Customers that didn’t build inventory going into the holidays now need to replenish quickly. In a regular year, produce markets typically fall the first week of January.
Demand varies by region depending on the level of foodservice restrictions. The high level of activity in my hometown of North Palm Beach, FL, is a direct indication that New York is struggling.
Fresh produce market prices improved mid-week as expected. The post-Thanksgiving slowdown lasted the typical ten days, and prices improved after storage coolers were emptied again.
The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association encourages retailers to promote Peruvian asparagus throughout December 2020 and into the New Years’ holiday.
Week 40 prices have only reached the high of $0.85/pound once before in the last 15 years. Historically, prices decline through October until the Thanksgiving demand pulls them back up again at the beginning of November.
Asparagus prices are rising with volumes lower than the past several seasons.
Peruvian asparagus was down the first half of 2020, and not surprisingly, it’s due to the pandemic. But COVID-19 regulations on labor are a bigger factor than any other pandemic effects.
Low yields (with low quality), caused by hot California weather, are driving the entire Lettuce & Leaf category significantly higher, +29 percent.
Weather problems continue to affect California vegetables, and increasing foodservice demand is causing some prices to rise.
Asparagus prices are rising as production winds down in the United States, but the pandemic clearly had an affect on the market this spring.