The Source - April 8, 2014

Summary

PRO*ACT's procurement team is excited to unveil a new way to view and interact with The Source! In addition to the PDF version, the online version allows you to interact with weather maps specific to each growing region, see updated information, view alerts, and go directly to the commodities that are of most interest to you.

Weather Update

Weather: Tim Lynch
The exiting cold front out West that brought a welcome shot of rain to California will move east today with scattered showers. This winter type storm system (only the third this season) did bring a little snow to the mountains and up to 2 inches of rain reported in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys. Most valley locations came in at under an inch however. This will not provide any relief to the drought facing California but I did help the wild grasses and hillsides. Cold air behind this system will cool temperatures (60s) briefly as high pressure returns gradually warming to seasonal norms by the weekend. Coastal temperatures remain in the upper 60s with 70s in the inland valleys.
South of the boarder temperatures cool to slightly below average in most locations as a cut-off low pressure system forms off the Baja coast moving in over the weekend. These cut-off systems are difficult to forecast but up to an 1/4 inch of rain is possible for the Northern Mexico. Temperatures quickly rebound to above seasonal averages (upper 90s) next week.
In the southeast high pressure will remain in control this week as a series of weak fronts move through the region with scattered showers. Temperatures look to remain above average reaching the 80s to low 90s.

Freight Update

Trucks in the Northwest and Idaho remain steady. Trucks in California were plentiful at the start of the week but seem to be tightening up as we get to the end of the week. Crude Oil remained steady and is currently at 50.95 per barrel.

Commodity Updates (Click row for summary) Expand All

Apples

New York is still packing McIntosh, Red delicious, Empires, and Romes. The demand has been light for all varieties.

Michigan continues to pack Idareds, Jonagolds, Jonathans, McIntosh, Red delicious and Romes. All varieties are steady and the demand remains light.

Washington's main varieties are still Red delicious, Golden delicious, Granny-smith, Gala's, and Fuji's. There are a few varietals left as well: Braeburns, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonagolds, Jonathans, Opals, Lady Alice, and Pink lady's. The reds remain large and there are some volume deals on 88's and larger. Golden are steady on all sizes. Granny's are steady but the volume deals on 80's and larger are still available. Gala's and Fuji's are both steady to higher due to lighter supplies. The varietals are steady except Honeycrisp which are very limited. Most packers will finish Honeycrisp by the end of the month or early May.

- John Tole
Growing Region Market Quality
Coopersville/Belding/Sparta, MI Steady Good
Hudson/Pleasant Valley/Red Hook, NY Steady Good
Wenatchee/Yakima, WA and Hood River, OR Steady Good
Asparagus

This market is active. Demand has proven to be stronger after the Easter pull. Supplies out of Mexico are slowly finishing. The quality is strong. Production in Peru and Salinas is average. All the growing regions are producing good quality at this time. Standard and large sizing are the main packs available on both 11lb. and 28 lb. cases. Extra large and jumbo packs are very light in availability and a premium price is put on these sizes. Peruvian product is available to load out of Miami direct. Standard and large sizing is light in availability as well.

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Salinas Valley, CA Higher Good
Caborca, Mexico Higher Good
Avocado (California)

California Growers are increasing production weekly, and supplies are improving. Maturity of fruit is good.

- Tim Kelley
Growing Region Market Quality
Oxnard/Ventura, CA Steady Excellent
Temecula/Escondido, CA Steady Excellent
Avocado (Mexican)

Mexico supplies are steady. Crossings to begin the week were lighter as there was no harvest or packing Friday through Sunday for Holy Week of Easter, but are now starting to improve. Size still peaking on 60's, 48's and larger remain tight.

- Tim Kelley
Growing Region Market Quality
Michoacan, Mexico Steady Excellent
Berries (Blackberries)

The weather that hit Central Mexico in recent weeks has been limiting harvests, overall production volume is down significantly and quality issues are showing up in the packs as well. Soft berries, red cell and mold are being reported. Crews returned to the fields after the hail, rain and high wind to assess the fruit and plants. Sub-par fruit was stripped, plants were cleaned-up but not all issues could be diverted. Fruit is weaker overall. Besides the overall amount of fruit crossing into the U.S. being much lower, much of the fruit is also being red tagged and rejected for quality when it arrives to our shippers. We will be short throughout this week at least. Soon after, we should see a quick recovery to this shortage as we are coming upon peak season for Mexican blackberries.

- Tom Smith
Growing Region Market Quality
Central Mexico Steady Fair
Berries (Blueberries)

Chilean season is winding down and the arrivals are lessening weekly. CA blues have been very limited so far but looks to be increasing with small volumes this week, mostly 4.4oz clams. FL blues are available out of Miami, Dover and Plant City. Mostly 4.4oz and 6oz clams though some larger packs are being packed at request. Market has come off some on FL blues. Mainland Mexican supplies have been limited by rain and cooler weather but looks to increase this week as weather has cleared. Varying levels of pricing and quality based on country/region of origin. Domestic fruit is demanding premium pricing.

- Tom Smith
Growing Region Market Quality
Southern Chile Steady Fair
Central Mexico Steady/Higher Good
Santa Maria, CA Steady/Higher Good
Central Florida Lower/Steady Good
Berries (Raspberries)

Raspberry volumes continue to decline out of both Central Mexico and Oxnard, CA growing regions. Santa Maria, CA volumes have increased some recently but harvests and volume are likely to be disrupted some by recent rain in this area. We should begin to see Watsonville fruit by the end of April with decent volume. Some reports of soft and overripe berries.

- Tom Smith
Growing Region Market Quality
Central Mexico Steady Fair
Oxnard, CA Steady Fair
Santa Maria, CA Steady Fair
Berries (Strawberries)

Demand is high and is exceeding supply currently. While the recent rains did not reach the levels previously forecasted, there was enough precipitation that harvests were cancelled and production was disrupted in both the Salinas/Watsonville and Santa Maria growing regions. Mixed reports of precipitation levels from over an inch in the higher elevations to as little as one quarter of an inch for inland valleys. Volume will be limited throughout this week as crews return to the fields to cull subpar fruit and clean up the plants. Special packs will be very limited: stems, pints, 2#, 3#, etc. Crews will focus on packing 1# clams once they are able to get in for fresh harvest. Lighter colored fruit will be packed so expect to see more green/white shoulders than we have recently. Most of the darker red, ripe fruit will be discarded to avoid further quality issues. Many shippers have ended fresh production in Oxnard for the season while others are continuing to ship smaller volumes, some with restrictions due to quality. Trace amounts of rain reported for this area will not have much of an effect for the remaining fresh volume.

- Tom Smith
Growing Region Market Quality
Salinas Valley, CA Higher Fair
Watsonville, CA Higher Fair
Santa Maria, CA Higher Fair
Oxnard, CA Higher Fair
Broccoli

This market is steady with firm pricing going into the weekend. Broccoli crowns and Broccoli Bunched supplies will be limited going into the weekend. The best quality remains in the Salinas Valley. Santa Maria has light to moderate supplies with good quality. The quality in all of the growing regions is favorable.

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Salinas Valley, CA Steady Good
Oxnard/Santa Maria, CA Steady Good
Carrots

California desert crop is going well. Size is only fair coming out of the fields. Jumbo size remains snug.

- Tim Kelley
Growing Region Market Quality
Coachella Valley, CA Steady Excellent
Cauliflower

This market is active and limited supplies in both growing regions. Salinas and Santa Maria production is moderate to light. The quality has picked up, however. Demand is up. Supplies are not expected to be stronger for at least two weeks, minimum.

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Salinas Valley, CA Higher Good
Oxnard/Santa Maria, CA Higher Good
Celery

This market is steady but at higher prices. A few suppliers have attempted to take up pricing after the Easter pull, but demand is only moderate at best. Production continues to be stronger on large sizing, twenty-four count in particular. Some shippers are still offering deals on volume type orders, so take advantage of this. This market looks to change again by the end of the week once inventories clean up. Small sizing is commanding a higher price. Shippers are loading out of Salinas if needed but a higher cost is being tacked onto the fob price so please be aware. Loading in Oxnard/ Santa Maria is your best price.

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Oxnard/Santa Maria, CA Steady/Higher Good
Cherries

Cherries are on the horizon with the first of the early California fruit expected by the end of April. Promotable volume should be available by the middle of May. Early reports have been for good quality and good supplies but these were before the recent storms that moved through California. We will update on quality over the next few weeks as we see the effects of the wind and rain.

- Brad Tremblay
Growing Region Market Quality
Bakersfield / Arvin, CA Steady Good
Citrus (Lemons)

Crop is peaking on 140's and larger. 165's and smaller are tight with springtime demand picking up for these sizes.

- Tim Kelley
Growing Region Market Quality
Merced/Bakersfield, CA Steady/Higher Good
Oxnard/Ventura, CA Steady/Higher Good
Citrus (Limes)

The lime market is continuing to come down from the previous high prices. High prices curbed the demand and caused the market to break. Supplies are increasing on smaller sizes and decreasing slightly on larger sizes this week and for the next few weeks. Less than favorable weather in the growing regions has slowed down production. The forecast of lower supplies from April through mid May will more than likely keep the market from tanking to the bottom although it could be a choppy ride. The overall quality is good on the new crop that is being harvested.

- Jim Murphy
Growing Region Market Quality
Veracruz, Mexico Lower Good
Citrus (Oranges)

California Navel crop is in its peak eating quality. Sizing is peaking 72's/56's. Demand is exceeding smaller fruit, 113's/138's. California Valencia's should be ready toward the end of the month in limited volume.

- Tim Kelley
Growing Region Market Quality
Merced to Bakersfield, CA Steady/Higher Good
Riverside, CA Steady/Higher Good
Eggplant (Eastern)

Although the market remains steady, the quality of the eggplants is marginal at best. South Florida is just getting too hot and Central Florida is several days away from working eggplant. Weak demand is keeping the market down.

- Steve Sterling
Growing Region Market Quality
Indian River / Dade County, FL Steady Fair
Grapes (Green)

The green seedless market has firmed up as supplies are now mostly storage fruit. Quality continues to be an issue and will be fair at best until the Mexican grapes are available around the last week of April.

- Brad Tremblay
Growing Region Market Quality
Coquimbo/Valaparaiso/Santiago/Rancagua, Chile Steady/Higher Fair
Grapes (Red)

Supplies continue to be plentiful with sizing running mostly to the medium large to large fruit. Quality is being reported as mostly good with a few issues beginning to surface in some of the older lots.

- Brad Tremblay
Growing Region Market Quality
Coquimbo/Valaparaiso/Santiago/Rancagua, Chile Steady Good
Green Onions

This market is up from the previous week. There continues to be sporadic reports of yellow discoloration that has been seen upon arrivals. Most of the production on this commodity is coming out of Mexico. Very light supplies are being produced in Salinas. Small and medium sizing continues to be the main packs available. Supplies will be moderate to light all week out of the Mexico growing regions. Expect pricing to slowly climb throughout the weekend.

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Mexicali, Baja Steady/Higher Fair
Lettuce Iceberg

This market is active going into the weekend. Supplies are short due to the lack of harvesting yesterday because of the rain. Bugs and gnats continue to be an issue in Huron on this commodity. The weights are ranging from 41-46 pounds. Misshapen heads, mildew, and weak tip continue to be seen sporadically upon arrivals. Santa Maria has much better quality but light supplies.

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Huron, CA Higher Fair
Salinas Valley, CA Higher Good
Oxnard/Santa Maria, CA Steady/Higher Good
Lettuce Leaf

The romaine market is active with shorter supplies to finish the week. The issues out of Huron include flies and gnats on all romaine and leaf items. Strong winds in this region have created fringe burn and a dehydrated texture to this crop. Salinas is the best growing area for romaine and all leaf items. Weights on romaine are ranging from 31-35 pounds. Green and red leaf pricing is higher with limited supplies. Suppliers will continue to spray in the Huron region to combat the gnat and flies. Purchasing these commodities in Salinas is the best move at this time. Huron will finish up production within the next two weeks or less

- Gabe Romero
Growing Region Market Quality
Huron, CA Steady/Higher Fair
Salinas Valley, CA Higher Good
Melon (Cantaloupe)

Cantaloupe supplies are a bit lighter than previous weeks. Demand is somewhat better than previous weeks, which is causing the market to perk up a bit. Cantaloupe 9's are in tight supply with sizes peaking on 12's and 15's. Arrivals of offshore melons on the west coast continue to arrive in limited volumes with 12's being the peak size with some 9's being available. Quality is good on all lopes.

- Jim Murphy
Growing Region Market Quality
Zacapa, Guatemala Steady/Higher Good
Melon (Honeydew)

Honeydew supplies remain lighter than previous weeks. Demand is remaining steady which is causing the market to perk up a little bit. The peak size is 6's on both coasts. Rainy weather during the planting stages and abnormal overcast weather has caused low yields. Supplies out of Mexico have not been large enough to cause the market to move in any one direction but they should increase over the next month. Quality has been good overall.

- Jim Murphy
Growing Region Market Quality
Zacapa, Guatemala Steady/Higher Good
Onions

Idaho - Demand is moderate with a slightly firmer market on both yellow and red onions. Supplies are getting into fewer hands as more shippers finish for the season. The remaining shippers are trying to finish up before Southern California gets going the third week of April. Quality is still being reported as good.
Washington - Demand is moderate with a slightly firmer market on all colors. They are in the same boat as Idaho and are trying to finish up before California gets going. Quality is still being reported as good.
Mexico - Supplies of Yellow and White onions will improve as this week moves on. Red onions have limited supplies crossing this week. Quality is being reported as good with a few fair lots being shipped. Market is firm but steady.

- Mike Gorczyca
Growing Region Market Quality
Ontario, OR to Nampa, ID Steady/Higher Good
Quincy/Hermiston, WA Steady/Higher Good
Tampico/Sonara, Mexico Steady Good
Pears

Washington continues to pack D'anjou pears and a few red pears. The D'anjou's are still peaking on 80/90's in the US#1 grade and the fancy grade are limited on all sizes.

There are Argentinean Bartlett pears on both coasts and the fruit is peaking on 100's and larger. The Bartlett market is strong. We also have Chilean Bosc & Packhams and they are also peaking on the larger fruit. The markets for both remain strong.

- John Tole
Growing Region Market Quality
Chile Steady Excellent
Wenatchee/Yakima, WA and Hood River, OR Steady Good
Potatoes Alert

Idaho - Large cartons 40 - 50 count potatoes are in a demand exceeds supply situation. This looks to be a long term situation due to the small size profile in the storage potatoes. To cover these sizes shippers are buying product from Washington and transferring them over to load in Idaho. Please allow extra time to cover orders with large size cartons. All shippers are sold out 4 to 5 days in advance. Demand on 70 and 60 has increased as customer are starting to drop a size or two due to the limited availability of the larger cartons. Smaller cartons 80 count and smaller have good availability with steady pricing. Quality is still good.
Washington - Demand is good on 40 -70 count potatoes with a firming market. Washington has better size in their storage potatoes than most other states. Quality is good.
Colorado/Wisconsin - Supplies are limited due to light retail demand which is making hard for the sheds to run full days. Market is firm. Quality is good.

- Mike Gorczyca

Alerts:
POTATOES
Idaho - Very limited supplies of 40-50 count potatoes
Colorado - Very limited supplies of 40-60 count potatoes

Growing Region Market Quality
Hamer/Rupert, ID Steady/Higher Good
Quincy/Hermiston, WA Steady/Higher Good
Eastern Colorado Steady/Higher Good
Plover/Bancroft, WI Steady/Higher Good
Potatoes (colored)

Florida is steady on all colors. The Red B market and all sizes of gold potatoes are firm due to strong demand. Whites are steady to lower on all sizes with some volume flex. The reds are still peaking on A-size while the whites and golds are heavier to B's.

North Dakota continues to pack and ship reds and they will continue through the month. The quality has ranged from poor to good.

Bakersfield, California is packing new-crop in all colors. All markets are steady but the size-profile is smaller so the Premium and Baker sizes will be limited in all colors.

Idaho is still shipping a few reds and gold's but their season is quickly coming to an end.

- John Tole
Growing Region Market Quality
Bakersfield, CA Steady Good
Rupert to Rexburg, ID Steady Fair
Red River Valley, ND Steady Fair
Imokollee/Palm City/Punta Gorda, FL Steady Excellent
Stone Fruit

Recent cold weather in California has pushed back the expected harvest dates of peaches, nectarines and plums. The first of the early harvest is now expected to begin around the 15'th of April with volume coming on by the first week of May. The recent storms should have little to no affect on the quality of the fruit.

- Brad Tremblay
Growing Region Market Quality
Madera south to Arvin, CA Steady Good
Tomatoes (Eastern)

The Immokalee/Naples growing region in Florida continues to pick the last of their winter crop. Soft demand has kept shippers from selling out as they transition into newer fields. Concerns of a bloom drop in Florida have shown to be more of a cautious warning than realized loss. Spring yields from Immokalee/Naples and Palmetto/Ruskin expect promising supply mid April weather permitting favorable conditions for the sunshine state. Similar to rounds, Florida continues roma and cherry tomato production nearing the end of their winter crop with light supplies and quality also looking to better volumes mid month out of new fields.

- Aaron Aliotti
Growing Region Market Quality
Southern Florida Steady Fair
Tomatoes (Western)

Mainland Mexico is expected to continue production until May when Baja gets underway. Availability should remain good on rounds and romas through the transition pending no significant weather events. Quality is challenging on some fruit, as most has been through a lot of rain during the growing cycle. Improving weather conditions in Mexico are bringing more romas to market this week with mixed quality and color. Grape tomatoes are a little short out of Mexico, as crops are ending sooner than expected. Quality is only average with some reports of shrivel and ripening issues. Baja is expected to start grapes in two weeks, which should improve the situation.

- Aaron Aliotti
Growing Region Market Quality
Northern Sinaloa, Mexico Steady Good

Things You Should Know

Potatoes
POTATOES
Idaho - Very limited supplies of 40-50 count potatoes
Colorado - Very limited supplies of 40-60 count potatoes

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