MARKET REPORT – DEC. 16TH, 2016
Do we really need pink pineapple? Whatever.
As we wind up to Christmas week, here’s a fast discussion about what to look forward to, and not.
Apples – little has changed, with a wide selection and fair pricing. Expect to see a few varieties move south of the border over January, and CA rooms breaking here, with CA Gala already packing.
Bananas – our containers have caught up, and because we had a delay we had to truck in an extra load of Mexican FT from Coliman, so now we are on the heavy side. Have lowered prices, despite a shrinking CAD$, to increase volumes, and please consider a promotion over the holidays and ask for a sharp price in trade.
Blueberries – with the strawberry market struggling with weather issues in 2 of 3 growing areas it’s time to focus your berry selection on blues. Stunning crop this year. Prices will drop in a couple of weeks when sea shipping hits L.A., but should stay stable through the end of this calendar year.
Cranberries – we expect to run out in the next few days. Most of you booked in advance, but for those who didn’t, don’t call us on Friday hoping for miracles or you might be sorry.
Lemons – prices have edged up considerably over the week – maybe not a permanent thing – but a few days of rain have cut harvesting so it’s first come first served for the next couple of weeks.
Mangos – lots to be had at good pricing with Peru fruit about to hit L.A. shortly and Ecuador scrambling to finish their season as soon as possible. Great pricing on Ataulfo this week, and large fruit as well. As mentioned earlier, Peru started harvest 5 weeks ahead of ‘normal’, although there is no more normal, and they are also expecting record volumes. Our first container of Apromalpi Fair Trade mangos is on the water and due in port on the 29th so we expect to start shipping very early in the first week of January. Pricing will be very reasonable this year with growers hoping for large sales. We don’t know how long the season will last – but neither do they, with this abnormal start. So gear up – we always appreciate grand support on this program. Head’s up, over 50% of our first container is 6’s and 7’s, so lovely big fruit that should grab attention! And there’s a few of you out there, no names mentioned, who gobble up giant mangos, so a special head’s up to you to get ready!
Melons – despite frost in the desert that tightened up the Sonora deal, there is still production down the coast of Sinaloa, so heaving mini seedless watermelon for Christmas is a rare treat. We’re just finishing up on the last of Divine Flavor’s harvest on cantaloupe as well.
Mandarins – ooh la lah! With so much interest in winter citrus, this line item has seen pretty amazing increases this year. And, as a little holiday present for you, prices are down and on special this week at a very attention grabbing price – make everyone happy on this stocking-stuffer!
Oranges – within this broad category of Navels, Clementine’s and Tangerines there is a huge selection this week, including the arrival of the first blood oranges from Deer Creek. With bloods, Cara Cara, hot pink grapefruit, even baby sweet limes (Limequats) you could grab some attention and cut a few open on your rack.
Pears – we will be winding up all Asian apple pears over the next 10 days. Rest of the pear category is strong with green Bartlett’s cleaning up north and south of the border, but lots of red tint Bartlett’s to be had and grower now balancing inventories vs. storage life and dropping prices substantially – maybe time to shift the selection to include these or Red D’Anjou.
Pineapple – always a challenging commodity, we’ve had a great run on Capa brand, with good supply expected through the holidays. It was announced yesterday that some big pineapple corporation (Del Monte? Can’t remember) has just had their Genetically Modified Pink Pineapple approved by the FDA in the U.S. Breeders everywhere have been able to naturally hybridize new colours into everything from pears to tomatoes, but pineapple don’t produce seeds so no one has been able to mess around with them much, so GM was the only way to do it. Do we really need pink pineapple? Whatever.
The entire veg department is somewhat stable. It’s rained for 2 days north of L.A. in the only major production area, which has halted some harvest. Lows in Salinas up north on the Coast, Imperial Valley and Mexicali are hovering around freezing, which is going to tighten up supply with no plant growth, and even down in Guanajuato where our Agrofresco product is grown there has been some light ground frost for the last 6 days – we may even gap on kale for a few days at the end of next week and beginning of the next on that particular brand because those acres and acres Gustavo is growing for us are not recovering as quickly as we would like. That being said, we do have a truck chock full of kale arriving from Gustavo this weekend. There is still a glut of broccoli and celery out there which is expected to continue through the holidays, but we expect that will change quickly in the New Year. Cauli has already tightened considerably and prices are rising.
Brussels Sprouts – oh this cold weather is not helping!!!! We were hoping this year to not rely entirely on Sprouts coming from Salinas and instead have huge volumes from Agrofresco, which were beautiful last year, plus some local, and, as a treat, Tim and Ray at Ralph’s Greenhouses just across the border introduced these into their mix this year, plus Nash’s as well out on the Olympic Peninsula. Well, in Mexico, the plants have not budged for 10 weeks – they look the same as they did in September. We don’t know why. And for all the ones up here, despite the fact that they can tolerate -20C quite comfortably, you can’t pick them until they’ve warmed up, and we aren’t expecting to even see temperatures above freezing around here until early in the week, making it potentially too late. Our hope is for Nash’s because with this cold snap about to end, they are right on the edge of the Pacific, so should be able to harvest early in the week and get them here mid-week. We’ll still have you covered, but it was set to be much more fun. Oh well. Nice try. So we have lots coming from Salinas after all.
For those of you all excited about our new program with Santa Amalia announced last week, you may remember something I said about some expected pain at the border crossing into the U.S. Well, that’s what happened, so arrival is now not until this weekend. We will have it for you a.s.a.p. so you can try it all out.
A few other things:
You will see Green Siberian Kale on the list this week. We asked Gustavo to plant it because it is the sweetest and juiciest variety we know of – it just isn’t super curly like other ones – this is the mother of kale, grown for millennia in Russia and Scandinavia. Kale has been a staple in those northern countries because it doesn’t mind being frozen at all. So popular that “come for dinner” in Gaelic is “come for kael”
New listing – 45/50 count L.E. cukes – well, why would someone pack Fancy grade LE cukes that way? Easy answer – when the guy out in the packaging warehouse orders 12 count trays late from the box maker and runs out. Probably got fired. So these Divine Flavor cukes are Fancy, just some of them are arriving in this off-size box.
Lettuces are being affected by cold in all regions – prices have tightened considerably – just sayin’
And…………you all have a very merry one, get some rest after the long haul this coming week, and get geared up for January, New Year’s resolutions and yet more demand for kale and juicing cukes.