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ProduceIQ: tomatoes, melons, cherries lead modest price increase

ProduceIQ Index:  $0.90 /pound, +4.7 percent over prior week

(Week ending December 25th)

Industry prices rise, though remain at low levels, for these busy holiday weeks. 

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.
This week, overall industry prices continued their modest rise, though they still remain at their lowest seasonal level for 10 years. Many grower/shippers are reporting lower demand than normal due primarily to restrictions on foodservice.

Current price winners include the tomato and melon categories. Lower supply, slowed by cool temperatures, is increasing round tomato prices by +22 percent. Melons are also on the rise. The market volume is being impacted by earlier hurricanes in Central America that caused low yields.

Imported cherries are not significant in volume during the holidays. But at more than two times the price of any other commodity, they do provide an interesting point of discussion. Cherries are trading at their high, $4.44 /pound, though prices typically fall for the next 6 weeks of the Chilean season.

Imported Cherries test the upper limits of commodity prices.

Current price losers include categories of berries, wet vegetables and lettuce. Blackberries led the decline, -22 percent, as Mexico continues to offer reliable supply. Broccoli supply is good. Cauliflower however is mixed, with some slowdown in growth caused by cold weather. Supply and quality on romaine and iceberg lettuce is improving, resulting in lower prices.

Waving goodbye to 2020 is an occasion we believe is worth celebrating. In honor of our hope for a less-eventful new-year, ProduceIQ is gifting a free tool for the industry, Trends. Trends allows you to graph USDA price data with ease. Slice, dice and visualize to your taste. Check it out here and provide us feedback to help improve the tool for all members of fresh produce.

We appreciate your support and are grateful that we serve an industry that is focused on health and the betterment of our communities.


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.