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ProduceIQ: Warm weather drives down fresh produce prices as commodity supply surges

produceiq grapes on a tractor

Produce markets are experiencing a shift as warmer weather brings new Western and Southeastern growing regions online. The increase in supply of heavily weighted commodities like strawberries and blueberries is causing index prices to nosedive.

May’s unpredictable weather patterns, including rising temperatures, rain, and the occasional tornado, add a touch of fickleness to Spring markets.

After months of low supply, spring table grapes are arriving from the Jalisco region of Mexico. Jalisco growers will tide over the American appetite for grapes until growers in Sonora, Mexico, and California’s Coachella Valley can begin in May.

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.28/pound, down -5.5 percent over prior week  

Week #17, ending April 26th  

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.

Average grape prices are only down slightly, -2.6 percent over the previous week, but will likely fall swiftly as supply increases out of Mexico and California.

Grape (red seedless) prices continue above $35, maintaining highs only experienced in 2023.

Avocado markets are up drastically, +8 percent over the previous week. Markets are tightening as Cinco De Mayo demand peaks and the supply of larger-sized fruit constricts. Peruvian and Californian production is ramping up and should provide some relief over the next few weeks.

Avocado (48ct Haas) prices rise past $50, an increasingly common occurrence.

Tomatoes face low supply on both coasts, prompting a rise in the prices of round, grape, and plum-type tomatoes. Volume out of Florida is historically low but is forecasted to ramp up over the next two weeks as growers transition fields. Supply from Mexican tomato growers is decent, but more is needed to fill the supply gap left by Florida growers.

Tomato (25lb, 5×6 mature green) has been priced above $25 for five weeks.

Demand exceeds cauliflower supply. Cold weather prevents plants from sizing up and increases disease pressure, reducing overall yields. Prices are up +62 percent over the previous week to $32. Supply will likely remain tight, and prices will remain elevated for one more week as California growers work to catch up with demand.

Mildew and disease pressure continue to harass lettuce growers in California. Average romaine prices are up +30 percent over the previous week to $35, a ten-year high. Iceberg prices are well above the norm for week #17, but supply is a little stronger than romaine’s. The supply of romaine and iceberg should improve with favorable growing conditions in the forecast for the next two weeks.

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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 is an industry veteran with over 20 years of produce experience. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, he spent seven years as CFO for J&J Family of Farms. He 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 from trading with greater access and efficiency. This led him to cofound ProduceIQ.  ProduceIQ is an online toolset designed to improve the produce trading process for buyers and suppliers. We save you time, expand your opportunities, and provide valuable information to increase your profits.