Hurricane Matthew Update: Florida fields escaped what could have been a disastrous beginning to the fall and winter season crop. Those fields all received much rain and wind but seemed to have gone through the storm with minimum additional damage. Of course, it goes without saying that the storm did nothing to help the early fall crop which was already producing only fair quality fruit with questionable shelf-life and very light yields. We have concluded our VA and SC coastal field harvesting for the season.
Rounds- Supplies continue to be light and are getting lighter. In addition to the earlier adverse growing conditions in the Quincy region which have been reported weekly in this report, a white-fly issue has also been reported which another cause for the light yields. Supplies are too light for the USDA to establish a quote. Sizing on the minimum side of specs. Pricing in the east continues to be dictated by the west. FOB prices for eastern round tomatoes are up this week $1-$2 depending on size with additional upward pressures. We predicted last week that FOB prices would move within a relative narrow range unless the western fields received rain. Unfortunately, those fields are expected to get rains for up to four days beginning Friday. If we experience a harvest gap due to these rains, we may see a dramatic increase in FOB prices next week. We do not expect to see much improvement in yields or quality until we get into the third plantings of the Palmetto/Ruskin fields which should be around the middle of November. Shelf-life is suspect. We advise to keep inventories as tight as possible.
Romas- Like the rounds, supplies are extremely light and quality is extremely variable with a wide range in FOB prices corresponding to the quality. FOB prices are higher for all sizes this week.
Grapes- FOB prices are up minimally this week. Quality continues to be variable.
Cherries- Supplies continue to be light and FOB prices are steady from last week as supplies and demand remain in general equilibrium. Quality and shelf-life continue to be variable.
Weather forecasts- Quincy, FL: Partly cloudy to sunny days with highs in the low to mid 80s and lows near 60 into next week.
Rounds- Vine-ripes continue to cross at Baja, Nogales and McAllen. Supplies should continue to cross at Baja until mid-November at which time more volume should begin to cross at Nogales. CA mature-green growers continue to harvest. However, quality and shelf-life of this product remains variable and suspect. As mentioned above, the growing regions are expected to receive up to four days of rain starting this Friday. An extended harvesting gap will put a severe strain on the nation’s supply and FOB prices could rise dramatically. FOB prices are seeing continued upward pressure, especially for the better quality product. Prices for the largest sizes crossing from MX are also higher compared to last week.
Romas- Supplies continue to come out of Baja and CA with a wide range in FOB prices which correspond to the quality of the fruit. Generally, FOB prices are steady from last week. Availability of CA fruit is very limited. We do see the quality improving from Baja but is still only fair.
Grapes- Sourcing primarily from Baja. FOB prices are up from last week. Quality is variable.
Cherries- Supplies remain extremely tight and market FOB prices remain generally steady form last week. Due to the lack of supplies, repackers are continuing to have to go east to meet demand. Quality is fair to good.
Green Bell Pepper
East- Product remains plentiful this week with the southern GA and FL crops in full production. Appears the crop dodged Matthew’s bullet. FOB prices are generally steady with continued downward pressures. Quality is good.
West- FOB prices are slightly lower this week. Quality remains good.
East- FOB prices are seeing some upward pressures on all grades and sizes. Quality after the storm continues to appear generally good.
West- Crossings have begun at Nogales. Supplies continue to be plentiful causing FOB prices to be lower again this week. Quality is good.
East- FOB prices are generally steady this week. Quality appears to continue to be good.
West- FOB prices are lower again this week on all grades and sizes. Crossings at Baja and Nogales. Quality is good.
East- Harvesting continues in the south GA fields and FOB prices are currently steady from last week.
West- Supplies have improved with product crossing at Baja and Nogales. Prices are down slightly this week on all grades and sizes.
East- FOB prices are steady with downward pressure. Quality is good.
West- FOB prices are seeing downward pressure this week. Quality is good. Nogales crossings should begin mid-November.
East- FOB prices are seeing upward pressures this week. Quality is good.
West- FOB price are slightly higher this week. Quality is good.
East- We are seeing light yields from the new GA fields due to the white fly. FOB prices are up substantially from last week. We see high market conditions continuing for a couple more weeks.
West- Supplies remain tight and FOB prices are generally steady from last week.