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ProduceIQ: Heat hogs headline for the third week in a row


About 85 million Americans are abiding triple-digit temperatures across the U.S. Unfortunately for growers, much of the heat is also plaguing parts of the continent actively supplying fresh produce.

In the Northeast, heavy rains flooded parts of Vermont last week. And over the weekend, more heavy rain brought flooding to Pennsylvania and New York.

This severe weather is particularly concerning because extreme weather tends to have adverse, long-lasting effects beyond the current growing cycle.

This week, heat-related trends are forecasted to continue and even intensify across the South and West. Buyers need to anticipate lower yields and heat-related quality issues with vulnerable commodities over the next few weeks.

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.15/pound, down -9.5 percent over prior week

Week #28, ending July 14th

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.

The ProduceIQ price index fell another -9 percent over the previous week to $1.15/lb. due mainly to record low cherry prices. Average prices are still comparatively high but are no longer in uncharted territory.

Cherries are a bargain to promote at $26

Lime markets plant a flag in record-breaking territory. Although prices dipped slightly over the previous week due to an uptick in volume from Mexico and lower demand, high heat and little rain in Mexico are still preventing the crop from sizing up. Supply is not expected to improve through July.

Lime prices at $22 are only expensive “relative” to historical norms for this season.

Relief, even if temporary, is in sight for asparagus markets. Rain is in the forecast for parched Central Mexican growers. The added moisture should increase yields and ease the transition from Baja California to Central Mexico.

In South America, Peruvian growers are predicting meager yields for the remainder of the growing season due to the extreme weather brought on by El Nino.

Buyers should brace themselves for more volatility as asparagus growers work to cover gaps in supply caused by this summer’s challenging weather.

At $44, erratic weather in Mexico and California is fueling brussels sprout’s ten-year high. Issues such as seeders and browning are lessening yields and forcing prices up. Expect prices to hold steady as the Salinas-Watsonville region in California works to ramp up production.

Brussels sprouts reach a new high amidst supply challenges.

After weeks of elevated prices, commodities in our wet veg category appear to be entering a brief period of recovery. Due to light demand, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery are down significantly over the previous week.

In general, supply for these three commodities is still low, and quality issues such as seeder and pest pressure will not make staying on the downhill path easy.

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.