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ProduceIQ: Avocados surge, grapes plunge – the produce market amid extreme weather conditions

produceiq squash rain

The Southwestern US and California are experiencing record temperatures due to a heat wave from Mexico. Last week, temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley hit triple digits and the 90s in the Salinas Valley. This week, the heat wave will weaken but spread northward to Oregon and Washington.

Most produce commodities grown on the West Coast avoided significant losses due to the more moderate overnight temperatures.

On the East Coast, a wet, cool week is in the forecast. Drought-stricken Florida is expecting 3-5 inches of rain in the Southeast and 5-8 inches in parts of the Southwest. Adel, Georgia, is forecast for 92 degrees and rain on Monday and then from Thursday onward.

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.02/pound, down -7.3 percentover prior week  

Week #23, ending June 7th  

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.

Avocado prices are on the rise. At $43, blended hass avocados are at their third highest price for week #23 in the last ten years. Mexican volume continues to decline and push up prices, and growers in California and Peru are working to fill the void left by struggling Mexican production. Peruvian growers have started in a light way but should pick up steadily over the next few weeks.

ProduceIQ avocados
Hass Avocado (48ct) prices, $55, are at their 3rd highest level.

Grape prices continue to plummet as Chilean suppliers race against time to move the last of their inventory through the pipeline, while Mexican growers face challenges in finding labor for harvesting fruit.

Overall supply is strong, with quality volume from growers in Mexico and California. There is still a good bit of cheap Chilean product left in the pipeline, although the quality is quickly deteriorating. Mexican and domestic production is forecasted to only increase in volume and improve in quality over the next few weeks.

produceiq grapes
Table grape prices have crashed to $14 from record highs (above $35); grapes enter a transitional time of volatility.

Cauliflower prices jumped +71 percent over the previous week due to struggling supply from growers in the Salinas Valley, Santa Maria, and Mexico. The heat is slowing growth and keeping supply near record lows for week #23. Prices will likely rise over the next two weeks as growers work to play catch-up with supply.

Squash markets continue to soldier on after weeks of meager supply. Yellow and zucchini squash are extremely limited due to inclement weather in Eastern and Western growing regions.

The ProduceIQ Trends data remains in full review due to a recent change in the USDA reporting system but is directionally correct according to reports from squash growers. Supply on both coasts is exceptionally tight. Especially in the East due to heavy rain incidences in Georgia. Markets may soon reach a turning point thanks to the beginning of local deals in the East and more favorable growing conditions in Santa Maria, CA.

produceiq zucchini
Squash, both yellow and zucchini, are an outlier at extreme highs for this time of year.

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.

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.

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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.