Native Maine News

Market Alerts Week of 4-1-2019

We are quickly approaching transition; most growers will start transition towards the end of March, and we expect to be fully transitioned by the end of April. Celery and Strawberries are in an EXTREME market. Read below!

AVOCADO - ESCALATED At this time we are experiencing a very active avocado market; pricing has increased by over ten dollars in one week, and we do not see that momentum stopping. Mexican growers are currently holding back volume, driving the field prices higher. In addition to this, we are also hearing that there are controlled labor strikes taking place, which only complicates conditions in the region. In addition to what’s already taking place in the import market, we are seeing lighter estimates out of California, which adds to the uncertainty. We anticipate a very active market for the next 6 to 8 weeks; currently, there are no shortages or pro-rates being reported, but we will keep you posted should there be any issues or concerns.

CABBAGE (RED) - ESCALATED Supply continues to be light.

CARROTS (JUMBO) - ESCALATED Jumbos are still escalated, but we are seeing improvements.

CELERY - EXTREME Unfortunately at this time we are still experiencing an ongoing extreme market with celery. The severity of this market is a result of several issues. First, the overall acreage dedicated to growing celery this past season in Oxnard was reduced (however, not all celery shippers reduced acreage). Secondly, our Mexican regions experienced cooler temperatures and heavy rainfall off and on, causing inferior celery quality that limited sales into the US. Additionally, the Yuma and Oxnard areas have experienced unseasonably cold temperatures and heavy rains, which has also affected production and quality. Oxnard also had unusually strong winds early in February, which blew over many of our tall processor celery varieties that we use to produce our fresh-cut celery. This caused the young celery to grow twisted and bent and severely affected yields and overall volume for the several weeks that followed. The Yuma season is now complete. Although we have seen temperatures warm up in Oxnard very recently, it is “too little too late”. The two events still in front of us that we see creating extra demand for celery are March Madness and Easter. We generally see celery demand subside after Easter and continue to see improvement through August.

STRAWBERRIES - EXTREME The next three weeks will be challenging for strawberries. Industry-wide volumes will be at least 50% below planned production. The transitions from Florida and Mexico back to California have all been impacted by weather, thereby causing a significant shortage in the strawberry crop. California harvests are three weeks behind schedule, and Mexico growers continue to face challenges with growing conditions, diminishing production, and making good arrivals from across the border. Florida strawberry harvests end for the season this week. Essentially, this year there is virtually no harvest overlap between the three primary strawberry regions. Please expect to see higher prices and a shortage in supply.

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Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods

10 Bradley Drive
Westbrook, ME 04092-2011

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