Apples – The market remains tight this week as growers recover from the large pulls around the holidays. Markets are expected to remain tight as consumers start their New Year’s resolutions and begin to consume more fruits and vegetables during the month of January. The overall crop came in shorter than projected due to weather issues and is now estimated to be around 120-million cases. This is much smaller than the 140-million case crop that we had last season. The quality of the fruit is very good but the sizing on the fruit is running smaller than last year and will mean that the large sizes will be tight and more expensive this season.
Asparagus – The asparagus market has continued to be high priced. January is typically a supply-gap month as Peruvian supply finishes and Mexico gets started. We should start to see some relief as soon as volume from Mexico starts arriving in the next couple of weeks.
Bananas – The banana market is one that doesn’t change much and stays relatively stable throughout the year as most buyers are on contracts that keep pricing the same for years at a time. This year is different in many ways, though. They expect these higher prices to go through the end of March.
Corn – Remains extremely tight and Florida is struggling to find any significant harvests. Expect prices to stay strong until the spring harvests begin.
Cabbage – The Florida & Georgia cabbage market remains high with very little availability. We’re seeing a lot of smaller sizing in the 18/20-count range after several weeks of cool weather.
Pineapple – Windy conditions prevail over Costa Rica, with wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour, affecting many regions. Many areas have seen significant rainfall. Quality is reported as good but the additional rainfall is causing several issues like lower sugar, and some water spotting mainly on larger fruit.
Squash and Zucchini – remain short in both Mexico and Florida due to field transitions and cooler weather. We expect better supplies soon; however, demand will continue to exceed supply. We are also seeing some quality issues with scarring and scuffing caused by wind damage. Rains this week in Mexico will prevent growers from normal harvesting.
Strawberries – California, and Florida growing areas are experiencing limited supplies due to cold and inclement weather, and markets are very strong. This situation could last for several weeks. That’s bad news heading into Valentine’s Day. Normally stem berries are popular for that holiday but we expect them to be very rare this year as they won’t size up.
Did you know the first French fries weren’t actually cooked in France? They were cooked in Greece!