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ProduceIQ: Week 42 prices highest in 15 years, up 6.3% over 2019

Of the 40 commodities that comprise the ProduceIQ Index, the following have the highest weights for this week of the year: apples, grapes, potatoes, tomatoes (round), and strawberries. These Top 5 commodities comprise 42% of the Index weight. Of these commodities, only grapes are not elevated in price compared to historical norms.

For reference: a commodity’s seasonal weight in the index depends on its 5-year average sales relative to the sales of all 40 commodities for that week of the year.

ProduceIQ Index: $0.84 /pound, +1.2 percent over prior week

(Week #42, ending October 16th) Industry are prices currently +6.3 percent higher than in 2019; highest in 15 years for week 42.

Buying and promoting grapes for the next few weeks continues to make sense. Quality is good, supplies are available, and prices are stable. Historically, grapes begin a price increase in week 44 that continues through the end of the year.

Broccoli and cauliflower continued their inverse correlation for a 2nd week. Broccoli fell further -18 percent, while Cauliflower rose another +20 percent. Tami Gutierrez, Vice President of Sales for Coastline Family Farms, offered insight into the relationship between cauliflower and broccoli.

“Although similar crops, the growing and supply dynamics for broccoli and cauliflower are truly independent,” said Gutierrez. “Both are rotational crops that have processor and fresh markets, but they respond to weather changes differently. Cauliflower is sensitive to heat, which causes the flower to enlarge and quickly increase yield.”

In each case, if processors are unable to accept incremental volume, the over-supply is shifted to the fresh market, depressing prices. Prices softened mid-week as growers needed to move inventory. As produce markets move fast, Cauliflower is now available in quality supply.

Squash continued their descent as forecasted, falling to $0.33 /pound. Now that squash has regained quality and its moderate priced trading range, foodservice should be encouraged to promote squash as a healthy option that easily lowers per plate costs.

Mangoes rose another +17 percent, to $0.97 /pound and may break out of their price ceiling. We’re currently in a low volume period for mangoes as Mexican production tapers off and we rely on other import regions.

Mangoes tempt their highest prices during a seasonal time of lower volume

ProduceIQ Index

The ProduceIQ Index is the fresh produce industry’s only shipping point price index. It represents the industry-wide price per pound at the location of packing for domestic produce, and at the port of U.S. entry for imported produce.

ProduceIQ uses 40 top commodities to represent the industry. The Index weights each commodity dynamically, by season, as a function of the weekly 5-year rolling average Sales. Sales are calculated using the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for movement and price data. The Index serves as a fair benchmark for industry price performance.

Mark Campbell was introduced to the fresh produce industry as a lender for Farm Credit. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, he spent seven years as CFO for J&J Family of Farms and later served as CFO advisor to several produce growers, shippers and distributors. In this role, Mark saw the impediments that prevent produce growers and buyers to trade with greater access and efficiency. This led him to co-found ProduceIQ.