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Prices jump on Florida-grown commodities

Homestead, FL, was directly impacted by Tropical Storm Eta with heavy wind and rain. As a result, Tomatoes, Beans, Cucumbers and Squash, all commodities grown in Homestead, experienced a major jump in price.

Besides Florida’s woes with the storm, Mexico is also having a lull in production due to cooler weather. A cold front chilled Mexico, slowing growth and may lead to reduced overall yields.

ProduceIQ Index: $0.78 /pound, +6.9 percent over prior week
Week #46, ending November 13th

Blue Book has teamed with ProduceIQ BB #:368175 to bring the ProduceIQ Index to its readers. The index provides a produce industry price benchmark using 40 top commodities to provide data for decision making.

At a category average of $0.97, Tomato prices are high and at no near-term risk of falling below the minimum prices set by the Tomato Suspension Agreement. Plum-type Tomatoes had the most significant gains, increasing +59 percent last week.

Beans almost doubled in price to $0.89/pound. Bean farming requires nerves of steel, and this year is no exception. Historical Bean pricing is highly volatile and exhibits unpredictable patterns.

Recognize a pattern? We don’t. Beans have random weather-driven price movements over the past 15 years.

Cucumbers and Squash are both fragile cucurbits that don’t perform well in wind and rain. Anticipate reduced yields and from Florida during this time of increased Thanksgiving demand. Prices increased +36 percent and +68 percent respectively.

Earlier, Tropical Storm Eta also impacted the growing areas of Limes in Mexico and Pineapple in Costa Rica. Limes realized a +71 percent increase to $0.41/pound from what had been close to floor pricing.

Pineapple supply was reduced, but demand was insufficient to cause higher prices. Boat shipping lanes from Honduras and other Central American countries have experienced delays from the storm.

Broccoli and Cauliflower continued the price ascent that began two weeks ago. Higher demand with lower yield (albeit on lower quality) is creating extreme price rises.

The crisis we experienced only 3 weeks ago when product moved too slow, backing up supply in the coolers and causing prices to fall, now seems like a distant memory. The produce marketplace moves fast.

8 weeks of record high prices for the Lettuce & Leaf category. Thanksgiving demand is expected to keep prices elevated.

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 cofound ProduceIQ.