Winter Conditions Impact Supply
Earlier this week, Yuma, AZ faced another ice delay, disrupting harvest schedules and signaling potential challenges in the coming weeks. With some shippers delaying harvest until 11 am on harsher days, the industry braces for reduced product volume due to shorter daylight hours and later harvest times. Quality concerns loom, driven by frost damage and ice delays, leading to issues like blister, epidermal peel, and freeze burn on leafy greens.
The impact extends beyond Yuma, particularly affecting green onions in Mexico. Strong markets and shortages are the outcome of freezing temperatures persisting throughout the week. While crews have resumed work, supplies remain limited, influencing pricing for contracts and value-added items.
The lime market is witnessing significant price hikes as demand outpaces supply. Prices have surged in just a week, with expectations of this trend persisting through April. Rain in Veracruz, coupled with late-season fruit, has introduced defects like oil spots and styler-end breakdown. The anticipated new production cycle starting in mid-January may bring smaller-sized fruit with improved quality.
The delay in the Mexican lemon season, caused by extreme temperatures and drought, has resulted in stressed fruit. Quality challenges persist, with approximately 85% of fruit categorized as choice and 15% as fancy-grade. Medium-sized fruit dominates, with larger sizes becoming more prevalent. The season is expected to extend through January, subject to quality considerations.
Offshore mango production is experiencing disruptions in various regions. The Brazilian season has concluded, Ecuador closed a packing shed, and rain is affecting the quality of the fruit. Poor production in Peru, attributed to El Nino, is causing a 50% loss in exports. Limited supply and elevated prices are expected. Mexico has initiated its season with Ataulfo’s (Honey’s), exporting to Canada, with U.S. exports projected to start in two weeks. Red (round) mango availability is anticipated in mid-to-late February.
As we navigate these challenges, it’s crucial to stay informed and plan ahead. Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest product available to us.