MARKET REPORT – JAN. 22ND, 2016
What California drought?
The bottom ½ of coastal California inland to the Central Valley has had what everyone was hoping for – copious ran – soggier than soggy Vancouver in fact, with 50-100cm falling over many growing areas for the first half of the week, and more forecast for the entire weekend. Despite that, California water authorities have announced even stricter water restrictions and allocations for this upcoming farming season. It is going to take a lot more rain to fill underground aquifers than just the above normal amounts they’ve had for the last 2 months. Since the start of the drought 4 years ago, some parts of the Central Valley have sunk nearly ½ a metre because of the big air pockets where water should be in underground aquifers. But every bit helps, even if it makes harvest hard.
We are seeing some big price changes for next week – cauliflower already tumbled, and broccoli prices are now down substantially for next week. Despite the colder and wetter weather, pricing has been dictated more on access to fields – those broccoli and cauli harvesters are huge platforms that straddle 6 rows, with crews of 30 people harvesting and packing continuously. Well, you just can’t run huge tractors and 10 metre wide harvesting platforms in the mud. Now that the rain has subsided and fields are drying, there is a lot of product waiting to harvest, as well as reasonable supplies coming out of the desert where temperatures have finally gone back to the normal range. Which explains much lower pricing for next week.
Our next mango container arrives early next week. For most of the small producers we work with on avocados and mangos, they harvest for us, for our container, and then pack what they harvested. We can’t ask for 800 of these and 400 of those – we just get what they picked that was ready. So this next can, like a poorly loaded boat, is leaning heavily towards 7’s and 8’s and is shy on 9 and 10. So, as you can imagine, we are going to have a rocking price on 7’s for the next week or two – in fact they are going to be cheaper by the mango than the smaller sizes. Please buy with that in mind– and remember that people love BIG mangos.
All depending on how long CBSA takes to inspect our next banana container, which was going to arrive just in time today, we could see a gap mid-week for a day or two especially on higher colour fruit.
We’re also running out of larger avocados quickly, maybe out as I speak, but the next truck is due in late Monday, as well as a refill on those amazing grapefruit from Pragor. Yes, the first of the Baja mini watermelons are due in any day – expect higher prices on melons for a few weeks until other areas hit harvest.
Watch for continued high prices on cukes, zucchini and some tomatoes. There is some downward movement on 2 layers, but high humidity across parts of Mexico is triggering more virus issues for shadehouse and hothouse growers.