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ProduceIQ: Apple prices at 10-year high, strawberries double in a week

produceiq apple season

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Fort Meyers, Florida, as a devastating Category 4 storm. Our hearts go out to the individuals and families who have lost their loved ones and homes.

While the effects of the hurricane on the fresh produce industry have not yet been fully realized, there is a valid concern that Florida’s already fragile citrus production, housed mainly on the West side of Florida, will suffer damage.

No amount of rain can spoil our apple season parade. The beginning of apple season means so much more than delicious Crisps and beautiful Fujis. For us, it’s also the coincidental seasonal marker of the first tastes of slightly cooler weather in South Florida. Something we are so grateful for, and even more so for those without power.

Washington’s prolific apple production is well underway, with more varieties coming online each week. Expect good quality and slightly higher markets while supply increases.

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.

 ProduceIQ Index:  $1.03 /pound, +13.19 percent over prior week

Week #39, ending September 30th

Gala apple prices, 88-count cartons, start at a 10-year high, expected to decline

 produceiq gala apple prices

Strawberry price increases had us do a double-take this week. Markets are up an astounding +121 percent over the previous week. Unfortunately, the same rain and heat plaguing cauliflower and broccoli markets in Salinas are hemorrhaging California’s strawberry supply. Prices have gone from a dirt cheap $7, to $17, a ten-year high, in one week. Markets will increase or maintain their status as Salinas wraps up its season and production moves to Oxnard.

Strawberries prices more than double in 1 week… stay tuned

 Produceiq strawberry prices

Broccoli prices are joining cauliflower this week in their uphill climb. Heat and rain are causing quality issues and shortening supply. As a result, broccoli prices are up a notable +28 percent and cauliflower +42 percent over the previous week.

Reported broccoli volume out of Salinas and out of Mexico took another dramatic plunge this week. Broccoli production in Salinas typically wanes this time of year; however, broccoli production in Mexico is usually rapidly increasing by week #39. Unfortunately for buyers, inclement weather will likely keep prices elevated for the next two weeks.

All that heat and rain are finally catching up to cauliflower markets. Prices are at a ten-year high for the second week. Quality is very poor, and supply will likely remain somewhat strained until production moves to Arizona.

A virus, INSV, continues to pummel embattled lettuce growers. 2022 has had a particularly intense INSV outbreak in California due to rains in December 2021. Regrettably, those rains produced an ideal environment for Western flower thrips, carriers of INSV, to proliferate.

This week, romaine lettuce prices are up +11 percent, just below 2020’s ten-year high. Prices typically increase through the end of the year as California winds down and Arizona picks up production, but this year, lower yields caused by INSV will add an even greater strain to prices.

Avocado prices are up +26 percent but remain near historic lows for week #39. Prices will likely stabilize and decrease again over the next couple of weeks due to Aventejada’s expected surge in production around late October/ early November.

Lime prices are declining due to the increasing new crop supply in Mexico. Prices are down -18 percent over the previous week and will continue to decrease as supply out of Mexico picks back up.

Lime prices, 200-count, at $20 in a steep decline (prices still 2nd highest in 10 years)

 produceiq lime prices

Please visit Stores to learn more about our qualified group of suppliers, and our online marketplace, here.

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.