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Fresh News
MOTHER NATURE’S DECISIONS We’re in between holidays with asparagus demand but we can expect it to pick up in a week or so. Market is fairly steady for now. Broccoli & cauliflower demand is very strong on tight supplies caused by colder temps. Carrots are still holding steady. Strong demand for celery continues with small sizes the tightest. Eastern cucumbers have been holding steady but cold temps may slow production. Western cucumbers are fairly steady with good quality. Freezing temps in GA & North FL have finished the green pepper crop from there so growing areas are moving south. Western bell peppers are moving growing areas & MX has started slowly. We are a week or two away from much lettuce relief. There are quality issues including misshapen heads & colored ribs & there are lightweights. Lettuces are very tight & prices are really high. While fresh cut prices are higher, it is still a better deal than nonprocessed cases. FL squash production had increased with good quality but the cold temps may slow things down. Western squash is tighter than eastern squash especially on yellow as they move growing areas. We continue to be challenged by tomatoes. Eastern have been hurt by hot temps during planting which thin out the crop & new areas are slow to get moving. Western is slow due to cold temps in MX slowing production. Avocados are increasing but it’ll take them about a week to ripen. Raspberry production is slower with rain in MX. Strawberries are tighter due to rain & quality is poor to at best fair. Lemons are holding steady but volume is expected to increase. There are good supplies of green & red grapes but be aware of some quality issues as we wait on imports. Domestic dews & loupes are done but Guatemala has started & should be in good supply in the next couple of weeks. PRODUCE EXCHANGE TRENDS This section of the Newsletter is designed to give a quick overview of the trends of individual items. “Mother Nature’s Decisions” gives more info on the market & “Pics Worth a Look” will give an approximate up or down % for the week. Tomatoes – Globes have come down a bit with less demand, cherry are also & grape are higher & Roma are lower. Potatoes – bakers are steady & red are up a bit. Lettuces – We all know what is going on here with very high prices across the board still. Things are starting to come down a little on less demand but prices are still crazy. Use fresh cut if you can. Cauliflower – prices are lower but very high. Broccoli – is higher again this week. Grapes – Green & red are fairly steady. Strawberries – prices are higher. Melons – Dews are up a bit & loupes are higher. Lemons– prices are a bit lower this week. Squash – yellow is steady & green is down some. Peppers – green are down some this week. Onions –yellow are up a bit with good quality & good storage supplies. Celery – prices are higher this week. Apples- prices are steady this week. Cucumbers – demand is good & growing areas are moving south but prices remain fairly steady. Raspberries – Rain is slowing production & prices are higher. Carrots – are steady this week. Asparagus – prices are down a little this week. Berries are More Popular than Ever Berries are becoming as popular in the winter as they are in the summer. The key to this is greater availability. In 2014 we imported 774.7 million pounds & in 2017, we imported 1.6 billion pounds, more than double! MX, South America & Central America all now do a good job with soft fruit making berries the number 1 fruit category. Usually, citrus would dominate with fruit selections but now berries have taken over and the demand is for all four berries; blue, black straw & raspberries. The quality is very good so people keep buying