How is it Thanksgiving already? Wow this year has flown by. We have a lot to talk about, so let’s get started.
With almost a solid week of rain in Florida and a very hard frost in Mexican tomato regions this past week, tomatoes dried up overnight. Suddenly they were extremely limited and fetching top dollar. Ripeness has been a struggle also on the short supplies. Expect higher pricing for the next few weeks.
Mexican avocado growers and pickers have been on strike for the past two weeks, demanding higher prices for their fruit. There were enough avocadoes in the pipeline to cover demand for the past two weeks, but now the well has run dry. They seem to have reached an agreement as of this writing, but it will take a couple of weeks for things to settle back down to normal. Once the supply lines fill back up, everyone will still be struggling with ripe fruit, since no one has any being ripened during this time. Expect shortages for a while.
As retailers gear up for Christmas season, the demand on trucking companies to deliver everything from Turkeys to Christmas Trees and Elmo Dolls causes disruptions and shortages in available trucks. The truckers’ phones are ringing off the hook, so they start asking for more money for each haul. Freight rates go up on all things, so final price to the consumer goes up on all things. Last week we saw about a dollar and a half increase in all items just due to freight changes.
Thanksgiving always drives the celery market to high levels. Just think about how many holiday recipes need celery and you can see why it’s the highest usage of the year.
The cabbage market remains in flux. Midwest cabbage is ending earlier than expected due to substantial rain and weather related complications. Texas crops are delayed due to rains that delayed plantings. Markets in the west remain high as demand greatly exceed supply. Expect markets to remain tight and elevated until after Thanksgiving at least.
Squash and zucchini are in a glut, with heavy volumes coming from Florida, Georgia, and Mexico. Prices are very low on the strong production.
Q: If Pilgrims traveled on the Mayflower, what do students travel on? A: Scholar ships.
Download the PDF version of this Produce Supply Update.