bells

  • California’s coastal growing regions of Santa Maria and Hollister are experiencing cool evening weather that is affecting plant yields; growers will transition to the Coachella, California region over the next several weeks
    • All sizes are available
    • Quality is good
  • Georgia and North Carolina are well into their fall crops; cooler evening are expected this week, slowing production
    • Quality is good
    • All size options are available
    • Florida growers are expected to start production in early November
  • Mexico’s Sonora region should begin harvesting in two weeks, pending no major weather events; the Sinaloa region escaped major damage from hurricane Pamela and will start on time in mid- to late November
  • Expect markets to increase slightly

California Orange Transition

Valencia

  • California Valencia supplies are expected to ship through the week of October 18
  • Quality has deteriorated; heat from last summer, lack of water, and necessary gassing are taking a toll on fruit
  • Current stocks are dominated by 56- and 72-count sizes, with choice-grade fruit most prevalent
  • Small-size fruit (113- to 138-count oranges) will be extremely limited for the rest of the Valencia season
  • Sugar levels are at 16 Brix; high sugar levels such as this typically result in a shorter shelf-life
  • Expect prices for small sizes to increase

Navel

  • The California Navel harvest has begun; volume will ramp up over the next three to four weeks
  • Current stocks are dominated by 88- and 113-count sizes, mainly fancy grade fruit
  • Sugar levels range from 11.5 to 12 Brix
  • 80% of the Navels being packed are fancy grade oranges at this time
  • Early variety fruit requires gassing for 72+ hours to degreen fruit
  • Expect prices for large sizes to increase

Onions

  • Yellow onion size continues to be dominated by mediums; however, growers report the profile has increased in the later lots being harvested
  • A significant price gap of $7.00 to $9.00 remains between medium and jumbo sizes
  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Red and Yellow Onion quality is excellent:
    • Supplies possess solid, globe-like shape and firm texture
      • Yellow onions have golden, cured skins
      • Red onion skin is setting nicely with a few paper layers
  • Packer label onions are also being shipped out of Colorado

Broccoli

  • Stocks are forecast to remain tight heading into the transition to the desert growing region
  • Most growers will begin broccoli harvests in the desert growing regions the week of November 15
  • Due to inconsistent weather, growth has slowed considerably
  • Expect markets to remain high through this seasonal transition

Strawberries

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • The forecast calls for rain from Sunday, October 24 into Monday, October 25
  • MFC plastic clamshells may need to be substituted for the corrugated clamshells
  • Quality is good: fruit is firm and size has increased due to cooler evening weather
  • Harvesting crews will be reduced for the next two weeks as growers shift crews to begin planting the 2022 spring crop
  • Expect rising prices for the next 10-14 days

Salinas/Watsonville

  • Volume and quality are diminishing quickly
  • Forecasts call for rain through Monday, October 25
  • The season will be finished by late October
  • Quality issues include softness and bruising

Squash

  • MFC Zucchini and Yellow Squash will be available starting October 25
  • Production is ending earlier than previously expected in Santa Maria, California due to cool fall weather
    • Supplies are limited
    • Heavy rain is expected this weekend
  • Mexican stocks are increasing in the Sonora region
    • Quality is excellent; long travel is a non-issue
    • Product is available crossing through Nogales or loading in Los Angeles
  • East Coast volume (out of Georgia and North Carolina) is down slightly due to cooler evenings, but overall quality is good; some minor rain-related soft spots have been observed
  • Expect markets to remain steady over the next two to three weeks

Tomatoes

  • California round and Roma tomato production will continue to slow down over the next few weeks
    • Cooler evening weather has decreased harvesting to three to four times per week rather than daily
    • Quality is good
      • Additional grading is required at the pack-out stage
      • Overall tomato shelf-life typically decreases at this time of year
    • Size is dominated by 6×6 and 6×7; large and extra-large supplies are limited
  • The East Coast round and Roma supply is going through transition over the next two to three weeks
    • The Tennessee fall season will end next week
    • Northern Florida production is starting up; early season plantings will produce low yields due to excessive heat during their growth cycle
    • The main round tomato growing season in Florida will start in late October
  • Mexico has a steady supply of Roma and grape tomatoes
    • During the transition from California to Florida, strong demand will shift to the Baja region
    • Quality is good; all sizes are available
    • Hurricane Pamela might affect overall winter supply levels from the Sinaloa region; crops are in the early planting stage and farmers need additional time to evaluate fields
  • Prices are expected to increase over the next two weeks

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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