close
Fresh from the Field

This week’s fresh update

December 11, 2018 | Volume 5, Issue 50

Conventional Vegetables

The market is fairly active for the Christmas holiday pulls. Mexico has light volume. Peru has good volume this week but we expect to see the Peruvian volume drop starting next week. Once we get through that inventory we will see the market move up quickly as supplies on both coast will be light for New Years and the first few weeks of January. It is not a good time to push promotions as supplies will be tight and arrivals sporadic.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

There is plenty of availability out of Mexico that is good quality, but the market is on the slight decline. The market should be stable for this week.
*Updated 12/4/18
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Broccoli & Cauliflower

John.Tillman@robinsonfresh.com

Broccoli – The market has adjusted down slightly this week due to increased supply out of Mexico. Georgia and California supply continue to be sporadic and limited. Increased demand leading into the holiday pulls should yield a steady market.
Cauliflower – Supply is expected to be sporadic and limited throughout the end of the month.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Markets remain elevated with limited supply across all regions. The southeast crop will start harvesting in a light way to start December. The Texas crop is also expecting to slowly start and ramp up volume the later we get into December. Expect the overall market to remain elevated in the upper teens for west coast loading and low 20s for east-coast product.
*Updated 11/27/18

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Heavy rains in the central California growing region have delayed harvest and supplies of celery are expected to be limited to start this week. Quality reports show fairly good overall quality with occasional frost damage. Some mud is to be expected on the cut end of the stalks given the wet field conditions. Oxnard and Santa Maria are the primary loading locations off the west coast.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Adverse weather in Mexico has made the market go up. More cold weather is expected so market should become a little tighter in the next couple days.
*Updated 12/4/18

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Heavy rains and cooler temperatures have stymied growth and delayed harvest. Expect extremely short supplies on kale and collard greens through January 1.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Iceberg lettuce availability continues to be very limited to start the week. The weather forecast calls for near-average temperatures with daytime highs in the upper 60s and overnight lows in the mid to upper 40s. Lighter weights and small sizing have been reported. Quality reports show mixed sizing with occasional leafy cap leaves and blister. Yuma and Brawley are the primary shipping points for Iceberg lettuce off of the west coast.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

The weather forecast for the southern growing regions calls for near-average temperatures over the next 10 days. Markets remain active and supplies of green and red leaf lettuces remain limited. Quality reports from the Yuma area are listing small sizing, lightweights and occasional light blister or frost damage on the outermost leaves. Yuma, Brawley and Coachella are the primary shipping points for leaf lettuces off the west coast.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

All Potatoes – special note to address the now realized shortfall of supply in certain areas such as Prince Edward Isle, Canada, and parts of Wisconsin. Following harvest, it was determined that due to excessive rains in these growing areas in late August, many fields had to be abandoned. As a result, the overall harvest is down 20-40% across all varieties. This may not cause an immediate impact to pricing, but it will start to materialize in the weeks and months ahead to the end of Q1.
Russets – Harvest is now complete in all areas (northern Canada just finishing 2 weeks ago).  Colorado crop has sized up larger than normal, but still has good volumes on A-size bagging potatoes. Conversely, Eastern Canada had very little size in its crop profile this year, and has 10-15% more B-size and smaller potatoes than the past years. This note is also true across varietal potatoes such as the round red and yellow varieties. All areas are shipping, and with holidays fast approaching, packing time will be a bigger issue than availability of crop. Get your orders in early, and find your trucks even earlier.
Reds – The common round red is available from multiple states, pulling out of storage from Washington, Colorado, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Maryland New York and several areas of Canada. This will be your main source of red potatoes until mid-Q1, when Florida & Arizona come into play. Pricing seems to be holding firm, with Washington being highest and Colorado/Wisconsin areas representing the bottom of the market.
Yellows – Are still the consumer’s darling in the traditional potato set, supplies are decent (other than the shortfalls in Canada), but this potato does not store as well (or as long) as other varieties. Prices will start a steady increase from today and into late Q1 as packers shrink out higher percentages of product during the grading processes. Nevertheless, this will still be your cheapest yellow potato time period of the calendar year, as the spring time switch to California will see an increase in FOB cost.
Whites – n/a
Specialty – Specialty potatoes are in good supply in all areas, but are matched to the demand. Any sudden increase in consumption could find all varieties in gap before California starts next June. We have enjoyed a very nice harvest of Rooster potatoes, along with our Anya fingerlings, and are ready to ship from multiple locations in both conventional and organic varieties.
*Updated 11/27/18

Cold weather in northern Mexico slowing production. Availability will become a little more difficult. Markets are starting to climb. This should be the trend the rest of the week.
*Updated 12/4/18

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Florida growers are harvesting regularly. The exchange pricing is in effect and volume is consistent.

^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Conventional Fruits

Domestic apple supplies are significantly down this year. Expect markets to continue to strengthen as the year goes on.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Mexico
The Mexico report on HAB came in at 1700 loads that crossed the border according to the Hass Avocado Board last week. There is uncertainty with respect to market pricing as supply exceeds demand coupled with low promotional activity by retailers in the USA. This week is projected to be around 1500 loads of avocados crossing into the US. Sizing is expected to be heavy to 48s and 60s. Transit temperatures are 40-42 degrees.
California
The California harvest is finished for the season and we should expect to see the next arrivals in the spring of 2019.
Peru
The Peruvian harvest is finished for the season and we should expect to see the next arrivals in the spring of 2019.
Chile
Under 100 loads were received last week. With Mexico supply coming on strong into the USA, Chilean growers will likely find other markets to send their fruit that are less competitive.
Dominican Republic
Sporadic shipments are being made to the USA.
Colombia
Sporadic shipments are being made to the US.
*Updated 12/4/18

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Blueberries are starting to move up in pricing and supplies are down as Argentina winds down. Peru still is pushing with more containers arriving late in the week. Chilean vessel fruit will start arriving next week but supplies will be limited until around mid-December. The big question is still – how long with Peru be in the marketplace? Mexico continues to be light supplies after the rain last week and cold temps continue this week.
Blackberries are still coming in with heavy volume but we are starting to see crossing back away due to lower demand. Particularly on organic blackberries, with that market being as low as it has been the past 3 weeks with low demand, many farmers are pulling back on crossing to try and stabilize and find an equilibrium.
Raspberries are starting to tighten up due to the rain and cold temps last week. We should see that market start to increase this week. Amazingly, raspberries have been the most stable berry mix this year.
Cranberries continue to tighten as supply is declining quickly in all areas. We would suggest pre-booking now for December holidays as cranberries could be less supply with so many farms ending earlier than expected.
*Updated 12/4/18

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Cantaloupe is in very short supply. The domestic growing deal is finished and the Nogales cantaloupe deal is near completion as well. Offshore has begun from Guatemalan grown fruit. Quality overall is fair and demand exceeds supply. We anticipate light supplies on the east coast through next week. The first arrivals to the West coast will be in two weeks.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Oranges
Quality has been excellent with higher color and brix in the 12-13 range. Sizing structure continues to be smaller in the 88/72/113 count peak with larger fruit more limited. Rains in the growing regions slowed harvest down for a few days, but could help size the fruit up in the coming weeks. There will continue to be strong availability through the holidays. Varietal oranges are starting to become abundant with Cara Cara and Bloods starting up. Much like navels, the cara cara and bloods follow the same, small, size structure.
Lemons
The majority of the lemon availability is being harvested in D3 with less volume coming out of D1 and D2. Sizing is peaking on 140/165/115 count. Supply currently exceeds demand which is causing a slight softening of the market. Supply will continue to remain abundant through the holidays.
Texas Grapefruit
Supplies on the large sizing will continue to be limited as the majority of the pack outs have shown peak sizing of 56/48/40 count. The crop this season has been smaller this season, but we expect to see better availability on 36 count and larger as the crop matures into the end of December and into January.
Mandarins
Mandarins this season are in abundant supply and markets seem to be much softer this season. Satsumas, clemenules and clemenulas are the varieties being harvested. Fruit has been firm with excellent sugars and taste. Peak sizing is on 32/28/24.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

 

The California grape season continues to wind down into mid-December, with many growers now having most of their remaining inventory committed for the season.
On green seedless grapes (Autumn Kings) in particular, market pricing continues to rise and has increased nearly $4-6/case in just the last 7-10 days. Storage volumes on green will wind down through the month and are expected to finish by early January.
On the other hand, red seedless varieties (Scarlet Royals/Allison/Crimson) remain plentiful and are still looking to ship into early January.
Black seedless grapes and organics of all colors are nearly finished for the year, with the only Red Globes available being the very first Peruvian imports. Look forward to imports from Peru and Chile, as both the East and West coasts will see their arrivals begin to pick up with each week as the grape industry transitions from domestic product to imports through the month.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Supplies are steady and demand is steady as well. Honeydews are peaking on larger sized fruit, J5s and 5s, with lighter supplies on 6s. Overall quality is very good with good sugar levels.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Our limes are grown in eastern Mexico, and the current crop shows excellent quality with good green color. Sizing is currently peaking on 175s with very good supplies of 110s and 150s. There is fairly good availability on 200s while 230s and 250s remain lighter in availability. Supplies are expected to remain steady for the next 10 days.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Most of the volume on mangos is arriving from Ecuador at this time. The Brazilian season has, for the most part, come to a close but it is possible to still see some fruit in the market. The Ecuadorian Tommy Atkins mangos are arriving with reasonable quality and good blush. Defects noted include sunken areas and some discoloration. The fruit is peaking heavily on 12 count with limited supply of larger sizes like 7s and 8s. This week many growers are beginning to harvest the Kent and Keitt varieties and as we transition away from Tommy Atkins it is expected the sizing will improve. In general, volume being shipped is beginning to decrease and in the next couple weeks this will be become evident as those containers begin to arrive.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Papayas are in high volumes with additional acreage being harvested. Weather in the growing region is ideal for growth and harvesting with warm days and cooler nights. Current volume is 12 loads per week with an anticipated 14 loads per week by mid-month. Sizing is distributed fairly evenly between 8s, 9s, and 12s. Additional sales are needed to keep up with the supplies. Promotions are welcomed and this is a good time to start thinking about holiday ads.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Domestic pears are available in promotable volume. Quality is very nice and will continue. Do not expect any gaps between domestic supply and imports.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Pineapple

Pineapple (Offshore)
Gustavo.Lora@robinsonfresh.com
There has been some improvement on weather conditions reported at the farms with better sun to rain ratio. Costa Rica will start moving into the dry season this month, and it should last until end of April. The heavier rains of recent weeks had a significant effect on large count yields with 5 count availability almost down to zero. Overall, yields are still at much lower levels than previously forecast. The European pull is winding down with this week packing the last of the heavy promos. Quality is reported as good, shell color at 0.5 – 1.00 with solid 13+ brix reported at all our farms. There is tight availability on 5 count and 6 count with some basal spotting reported on large count fruit. The USDA crossing report is showing a slight increase on inbound loads from Costa Rica into the USA with 48 at 690 loads into the USA vs week 47 at 650 loads inbound from Costa Rica. USDA is reporting moderate demand and a about steady market.

Pineapple (Mexican)
Jiovani.Guevara@robinsonfresh.com
Isla, Veracruz is forecast for high temperatures in the low 80s with high chances of rain during the week. Volume from Mexico is increasing weekly. At the time of reporting, 70% of our fruit is arriving between 6 and 7 count followed by 8 count with limited supplies of 5 count. Quality is reported as good, shell color at 0.5 – 1.00 and brix over 13%. Market and demand conditions are stable compared to last week. Supplies from Mexico will continue to increase in production without interruptions until May/June 2019. Demand for Mexico pineapples is Moderate on all sizes, with good inventories on all sizes in the marketplace.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Supplies are very limited this week with light supplies in all growing areas. The fruit quality has been adversely affected by the rains from the previous weeks. The Oxnard area is forecast for partly sunny skies with increasing cloudiness Friday through the balance of the week. Highs in the 60s, Thursday in the 70s and lows in the 40s. The Santa Maria area is forecast for mostly sunny skies, highs in the 60s, Thursday in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Central Mexico is forecast for partly sunny skies. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the 40s. Florida is predicted to be partly sunny, becoming cloudy on Thursday with thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday. Highs in the 60s, increasing to the 70s on Thursday and lows in the 50s to 60s. Oxnard fruit has occasional bruising, soft shoulder, misshapen, decay and over ripe with average counts of 24 to 26. Santa Maria fruit has some bruising, white shoulder, soft shoulder, misshapen, water damage, decay and overripe and average counts of 24 to 26, some smaller and larger depending on variety.

Supplies are a little tight on seedless and minis. Crossings will pick up in a couple weeks out of southern Mexico. Melons are coming from the Jalisco, Mexico area into Edinburg, Texas and Nogales, Arizona. Florida has limited supplies on seedless and minis for another couple of weeks. Offshore melons started and supplies are picking up.

^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Washington State is looking to set a record crop of organic apples this fall. Volume looks to be up 30% from last year. We are expecting excellent quality as this summer has had ideal growing conditions.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Consolidation

Bob.Stone@chrobinson.com

The transition to the winter vegetable programs in Mexico and the Imperial and Coachella Valleys, along with the Yuma, Arizona areas have hit a major slowdown because of record rainfalls. Although there are some items still loading in the Salinas and Bakersfield area, the majority of wet and dry veg are done in those areas and we are now awaiting the aforementioned growing regions to dry out so harvest can begin. This situation has brought record prices and scant availability coming from the desert growing areas. Additionally, the organic citrus harvest continues into its main season with good supplies of grapefruit, navel oranges, and lemons all readily available to harvest, once the fields dry out. All of this has made for quite a task to source all of your needed items. Here at the Los Angeles Service Center, (LASC) we specialize in rounding up these hard to find items for you in one easy step. Not only can we come up for easy consolidation, we can procure the best product for you at some of the markets best pricing because of the footprint that Robinson Fresh covers. We work hard to not only get you the best product but also the best array of product at the hottest prices. Combine this with our consolidation program here at the LASC and you have a win-win situation to build your programs around.

Organic Dry Vegetables

John.Pursel@robinsonfresh.com

Nogales is currently shipping organic yellow squash, zucchini and cucumber. There is limited supply on organic green bells this week and next. Hard squash is available in Nogales as well as Hollister.

The majority of the organic lemon availability is being harvested in D3 with less volume coming out of D1 and D2. Sizing is peaking on 140/165/115 count. Supply currently exceeds demand which is causing a slight softening of the market. Supply will continue to remain abundant through the holidays.

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic minis are gapping in Nogales.

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Our organic red onions are currently shipping out of Hollister, California. The crop has peaked with jumbos and minimal mediums are available. Organic shallots are limited this season but are available in 20 pound box or 4×5 pound sacks.

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Oranges

Tom.Ashcroft@chrobinson.com

There is good availability on 72 count oranges and smaller with limited availability on 56 count and larger. Sugars and taste are good. Most of the navels are being packed in the central valley, with some in the Los Angeles area. We will continue to have good supplies on them through the holidays.

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Domestic organic Bartletts, D’anjou and Bosc have started and quality is excellent. The crop looks significantly larger than last year.

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Colorado Organic Potatoes are going strong. Loading in Center Colorado, we have Russets, Reds, Yellows, Roosters, and Fingerlings. Going into the holiday pull, demand has been good and we will continue to see an increase in demands. Quality has been very good on all the varieties. Currently, lead time is 2 or 3 days advance notice to get run time at the packing houses. We are looking to promote organic potatoes going into the holidays so please call for the opportunity.
Washington Organic potatoes are available as well and again we have Russets, Reds, Yellows and Rooster potatoes available from there. Quality has been very good as well. Again, a couple day lead time is needed to insure your order will be packed on time. We also have our Fingerling potatoes available out of our warehouse in San Bernardino, California for those that want to load in the LA area. Currently, we have Russian Banana, French Fingerling, Chef Blend, Buttercream and Crimson Goldfingers available.
*Updated 12/4/18

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

The market is a little tighter this week. There has been change in growing areas and adverse weather in Mexico. We should see product become a little harder to find.
*Updated 12/4/18

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Sweet Potatoes

Chris.Lemmon@robinsonfresh.com

Organic sweet potatoes are currently shipping the new crop out of California. Skin sets are looking great on all sizes available. Our pack sizes available are 2 lb – 10lb bags, Mediums, US#1 and Jumbos.

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Transportation

Capacity is available and rates are stable now that the Thanksgiving Holiday has passed. The market should remain this way for the near future, but will again shift as demand increases for the December holiday seasons.

Northeast: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Northeast
Southeast: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Southeast
Midwest: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in Midwest
South: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in South Texas
Northwest: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Northwest
West: Recommended 24 hours lead-time in West
Benjamin.Thompson@chrobinson.com

^ Back to Transportation

Fresh from the kitchen

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PANCAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (16 oz) Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Green Giant™ Fresh Green Onions (about 3 onions), finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

… More at Spaghetti Squash Pancake

^ Back to Kitchen