Avocado markets are in severe disarray. California has a very limited supply, not even enough to supply their own state. Mexican harvests are between new and old crop fruit, with the new fruit not showing enough maturity or oil levels to fill orders. Remember how tight they got last year? And how high prices were last fall? The current crop is yielding 20% less than last year. Expect prices to remain high through October until the newer harvests catch up with demand.
All of the rains on the east coast cleaned up all of the extra tomatoes on the market and suddenly everyone was looking for tomatoes. Rain causes quality issues on harvested fruit because the tomatoes suck up all of that water and resemble water balloons a couple of days after harvest.
Warmer weather in California growing areas is bringing on the strawberries. Harvests are very strong on the berries, but the warm days and nights are causing some quality issues like bruising and dark red berries.
All colors of corn are plentiful and beautiful, with harvests going on in several areas. Michigan, Ohio, Jersey, and even Canadian farmers are picking corn right now and flooding the market so it’s a great time to feature them. They’re low in price and high in quality.
In Washington, apple projections on the new crop show it down 2.1% as compared to last year. A few notables: Reds (-14.7%), Grannies (-11.5%), Braeburns ( -25%), and Honeycrisp (+ 23.8%), all compared to last year’s varieties.
Green pepper supplies are finally catching back up with demand and markets are on the slide back to lower levels. Quality has been very nice.
High winds late December heavily damaged the lemon crop, but the recent high heat delivered the knock out blow to the lemon industry. Supplies are at critical levels and not expected to recover for months. Expect record level high pricing, marginal to poor quality, hit or miss availability and non-typical sizing. In recent weeks we’ve been suggesting substituting limes where possible and that’s still a good idea.
Asparagus harvests are improving in both Mexico and Peru. Volumes are increasing and pricing is on a slide as a result. Quality should be better with the change also.
Summertime is a fun time for produce. We have lots of new and seasonal items. A few examples are Pomegranate seeds, Dragon Fruit, Crenshaw Melons, and Fresh Currants
Download the PDF version of this Produce Supply Update.