MARKET REPORT – NOV. 4TH, 2016
Why is red kale so much more expensive?
A couple of reasons. As a hybrid plant it was bred for colour, not for volume and it doesn’t produce as heavily. Then there are the aphids, which seem to be much happier on red and black than on green. But the primary reason is a shortage of seed – demand from producers for Redbor seed was far higher than available supply – and you have to pre-order up to 12 months in advance just to get it if you are buying volume. That’s why!
Currency – the Canadian dollar continues to slide a bit every week and has un-coupled from the price of oil, although it has also slumped 10% over the last 2 weeks. Stock, commodity and currency markets are all struggling with a lot of nervousness connected to Tuesday’s US elections. Traders have assumed a Clinton win, but that is nowhere from a sure bet anymore. Expectations are that CAD$ will improve by 10% over the next 3 months with a Clinton win, and plunge substantially with a Trump win, which is only going to make US produce pricing that much worse.
You may not remember when we spoke of this a couple of months ago, but this year’s apple harvest in the Similkameen and Okanagan produced a much bigger ratio of large fruit to normal. Much conjecture – lots of rain and good heat over May and June is the best guess. Bottom line is that there is a lot of really big apples out there. To help a few growers out we have had 20+ listings of 64/72/80 count apples – much more than ever before, but obviously we need to generate higher sales. This week we have those sizes available on special on Honeycrisp / Jona Red / Pink Lady / Red Rome / Winesap. Please help yourself to these. We’ll keep these prices for a couple of weeks so you can build a big display of big apples with big confidence on supply. Some of our customers, depending on the local market conditions now buy 80 / 88 as their standard size, so we know it can work.
Avocado markets continue a little on the haywire side. Looking at our prices vs. prices offered by wholesalers down the West Coast, we are 40% cheaper, and that’s even with us paying substantially higher prices than last year, by 35%. Retail prices on mid-sized avocados are in the $4.75 range each in Seattle (in equivalent Canadian dollars.)
Grape markets continue to tighten as California growers sweep up. Talked about this before as well, but climate change has affected ripening rates substantially – up to 6 weeks late, or 6 weeks early all depending non varieties. Some shippers suggested the season may wind up 4 weeks early this year. Prices will continue to inch up 5-10% weekly until this deal is done.
Kiwi – NZ is basically done, with single layer now coming at a higher price from California
Orange/citrus – Navel prices remain high with only one early variety harvesting. Satsuma selling faster than incoming, but more due in any day. Mandarins, well, if you are stocking these you know how crazy sales are.
Lemons – prices continue to drop with multiple areas now open for harvest. Don’t expect substantial shifts on pricing from here on in.
Strawberries – still an extremely tight market as growers struggle with last weeks’ rain. We do have limited volume, but at very steep pricing.
Broccoli – despite gloom and doom, pricing on organic broccoli is still close to conventional and at the low end of the spectrum. So we’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop on this one. If you walk down memory lane you would see that last year in mid-November, prices were double what they are now – same with a lot of greens.
Broccoli / Celery / Kale / Lettuce – look for Ecocampos / Agrofresco listings starting Wednesday for delivery next weekend.
Greens – most of our local farm suppliers have all but thrown in the towel – it’s that time of year, and even with no fall frosts yet it’s just too wet and cold to try to mush through the mud. You will see lots of listings for local greens, but there isn’t much volume behind those numbers, and that is product being delivered right now. Unfortunately California is in transition on chard / kale / lettuce with many coastal growers down there also winding down, especially those who move their operation to the desert so prices are going to jump as we move south.
Yes those are BC Field and Roma Tomatoes in stock – these are all grown inside plastic tunnels, which saved the bacon when there was a couple of hard frosts – keeping soil warm and temps a few degrees above freezing makes the difference! Weather continues to be lovely in the S. Okanagan for tomato growing, with highs in the mid to upper teens and lows similar to what should be the highs. No frost in sight!