Celery Market Alert
Unfortunately, at this time, we are still experiencing an ongoing extreme market with celery. The main reasons for the severity of this market are the overall acreage dedicated to growing celery this past season in Oxnard was reduced, however not all celery shippers reduced acreage. Second, mother nature played a huge role in the decrease of celery. Our Mexican regions experienced cooler temperatures and heavy rainfall off and on, causing inferior celery quality that limited sales into the US. The Yuma and Oxnard areas has experienced unseasonably cold temperatures and heavy rains which also has affected production and quality. Oxnard also had unusually strong winds early in February which blew over many of our tall processor celery varieties which we use to produce our fresh-cut celery. This caused the young celery to grow twisted and bent and severely affected yields and overall volume for the several weeks that followed. The Yuma season is now complete. Although we have seen temperatures warm up in Oxnard very recently, it is “too little too late”. The two events still in front of us that we see creating extra demand for celery are March Madness and Easter. We generally see celery demand subside after Easter and continue to see improvement through August.
Strawberry Market Alert
The next three weeks will be challenging for strawberries. Industry wide volumes will be at least 50% below planned production. The transitions from Florida and Mexico, back to California have all been impacted by weather, thereby causing a significant shortage in the strawberry crop. California harvests are three weeks behind schedule and Mexico growers continue to face challenges with growing conditions, diminishing production and making good arrivals from across the border. Florida strawberry harvests end for the season this week. Essentially, this year there is virtually no harvest overlap between the three primary strawberry regions, please expect to see higher prices and a shortage in supply.
Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods
10 Bradley Drive
(207) 856-1100 Phone