Navigating Fruit Market Challenges
In the realm of citrus, challenges often bring unique insights and solutions. California Navel Oranges are facing distinctive hurdles; larger sizes (72ct and above) are peaking, while smaller sizes (88/113/138ct) remain remarkably scarce. This scarcity, influenced by low fruit sets and rain events, calls for flexibility in size and grade. Flexibility extends to ordering as well as lead time is now a critical factor. Despite the challenges, the current quality remains commendable.
A parallel challenge unfolds in the world of Florida juicing oranges. The season features the Valencia variety, predominantly in sizes 100ct and larger, with limited availability of 125ct. The season is expected to stretch through April, offering a more extended window for procurement.
Grapes, unfortunately, continue to pose challenges. A culmination of factors, from early finishes in Peru to delayed starts in Chile, results in a persistently tight supply. Vessel delays, both at the Panama Canal affecting the East Coast and high seas affecting the West Coast, compound the issues. A significant improvement is not anticipated until late February.
Weather, a perennial wildcard, is making its presence felt. Rain is forecasted for California and Baja Mexico from January 31 to February 2, with potentially adverse effects on strawberry production. The expected precipitation, exceeding 2.5 inches, may disrupt supplies during this period and into the weekend.
In these times of flux, staying informed is key. Order lead time becomes not just a logistical necessity but a strategic advantage. Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.