MARKET REPORT – NOV. 2ND, 2018
Here’s a couple of pictures from two sources speculating on this winter’s outlook for the US. This is based on projections including a fairly strong El Nino developing off the coast of Peru in Jan/Feb. for the growers in the southern deserts and Yuma, we will keep our fingers crossed. There hasn’t been a hard freeze in those areas since the winter of 2015-2016. Time will tell.
In other news:
Apples – everything is now off the trees in the interior. Some late, high pressure varieties need cold/frosty nights to sugar up, so it may seem weird that apples are harvested in October, but it is what it is. And of course there are a plethora of varieties out there this time of year, some far more popular than others, but there is no expectation that every grower is going to carve through their orchard and get rid of the venerable Red Delicious, Winesap, Empire, Spartan, Gold Delicious etc. right away – gotta have some cash flow as you convert your trees. Luckily the plethora of cideries sprouting up across BC can help out blending in some of the oldies and make them goodies. We don’t expect you to buy every variety, but it’s always fun to throw a cheaper relic variety out there, even if you just have one case in stock. Oh, and we should run out of Honeycrisp this week. Huge popularity is keeping supply limited on this one.
Avocados – Michoacan is a state in Mexico that looks like this, in green:
Areas of Michocan are the avocado growing center of the universe. A multi-billion dollar industry. To sell Mexican avocados into the USA, orchards have to be certified by the state, by the country, by global food-safe certifiers and the US Dep’t of Agriculture (USDA) and only come from Michoacan. The movement (safe movement) of avocados is controlled by several cartels, who offer, as part of their services, required fees for orchard “security,” for safe passage of tractor trailers, and for other protective services for packing plants. (You can read between the lines I assume.) With the explosion in demand for avocados, tens of thousands of hectares of avocados have been planted in neighbouring Jalisco state to the north and west as well as the states of Nayarit and of Mexico. Those avocados are supposed to be for export to Canada, Europe and Asia – not certified for the U.S. However, prices in the US are always the best and the growers in Jalisco who aren’t part of the above mentioned pricing scheme (and related security costs imposed by the mafia) are at a huge advantage — they don’t have to pay these costs, or the extra costs for USDA certification, and if their fruit can be smuggled into Michoacan to be packed there, it can be illegally sold into the US, giving them the best price. However, the Michoacan growers have many issues with this – for one, the extra supply lowers their harvest prices, and two they feel, for good reason, that this is entirely unfair. So they do what any good Mexican would do, you blockade the roads. Not one avocado has left Michoacan since the 28th of October. These strikes, which happen once in a while usually end after a week or 10 days, because the growers need to be harvesting and selling, not hanging out on the highway, and the cartels usually find a way of returning things to the ‘normal’ that they control. In the meantime, we are all in the same boat – unfortunately California is months away from first harvest, and we’re not going to Florida. Always interesting.
Blueberries. We expect our long-standing blueberry deal from Chile to swing in at the end of the month. In the meantime we should have a reasonable supply of Argentinean fruit, starting now.
Lemons. Finally. You know what I mean. They said mid-October at the earliest. At long last it is no longer a sellers’ market and you can make some change.
Persimmons. Yes those are BC Persimmons listed. Not a mistake. They actually grow well here, just no one grows them organically besides Formosa. I have one in my front yard. You see them in people’s yards in Vancouver, sometimes just loaded with lovely orange fruit.
On the more boring vegetable side – as mentioned last week, we are in the double transition – BC to California and California coast to desert. Always a bit choppy, where you will see changes will be chard for some reason, and mostly lettuce, especially lettuce, where supply will not meet demand right through until after US Thanksgiving. There is still LOTS of local production of greens, but lettuce not so. The Frost Fairy has not waved her wand across the Fraser Valley (except for a mere touch in early October), and long range forecasts are not projecting a cold snap for looking forward a couple of weeks. Storm systems are larger and farther apart, so there is some drying days as well, although scant heat units. Don’t be surprised to see local kale, chard etc. for some time. (Normally everyone winds down this week.)
There is also a shortage of green onions. This goes back to the fact that 80% of the green onions are grown in Mexicali on the south side of the border just west of Yuma (refer to last week’s map lesson) and 3, count ‘em 3 remnant hurricanes have passed by in the last month or so, plus some rainstorms – neither of which are regular events there, which have broken a lot of stem, causing what will be a multi-week event pending recovery.
Ooops, out of time!