Markets are rising as the Northern Baja region moves past peak production. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.
- Large sizes are tight; Central Mexico’s season has ended, concentrating all demand on Northern Baja
- Recent storms and poor field conditions are restricting machine access and slowing harvests
- Southern Baja production has been delayed due to Tropical Storm Kay, leading to regreening of the crop
- Warm, wet conditions in Northern Baja have increased spear production, forcing growers to cut ahead of their acreage schedules; expect a medium-to-high likelihood of a demand-exceeds-supply situation in December
- Prices will inch higher through October as the Northern Baja season moves through their peak and volume begins to decline
- Peruvian asparagus (shipped into Florida) is supplementing the East Coast market
- Volume is strong as Peruvian growers are in peak production (September through December)
- Market pricing is lower than Mexican-grown product; aging is a concern as most imports are arriving by boat due to limited air freight
Bell pepper demand exceeds supply this week. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available; packer label may be substituted as necessary.
- The California Hollister/Gilroy season is coming to an end; volume is very limited as suppliers transition to the Imperial Desert
- The desert supply is tighter this year than in the past due to drought/water restrictions
- Quality is very good with extra-large sizes trending
- Georgia and North Florida production has improved after last week’s cold weather
- Volume is expected to decrease significantly in November as many central Florida crops were damage by Hurricane Ian
- Central Mexico has limited supply crossing in south Texas
- Expect markets to increase over the next week
- The California coastal regions are experiencing cooler overnight temperatures hindering the ripening process; supply is limited
- Quality is very good
- The Coachella season is expected to start the third week of November
- Central Mexico has tight volume due to recent cool weather
- Canadian greenhouse production is tight due to reduced sunlight; sizing is dominated by large and mediums size peppers
- Expect prices to climb in November until the desert crop is established
- ESS Cauliflower is available in Salinas, California; packer label is being substituted as necessary
- Packer label cauliflower is available from the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys
- Supplies are down industry wide this week; expect supplies to remain tight as growers work through quality-challenged fields
- Pin rot, damage from Diamondback moth larvae, early breakdown, off color, and brown spotting are prevalent
- Suppliers are cutting ahead of scheduled acreage to avoid quality defects; smaller sized 16-count packs will allow for better quality and fill rates
Arizona and California Desert Growing Regions
- Production is scheduled to begin by mid- to late November
- The Salinas Valley season is scheduled to end by the first week of December
From The Fields: Salinas Valley Weather Update
Temperatures in the Salinas Valley have been above average this week, but a low pressure system is now moving into the area, bringing with it cooler temperatures for the weekend, winds of up to 35 mph, and a small chance for rain Saturday, October 22. Lettuce ice could also develop due to early morning temperatures possibly dipping into the mid-30°s on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. The forecast also is calling for the potential of rain to develop for Tuesday, October 25, then high pressure returns, bringing temperatures back to seasonal norms or slightly higher by the end of next week.
Although the threat of any significant rainfall is low, the fluctuating temperatures and increased winds will likely cause more quality and shelf-life concerns in commodity and value-added lettuce items, which are already impacted by soil disease and plant virus issues.
Supplies will remain extremely limited and shelf-life performance is expected to remain below normal until desert region supplies come into play in the next two to four weeks.
From The Fields: Value-Added Salad Quality
Raw product supplies of iceberg, romaine, and green leaf lettuce are extremely limited due to recent soil disease and plant virus issues. Volatile weather has also compromised quality and reduced shelf-life potential in broccoli, cauliflower, and tender leaf items from California’s Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys.
Due to the disease and virus challenges, many value-added packs are underperforming, and will continue struggling to achieve shelf-life expectations until stronger supplies from desert growing regions become available early to mid-November. One of the main challenges for value-added packs is raw product quality not harvested at ideal maturity, which increases bruising and mechanical damage when moving through the cutting, washing, and bagging process, which in turn leads to early breakdown/shelf-life reduction.
Markon’s Quality Assurance Team is working with our Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) processors to choose the best product for our RSS products, but even the best raw product today has challenges, and it is not possible to eliminate all damaged or compromised product from finished packs.
Green and French Bean supplies remain extremely limited due to recent bad weather in all growing regions. Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Trimmed Green Beans are extremely tight; packer label is being substituted, as necessary.
- East Coast supply is primarily in Georgia, but cold weather is affecting plant yield and quality
- Florida’s crop was heavily damaged/destroyed by Hurricane Ian, drastically reducing supply until new crops start in South Florida in mid-November
- The Coachella growing region in California will start this week with limited volume
- Other regions in the state are struggling with quality
- Russeting and tip decay are primary concerns
- Mexican volume out of Baja and mainland Mexico will remain tight due to past severe storms; expect improved volume in mid-November
- French beans (haricot verts) from Guatemala are tight; the region experienced heavy rains and hurricanes over the last month, affecting production and disrupted supply routes
- Expect elevated markets over the next two weeks
Green Leaf, Iceberg, Iceberg, and Romaine
Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine supplies remain extremely limited; record high market levels are being reported. Suppliers of all three commodities have not been able to fulfill 100% of their weekly contract commitments or regular open market business over the past four weeks.
- Harvest of all three commodities is now underway in Huron and Oxnard, California
- Production in Salinas and Santa Maria, California will continue through early to mid-November; some growers in Salinas have finished for the season
- The majority of suppliers are forecast to harvest their first fields in the desert regions of Yuma, Arizona and Imperial Valley, California the week of November 7
- Some suppliers will begin harvesting iceberg and romaine in Yuma, Arizona at the end of this week
- Quality and weights will vary depending on growing region, field location, and timing of harvest, as growers stretch their production schedule for harvestable product
- Expect lightweight commodity boxes and quality challenges in green leaf, iceberg, and romaine through mid-November, until transition to the Arizona/California desert is completed
- Markets of all three commodities have peaked; slightly weaker pricing is forecast to come as more supplies become available through the transition to the desert regions
- RSS Green Onions are limited; packer label is being substituted as necessary
- Supplies and quality are slowly increasing in the Mexicali growing region; heavy storms and the resulting damage significantly reduced yields and slowed further maturation
- Prices are decreasing but will remain elevated through October
Over the weekend, fast moving Hurricane Roslyn dropped to a category three hurricane before it made landfall in west-central Mexico early Sunday morning. The storm quickly downgraded to a tropical storm over east-central Mexico after heavy rains and flash flooding.
- Hurricane Roslyn crossed into Mexico, south of Mazatlán along the southern tip of the state of Sinaloa, travelling a similar path as Hurricane Orlene three weeks prior
- The Mexican states of Durango, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Nayarit, and Zacatecas experienced over 10 inches of rain and loss of electricity; landslides and supply chain disruption are results of this heavy rain
- The main growing region of Culiacan avoided a direct hit, but delays and disruptions should still be expected across the region
- Tomatoes crops in the area are the greatest concern as plants scheduled for harvest in November/December were already planted
- Tomato markets were already escalating due to extremely limited supply with Hurricane Ian in Florida earlier this month
- Other late fall items that could be impacted include bell peppers, chiles, corn, cucumbers, and squash
- Markon will update as more information becomes available
Idaho’s potato harvest is now complete; overall demand is strong. Expect markets to increase over the next few weeks.
- With harvesting now complete, growers can control supply levels and hold back shipments to push prices upward
- Added demand from potato processors is affecting markets; many processors are offering to pay suppliers well above the current market levels
- Strong retail demand for the Thanksgiving holiday will also add pressure to the market
- MFC Norkotah Potatoes are being shipped out of storage
- MFC Burbank Potato volume will be placed in storage sheds until the sweat process is complete
- Burbank supplies will undergo the sweat process to shed excess moisture after being harvested
- The process lasts approximately three to four weeks or until the outer skin is cured sufficiently
- After the sweat process is complete, skins will have a smooth, net-like appearance
- MFC Burbank Potatoes will begin shipping from storage the week of October 31
Demand far exceeds supply. Markon inspectors are predicting lower than normal volume through the month of November.
- MFC Strawberries are available
- The Santa Maria/Oxnard growing region currently produces roughly 80% of marketed strawberries in the United States
- Supplies are extremely limited and unable to meet demand through most of November
- Quality is average; strawberries will see upwards of 25% bruising and 4% decay upon arrival
- Maintaining the cold chain will be vital for shelf-life; Markon recommends ordering for quick turns
- The Salinas/Watsonville growing region currently produces roughly 10-15% of marketed strawberries in the United States
- Volume is extremely limited; quality is average, at best
- Production will be completed in the next 10-14 days
- Volume is very low as the season is just beginning
- Currently less than 5% of strawberries marketed in the United States are grown in Mexico and shipped from South Texas
- Volume is expected to gradually increase over the next two to three weeks
- Quality is good; green shoulders and small sizing have been reported
- Production will begin after Thanksgiving in a very limited manner
- Orders are estimated to begin shipping the week of December 5
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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