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Markon Crops Report: Holiday demand returns for many items

Many fruits and vegetables are starting to see stronger demand with some restaurants opening back up and Memorial Day holiday demand.

California weather has been good, so many supplies from there are having strong seasons, said Mark Shaw vice president of operations for Markon Cooperative, BB #:123315 Salinas, CA.

Blue Book has partnered with Markon to provide crop analysis from Markon’s Fresh Crop Report.

Shaw provided the following analysis May 15 for a few key crops:

Bell Peppers: The market is easing a bit. Greens are done in Mexico. Reds will go for a couple more weeks there and Mexican growers are dropping their prices to stay relevant with California production ramping up. California is off to a good start with all the warm weather they’ve had. Quality in the West is best out of California so that is where we’re booking. Out East, Florida is winding down with Georgia right around the corner. Expect good supplies and quality. They are setting their prices based off the elevated market out West. No gap is expected between transition.

Tomatoes: Romas are back down to normal pricing. Mexico is transitioning from mainland to Baja California, and California is yet to start. Florida has light supplies of Romas. Lighter demand is causing the weaker market.

Rounds are another story. Prices remain elevated. Western Mexico is winding down, and the new crop won’t start out of Jalisco for a few more weeks. Florida is the main region. We’re hearing mixed reviews about California starting. Typically, it’s mid to late June but we heard today from one large grower that they started in a light way this week. We are really waiting for California to ramp up before pricing returns to normal. We expect prices to stay high through next week.

Strawberries: California strawberry prices are rising, and demand is strong. The Santa Maria region will move past peak production levels by next week. The Salinas/Watsonville area is expecting rain Sunday-Monday; supplies will tighten as a result.

Santa Maria
• Production will move past peak production by next week
• Quality is very good

• Rain is forecast for Sunday through Tuesday of next week
• Weather-related quality issues may include bruising, decay, mold, and off-color.

Iceberg, Green Leaf, and Romaine: demand is strong due to Memorial Day orders and businesses reopening from COVID-19 shut-downs. Rain that is forecast for Sunday and Monday 18 will further tighten supplies.

• Prices will gradually increase through early next week, then stabilize and begin to decline the end of the week and into the following week
• Harvesting will be delayed due to wet, muddy conditions; crews will work to minimize dirt and mud on boxes

Broccoli and Cauliflower: Both markets are showing some strength, but prices are not expected to move too much. Plentiful supplies will still be available keeping the market in a supply-exceeds-demand situation. There is a concern on hollow core showing up in broccoli, but it has been limited, so far, and does not look to become a major concern.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services