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Markon Crop Report: Domestic supplies taking over

Domestic supplies of many crops will continue to ramp up now that we’re on the cusp of June.

Restaurants across the country are opening back up at various stages of hosting customers. That should start to more properly align supply and demand, but crops now were planted before any knowledge of a pandemic, so there could still be higher supplies than demand in some items.

In this week’s crop analysis from Markon, Mark Shaw vice president of operations for Markon Cooperative, BB #:123315 Salinas, CA, provides the following:

Grapes: Chilean grapes are still shipping into the U.S. Mexico has started in a limited way last week with green grapes, and red grapes are right around the corner. Quality has been very nice and will pick up as we move into new crop Mexican grapes. Supply is plentiful and will increase as Mexico swings into full production. Pricing is expected to remain level until Mexico ramps up, then we will see pricing begin to ease.

Blueberries: Mexico’s Baja region along with Oxnard, CA, are past their peak, and the season is on its move North through California. Georgia and Florida are still producing, but seasons there are winding down as well, and the East Coast harvest is progressing Northward as well. Quality and supplies are good, and we’re not expecting a change in pricing.

Raspberries: Central Mexico’s season is winding down faster than expected, and California’s volume is increasing slower than projections due to the erratic weather conditions over the past month. Quality is good, but with supplies on the lower side, pricing continues to inch up.

Strawberries: Santa Maria, CA, is the main growing region. Ventura County is almost over, and the Salinas/Watsonville season is ramping up very quickly. Quality is excellent in Santa Maria, while fruit from Salinas/Watsonville is average due to the rain received early last week, but will recover very quickly with excellent quality forecasted for the end of this week and into next week. The market is expected to decrease slightly this week, as Memorial Day demand will be over and Salinas/Watsonville season volume ramps up.

Potatoes:
• Idaho — we are down to just a trickle of Norkotahs being shipped, which leaves the Burbank as the primary variety being shipped till late July. There is no gap in supply expected between the end of the 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 season. Shipper’s saved their best Burbanks for last. Quality is above average for time of year. 40- thru 70- counts market will trend higher, as we approach the end of the 2019-20 seasons, and foodservice demand returns. 80- thru 100- count and #2s are readily available with some shippers making offers for the smaller sizes
• Non-Idaho – Washington has excellent supply of larger count cartons. Colorado still is limited on 40- thru 70- count cartons, but has greater availability of 80- to 100- count cartons. Very few #2s are being offered. Wisconsin has limited supplies, but is still shipping.

Onions:
• California — Imperial Valley’s season will extend through first week of June, then we’ll transition to Central Valley. Supplies of Jumbo and Colossal are plentiful, but the Medium size is trending higher due to heavy usage in USDA Farmer to Family box program. Quality is excellent.
• New Mexico – It has started packing in a light way and will be into full swing by early June. Plenty of supply and quality is excellent.
• Texas — Supplies are finishing up within next 10 days, and demand preparing for transition to New Mexico or California.

Cantaloupe: The California season is moving toward full production, as the Off Shore season has wound down. Markets remain elevated on 9ct, 12ct due to limited supplies, but are beginning to ease a bit, while supplies of 15ct are plentiful. We expect sizing to shifting to larger sizes, with great availability by the middle of next week; 9ct will still remain limited. Quality is very good to start the season.

Honeydew: The Off Shore season is ending, thought limited supplies are still available. Mexico has great quality, as they just finished the Caborca growing region and have started with new crop out of Hermosillo. California’s season is slowing ramping up. Markets are fairly steady; pricing is average. Supplies are peaking on 6ct and 8ct with a few 5ct.

Asparagus: The market has been elevated but will be decreasing as supplies increase. Overall quality has been good. Baja California and Mexicali, Mexico growing areas are winding down, and Central Mexico is ramping up quickly. Michigan’s season is moving into full production.

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

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services