MARKET REPORT – FEB. 19TH, 2016
Yes, your eyes don’t deceive. BC Brussels Sprouts!
We’ll start off talking about Mangos. This new load we just got in are stunning – and being fruit harvested later in the season it is higher in colour and higher in sugar. This year was tough for our Peruvian growers because of El Nino, and the reason why is different than you might expect. When winters are warmer (and their winter was 6 months ago and very warm), a lot more flowers bloom and stay in bloom longer – those are flowering plants that dot the countryside, on the ground. Mango trees in that area are huge – 20M high, and with so many flowers on the ground, bees don’t bother going all the way up to the mango flowers at the top of the trees (and mangos are less appealing as a pollen source as well). Bottom line is there is less fruit, especially higher up in the trees. But with the extra moisture from El Nino over the last six months (their spring and summer), there is more water for developing mangos. More water and less fruit = bigger sizing, which means that we have once again ended up with a large percentage of this shipment that arrived mid-week in the 7 and 8 count range. They had lots of bigger fruit than that, but the demand for the biggest fruit is very high, and fetches a much higher price in Japan, so the 5’s and 6’s have gone overseas for a bigger buck for the growers. You will see a substantial price correction today on the larger counts.
Apples: Well, as warned, with B.C. just about done, we’re into the thick of the Washington fruit, and prices are high. This doesn’t have seemed to be affecting sales at all, and we are seeing increased interest in some of the newer Washington varieties we have been listing for a while – Envy, Opal, Lady Alice and Rosalyn. These aren’t actually new – some of them are heirlooms, just not well known varieties here, although very popular in the US.
Lemon pricing is starting to increase significantly on fancy fruit – choice grade hasn’t budged much but the beautiful ones are becoming scarcer. Homegrown have jumped quite a bit over the past week – but we’ve always considered them one of our two primary packers because of the consistent premium quality we get from them…..that and they are a grower owned packer. Homegrown growers are also active in many social projects – including all the profit from hundreds of acres of California peach production which is used to buy root stock and nursery plants in the Central African Republic to the tune of $40,000 to increase rural fruit supply through a network of 66 growers. So that’s another reason we consider them one of our most important citrus suppliers.
Jumping down the list – Asparagus is going into harvest in new locations in Mexico – expect to see higher volumes and lower prices starting about now.
Yes, your eyes don’t deceive. BC Brussels Sprouts – these actually produce all year until late March – there just hasn’t been enough growth for Mike to harvest for the past couple of months since stripping the plants back at Christmas.
We have a load arriving early in the week from Agrofresco. We had to take a 1 week shipping gap because of cold weather, but spring has returned, new plantings are up, and we expect larger volumes on kale and lettuce building over the next couple of weeks.
With 6 or 7 weeks of greens production all compressed into a 3 week harvest cycle because of some extreme up and down temperatures, there is still deals galore on California veg – with some growers choosing to create some market share with down and dirty pricing, so you will some substantial price swings between growers who now have a handle on their production, and those with wildly large harvests underway. This should all correct over the next 10 days as the market stabilizes.