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Markon Crop Report: Fruits offer some value

Now that we’re in June, it’s time to anticipate stone fruit season, although it’s still a little early for heavy supplies. But other fruits are going strong and offer some high quality for promotable prices.

In this week’s crop analysis from Markon, Mark Shaw vice president of operations for Markon Cooperative, BB #:123315 Salinas, CA, gives his view on a handful of fruits.

• Oranges- The market continue to inch upwards. Demand remains high on all sizes due to the increase demand from the USDA Food Boxes being shipped. The USDA boxes are taking a range of sizes, allowing suppliers that have some flexibility of what they are shipping, depending on their size situation each week. Sugar is ranging 12-14 brix. No Re-greening being reported on Valencia’s

• Apples- Markets are relatively steady on all sizes.

  • Michigan – Remaining storage fruit is peaking on larger sizes, 88 – 125 counts. Crop is expected to finish second week of June. New crop will begin harvesting in August.
  • Washington – is the primary apple region right now. Market is steady, trending lower. Remaining storage crop is peaking on middle sizes.

• Pears- The market will remain relatively steady to slightly stronger. The Northwest is beginning to start winding down its season, but California is primed and ready to start shipping which will keep pricing from gaining to much momentum. Primary loading region is Washington, but the bulk of that fruit being transferred from Oregon. 125 count and smaller supplies are tightening, and demand is shifting towards 110s and larger. Pricing is inching up, but should be relatively steady until California is ready to start shipping mid-July.

• Avocados- Market is expected to remain steady unless Mexico slows harvest in the hopes of raising prices. Mexican supplies are plentiful. California’s season is roughly 50 percent harvested, with good supplies forecast through the back half of the season. Quality is good.

• Lemons- Market expected to begin increasing due to increased demand from restaurants as they begin opening up across North America. Quality is good, but we are expecting to see a higher supply of choice fruit as California’s District 2, Ventura County, becomes the main growing region. District 1, California’s San Joaquin Valley’s season is winding down. Mexican fruit is expected to become a bigger player in North America by the end of June/early July.

• Limes– Markets will remain weak, with ample supplies crossing from Mexico. 200 count and smaller will remain the weakest. 175 count and larger will see steady pricing. Weather forecast call for heavy rain in Veracruz, Mexico, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 4, 5 and 6 which could disrupt harvesting and slow crossings by early week of June 8. Pricing could react to the rain, but will be short lived if sunshine returns

• Watermelons– Markets are expected to be steady to slightly higher this week; prices are a bit elevated. There was strong demand for watermelon, as we geared up for the Memorial Day Holiday, and demand hasn’t really subsided as summer is starting. Mexican yields are low and CA/AZ hasn’t hit their stride yet, but will be by mid to late June.

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