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ProduceIQ: Hurricane Lee watch, as prices remain high


Hurricane Lee, a powerful storm, is on the Atlantic horizon. Forecasters are still uncertain if the storm will stay offshore. Though not expected to impact major harvesting regions in the Southeast, this powerful major hurricane is worth watching for potential impacts in the Northeastern U.S. 

NOAA’s outlook for 6 to 11 hurricanes is feeling low as the season doesn’t end until November 30th. Uncharacteristically, the ongoing El Niño event provides plenty of potential for Floridians who abhor putting up wind shudders. 

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.17/pound, up +1.7 percent over prior week

Week #36, ending September 8th

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 remains at a record high for week #36. Historically, market prices remain flat or decline through October; however, adverse weather is negatively impacting supply. We expect continued market firmness as an overall lack of plantings and unfavorable weather plague suppliers. 

Elevated markets persist for apples, pears, pineapples, limes, lemons, squash, and asparagus. On the other hand, potatoes are finally taking a price dive with the new crop. 

Markets remain at record levels during a season typically defined by low prices.

Due to Tropical Storm Hilary, table grapes have an estimated loss of 25 million boxes or 35 percent of the remaining crop. The chart below captures the grape market’s reaction. Even at $30, prices still have upward potential.

Grape prices are a clear outlier with upside potential.

Strawberries are expected to firm up as supply struggles with quality. Prices have been very low, around $10. Don’t change your promotion displays just yet; there is still time to promote the berry before prices rise again.

At $10, Strawberries are at the 2nd lowest price for week #36 in 10 years

Cauliflower buyers are bracing themselves since experiencing two unprecedented price spikes in the past 12 months. Prices rise for the 4th straight week as supply is hampered by quality and sizing issues. We’re entering the time of year known for volatility, and early indications are that it’ll be another wild ride.  

Cauliflower prices in the West spike to $22 for 16 count

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.