The Class Produce Group Market Report
For the week of June 15th, 2009
TOMATOES IN GENERAL: While I still read and hear reports that product continues to come out of Mexico, with tomatoes crossing the border at Otay Mesa, CA, as well as into the South Texas Valley, I don’t notice many indications that anyone is purchasing from that production area. There are some clean up deals available out of Mexico, but for all practical purposes, that deal is “finished”!! Most of the chatter now is about product (or the lack of) coming from Central and South Florida, West Florida, the Charleston-Beaufort, SC areas, as well as some rumblings about Arkansas picking as well, and even indications that they will start harvesting in the Central California area. The San Diego area is also gearing up, but as of yet, they have not provided any volume. That Baja quality is reported as good, but there is still a lack of smaller sized tomatoes, and the color remains behind. Plain and simple, at this moment, there is indeed a lack of supplies from all current and/or upcoming production areas. With that in mind, quality is only average at best, and especially out of Florida, there is a lot of damage to the product. Shippers indicate they are grading the tomatoes with extra care, but when the NationFresh re-packers receive the product at our facilities, there is continued heavy loss in the re-pack process. As a result of all this, the price of round tomatoes went up another $4.00 to $6.00 this week, and the price climb is expected to continue until supply comes in line with demand. Cherry Tomatoes are still basically non-existent, but Grape Tomatoes and Roma Tomatoes can be found (after several phone calls) at semi-reasonable prices. Overall business is only day-to-day, and that’s probably a good thing right now. (See Page 2 below)
TRANSPORTATIION: Trucks in California remain very tight due to the continued lack of West bound freight of any kind. Last time I checked, Crude Oil remains priced above $60.00 per barrel, and earlier this week, it was quoted at $68.28. The National Average price of diesel fuel has increased again this week and now stands at $2.498 per gallon, and the way things are going, it will probably be up again next week. The good news is that in May, the price of diesel fuel dipped below the price of regular unleaded gasoline for the first time in more than a year. The Department of Energy has reported that the price of diesel fuel plummeted from nearly $5.00 per gallon in July of 2008 to where we are today.
NOTEWORTHY: This coming Sunday, June 14, is “FLAG DAY”, thus you need to FLY THE FLAG! It is also just happens to be the same day the U.S. Army was founded in 1775, which is 234 years ago.