Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and holiday demand is fueling record-high prices across produce commodities. This week, average prices are at a ten-year high for week #45.
Rain, some snow, and cold coming this week won’t help buyers who are counting on favorable weather to increase supply. But, even in the light of such gloomy news, there are still a few things to be thankful for. Despite generally higher prices, Thanksgiving staples such as potatoes, onions, and carrots are enjoying a relatively steady supply.
Despite challenging growing conditions and preliminary reports, the cranberry supply is in OK shape for Thanksgiving 2022. Last year’s Thanksgiving cranberry prices were significantly higher due to a supply shortage.
ProduceIQ Index: $1.17 /pound, up +5.4 percent over prior week
Week #45, ending November 12th
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.
Overall Produce market prices reach $1.17 per pound, returning to record highs
Will the extraordinary lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli prices ever end? Even after weeks of steady increases, prices are still demonstrating persistent vertical momentum. Iceberg is up +13 percent, romaine +11 percent, broccoli +23 percent, and cauliflower +18 percent over the previous week.
However, prices are expected to soften this week as Arizona/California desert harvests increase, and the Thanksgiving pull softens.
Last week rain in the Salinas Valley and across California’s growing regions further damaged the frail supply across the commodities mentioned above. Still, the strong demand is prompting Yuma growers to begin their winter production sooner.
California production is waning, and volume out of the desert should pick up over the next two weeks. As a result, look for prices to descend quickly following the Thanksgiving holiday pull.
Iceberg lettuce exceeds $90, with a few FOB prices lists showing an unheard-of $100 per case
Apple prices are trending significantly higher over previous years due to low supply. Washington’s apple growers, particularly Fuji and Granny growers, have lower-than-expected volumes this season. Prices are responding in turn. The USDA average price per carton is $32, a ten-year high by a significant margin.
Beans, a Thanksgiving staple, are in short supply. Inclement weather in the East and West is tightening supply and forcing prices up. Last week’s heavy rain from Hurricane Nicole will undoubtedly dampen the start of Florida’s green bean season over the next two weeks. Expect prices to remain elevated as Mexico and Florida slowly ramp up production.
Bean prices, $31, increase for the 13th week in a row, leading to Thanksgiving
Tomatoes, particularly round tomatoes, are in extremely short supply. Growers across Florida and even in Baja California have declared an Act of God due to damage suffered by hurricanes this season. Volumes from the East and West are significantly lower than previous years, although the Mexican supply of grape-type and Roma tomatoes is increasing.
It’s still unclear how significantly Hurricane Nicole affected tomato growers in the sunshine state; quality issues such as fruit split should be identifiable within the next two days.
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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.