Market Outlook

February 16, 2024
  • BEEF
  • POULTRY
  • PORK
  • SEAFOOD
  • DAIRY
  • GRAINS & OILS
  • PRODUCE
BEEF

BEEF

Prices will continue to show a firm tone overall as beef demand remains strong while availability improves but at a much slower pace. Estimated U.S. beef production last week was 519.9 million lbs., down 3.2% from prior week but up 0.6% from the same week last year. Live cattle weights have plummeted in recent weeks, providing a challenge to improving overall beef production. Packer margins have declined in the last week due to rising cattle prices, which will likely lead to shorter production schedules and even tighter beef supplies. Beef demand continues to hold up well, though consumers tend to shift their buying interest into lower value items during the cold winter months. Retail features will continue to run strong and buyers will begin to focus on building inventory for the spring grilling season and related holidays.

steady
Ribeyes:

Prices will continue to trade with a flat tone over the next several weeks, falling in line with seasonal trends. With grilling demand still further out in the marketing calendar, buying interest will be restrained through the end of the month.

steady
Strips:

Prices will continue to trade steady going into March, largely falling in line with seasonal trends. Demand from domestic buyers will be uninspiring, however slower beef production will keep supplies tight and prices supported.

higher
Tenderloins:

Prices will continue to show a firm tone over the next several weeks, defying the seasonal trend for values to soften in late February / early March. Supplies of uncommitted loads of product remain tight, which will keep prices supported.

Lower
Tri-Tips:

Prices will maintain a softer tone in going into March, falling in line with seasonal price trends. Retail demand remains seasonally soft and buyers focus their interest on other beef items.

higher
Top Butts:

Prices will shift to a stronger tone going into March. The combination of strong seasonal demand in domestic marketing channels and tight supplies will create enough price competitive to keep prices well-supported.

steady
Briskets:

Prices will continue trade steady over the next several weeks, following seasonal price trends. Foodservice promotional/LTO activity with Briskets has been uneven, while demand for St. Patrick’s Day (corned beef) has not yet kicked in.

Lower
Flap Meat:

Prices will continue to follow a softer tone going into March, falling in line with seasonal trends. Beef production rates will remain slow overall, but demand from both retail and foodservice buyers will be soft enough to keep prices restrained.

higher
Skirt Meat:

Prices will continue to show a strong tone going into March even though seasonal trends call for values to trade steady. Retail buyers will be getting an early start on building for spring demand, while export markets will be seen bidding on U.S. product in coming weeks.

higher
Inside Rounds:

Prices will continue to take on a strong tone, trading independently from seasonal trends. Demand for Rounds will remain strong, keeping prices for the subprimals, including Inside Rounds, very well-supported.

higher
Ground Chuck:

Prices will continue to take on a firm tone going into March. Demand for quality ground product remains strong, even with current prices for Ground Chuck trading at a 21% premium to the five-year average.

higher
81/19 Ground Beef:

Prices will continue to take on a very strong tone over the next several weeks. Sharply lower dressed weights have crimped supplies of fat trimmings, which will keep prices for Ground -Beef very well-supported.

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POULTRY

POULTRY

Despite the beginning of the Lenten season, spot demand for chicken hasn’t missed a beat, and in some cases, has actually begun to strengthen. An active and ongoing call out of retail buying channels, in conjunction with additional purchasing inquiries from within the further processing and deboning sectors, has kept spot availability of key front and back half lines spotty at beast.

steady
WOG’s:

The WOG complex winds down the week in roughly the same position as last week. Spot offerings are adequate in matching a moderate draw. Some additional deboning buying interest is evident for the heavier-sized offerings, however, market-swaying transactional activity was slow to surface here at week’s end. Sellers of bone-in breasts and front halves enjoy a slight uptick in demand which generally coincides with advancing values. We rate these lines as full-steady overall.

higher
Breasts/Tenderloins:

As for boneless breasts, jumbo and medium-sized offerings are actively pursued, with retail buyers remaining the most vocal, and most willing, to fork out a premium. Offerings are barely adequate, with some sellers leaning to the short end of the spectrum. The production which does trickle onto the spot market is successfully held for a significant premium. Supplies of select-sized boneless breasts are short of buying requirements. Higher bids are slow to stir up additional visibility. Tenders are quickly absorbed by traditional retail and further processing channels at an overage and are expected to in the short-term.

steady/higher
Wings:

When it comes to wings, the tone remains full-steady. Some players attribute the seasonally-strong marketing dynamic to year-over-year reductions in weekly headcount, while others cite constricted frozen inventory levels. One thing that most players can agree on is that demand patterns remain active with most purchasers hard-pressed in their ability to source their immediate requirements.

steady/higher
Thighs/Legs/Leg Quarters:

As for the back half of the bird, most key lines maintain a similar trajectory as last week. Sales of bulk and 4/10 leg quarters are inked at an overage and quotations respond accordingly. Thighs and drumsticks are also solidly established with supplies falling short of regular needs. Back-half meats enjoy a vocal level of buying interest with spot offerings are well-cleared at premiums levels.

steady/higher
Turkey Whole Birds:

HPAI news is driving much of the sentiment in Turkey Markets. Recent outbreaks in Iowa paired with unseasonably warmer Midwestern weather has added worry to Turkey Farms as they anxiously await peak flyover periods. Though demand remains relatively depressed, it is well matched with offerings. All told, the steadiness between supply and demand and the fear of AI outbreak is sure to drive prices upward in the short-term.

steady
Turkey Breast:

Breast markets are rated steady, and follow along the trajectory as the underlying Whole Bird Market.

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PORK

PORK

Prices will shift to a slightly softer tone over the next several weeks as pork supplies remain adequately available while demand is only moderate. Estimated U.S. pork production last week was 570.4 million lbs., down 2.8% from the prior week but 6.7% higher than the same week last year. Supplies of market hogs will tighten in early spring, however packers will have adequate supplies of hogs in the very near term. Demand can be described as average, with the majority of primals trading in line with last year. Foodservice demand will be the lynchpin to demand in coming weeks as restaurants have been seeking to drive traffic through value offerings and LTO’s. Exports continue to be a bright spot for U.S. pork demand as shipments of U.S. pork to Mexico and Asia remain strong.

steady
Bellies:

Prices will maintain a balanced tone in coming weeks, falling in line with seasonal trends for the month. Retail demand will remain soft while Foodservice demand will keep prices more balanced due to gradually improving demand.

steady
Loins:

Prices will continue to trade within a narrow range through the end of February due to the combination of moderate demand and ample supplies of uncommitted product.

steady
Ribs:

Prices will trade with a steady tone over the next several weeks, falling in line with normal seasonal trends. While inventories are notably below normal levels for February, demand remains lackluster, keeping prices more restrained.

higher
Butts:

Prices will shift to a more firm tone over the next several weeks, defying the seasonal trend for values to trade steady. While overall pork production will be strong, demand from both domestic channels and export markets will be supportive for prices in the near term.

steady
Hams:

Prices will shift back to a more steady tone through the end of February, following normal seasonal price trends. Pork production will add supply to the market, however retailers will continue to feature hams at rates 30-40% higher than last year, keeping prices supported.

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SEAFOOD

SEAFOOD

Seasonal changes and yields are effecting the seafood outlook.

steady/higher
Farmed White Shrimp:

Prices are relatively firm, but still reflective of the lower prices that have been in place for quite some time. Demand is seasonally fair, and inter-importer trade active. Overseas pricing is generally firm on new orders.

steady
Farmed Black Tiger Shrimp:

Like white shrimp, there is no market moving information for black tiger shrimp. Given the environment, and where white alternatives exist, there may be some price discussions but again in isolated instances.

 

steady
Wild Gulf of Mexico Shrimp:

Despite no changes to the market, wild shrimp remains pressured. Mexican shrimp fishing has just begun and landings have been good for smaller shrimp. However, some boats are opting not to fish due to low prices which will pull some product out of expected landings for this year.

Lower
Warm Water Lobster Tails:

Markets remain stable as importers clear out inventory. Inventory and availability still remain at well-positioned levels. Bahamas’s spiny lobster seasons remain open through March. This is a great alternative to the North American Lobster Tails during times of less availability or high market conditions. Short Term: Soft Price

higher
North American Lobster Tails:

Prices on cold water lobster tails are increasing. Supplies continue to be constrained, especially on larger sized tails. It is expected larger sized tails will remain limited and have very firm prices when available. Short Term: Firm Prices

steady/higher
Lobster Meat:

The meat market is headed higher following the trend established by cold-water lobster tail markets. Short Term: Firm Pricing

 

 

steady
Canadian Snow Crab:

Prices on snow crab have decreased considerably from last year. The season in Canada has ended and production will resume in April. Short Term: Steady Price

Lower
Ahi/Yellow Fin Tuna:

Tuna markets remain soft. Prices have dipped out of Vietnam due to slower demand. Catches are down in Indonesia due to unfavorable weather. Short Term: Softer Pricing

steady/higher
Pangasius/Swai/Basa:

Domestic Swai prices remain soft, and overseas prices have climbed slightly due to high inventories starting to dry up. Prices may increase once supply catches up with demand. Short Term: Steady Price

steady/Lower
Keta Salmon:

Global purchases remain low and the market is declining. Good availability of product. Short Term: Steady to weak Price

higher
Chilean Salmon:

Packers in Chile are increasing production of frozen product as demand for fresh has lessened. Short Term: Firming Pricing

steady
Norwegian Salmon:

Atlantic salmon has hit a high and prices for farm raised product have softened. Short Term: Firming Pricing

higher
Tilapia Fillets:

The season for tilapia ended & materials are in short supply thus increasing prices overseas. Packers have been rushing to ship orders prior to the start of the Chinese New Year. Short Term: Firming Pricing

steady
Blue Swimming Crab:

The blue swimming crab meat market remains steady at listed levels across all grades. A few higher offers are noted on some larger-sized grades. Supplies are adequate amid a moderate to fair demand. A rise in the pricing of raw materials is noted overseas; however, market participants report pricing in the US as stable for the time being.

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DAIRY

DAIRY

Nearby, milk output is steady in the Midwest and East, while California noted some YOY increases so far this calendar year.

The rampant increase in prices so far this calendar year have finally started to slow buying interest as shell egg inventories were able to expand this past week by 6% and prices have stalled out.

steady
Milk / Cream:

Nearby, milk output is steady in the Midwest and East, while California noted some YOY increases so far this calendar year. Along with some topping out in the seasonal milk production, milk components are reportedly starting to come off their recent highs and will be another supportive feature to the market. Nearby supplies are still available as processors can get their hands on spot loads at values near class. The USDA’s bi-annual Cattle Inventory report showed heifer inventories at the lowest levels in 20 years as of January, limiting the longer term dairy growth prospects. The trend of lower YOY milk output should persist into the first part of 2024, but reports have shown cream availability is still adequate, with butter processors running full schedules to take advantage of the cheap cream and elevated product prices.

steady
Butter:

The butter market has not been able to maintain the higher prices from late January, with prices continuing their slow grind lower amid limited volume. Nearby, the market is still noting extremely strong churn rates across the country and adequate to abundant cream availability. This was apparent in the December production figures showing butter output jumping 4.4% from the prior year. On the flip side, the tighter stocks into the end of the year also demonstrates strong order interest in December after lighter orders in Oct/Nov. Longer term, firm domestic butter demand from both retail and foodservice should limit large scale selloffs, but prices are still historically very expensive. 2023 domestic offtake was record strong, but production and stocks are starting to build seasonally into the new year while the more expensive prices and typically slower demand into January should keep some pressure on prices.

steady
Cheese:

The block and barrel cheese markets are struggling to push higher, even after additional buying interest this past week. Large inventories continue to overhang the market and are limiting additional upside nearby. The updated production report from the USDA showed that all cheese output in December was 0.9% above last year, which is impressive given less milk production YOY. American cheese output was also higher than the prior year (+0.5%), but cheddar cheese production was 2% lower YOY as processors are hesitant to run at elevated levels when inventories are already substantial. All cheese stocks in cold storage were down 0.2% YOY in December, while softer American cheese demand kept those stocks at an even more comfortable 1.5% higher YOY. Also, the competitive price point of U.S. cheese means that U.S. exports are again penciling into the world arena and keeping a floor in the market.

steady/higher
Shell Eggs:

The rampant increase in prices so far this calendar year have finally started to slow buying interest as shell egg inventories were able to expand this past week by 6% and prices have stalled out.  When combined with the recent surge in stockpiling from retailers and end users, follow through orders are more limited at these historically expensive levels.  Higher prices are common at this time of year with winter weather boosting domestic consumption and baking season in full effect. Longer term support from better retail demand should prevent a retest of the calendar year lows, with shell egg demand continuing to benefit from more expensive proteins and the price conscious consumer.  Foodservice has been slower as a result of less dining out.  Cage free inventories jumped 15% off their lows last week, again hinting at softening demand at these elevated levels.  The need to build additional cage free production in the West should keep cage free values trading at a sizeable premium to conventional shell eggs.

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GRAINS & OILS

GRAINS & OILS

The grain and oilseed markets are grinding lower again this week ahead of the USDA Ag Outlook conference. The lackluster domestic demand story in the U.S. and continued slow export pace have kept the markets on their heels. Corn, soybeans and wheat have all been able to put in fresh lows for the move, while wheat is finding slightly less downside than other markets. In Brazil, recent weather has helped to stabilize the crop expectations, while soybean harvest is underway. When combined with abundant rains in Argentina and sharply higher production estimates than last year, South American production is still a record large. Corn has also benefitted from better South American conditions, with Brazilian estimates creeping higher as planting progresses, and Argentina is expected to have a record corn crop this season. On the U.S. wheat side, much better condition ratings so far this season and favorable weather in the S. Plains means harvested area could still surpass year ago levels and keep ending stocks trending higher in 24/25. Moisture patterns for the U.S. southern plains remain favorable. Also, Russian export values have been softer in recent week, keeping the U.S. uncompetitive as cheap wheat continues to flow onto the world market. The overall trend for the grains and oilseeds remains rangebound to lower.

steady
Soybean Oil:

The soybean oil futures have given back about half of last week’s rally and are firmly in consolidation mode ahead of the NOPA report and USDA Ag Outlook conference. Seasonally soft demand, record crush rates and rebuilding stocks have kept prices near the long term lows. Favorable conditions in Argentina and additional rainfall across Brazil have helped pressure the market, along with weaker alternative feedstock oils and softer biofuel margins. Spot crude and refined soybean oil basis offers were mostly steady again last week.

steady
Canola:

The spot canola seed futures made another new low this week. Statistics Canada estimated their December 31st all canola stocks at 12.851 compared to the average trade estimate at 13.0 million and 12.681 million last year. Canada has exported 34% less canola so far this season as they continue to direct product to their domestic crush. Canola oil basis was steady to lower this week with the refined oil still trading at a slight discount soybean oil.

steady
Palm Oil:

Crude palm oil futures are struggling near the upper end of their long term range, trading lower this week in sympathy with soybean oil and energy prices struggling to take out the recent highs. Prices remain stuck in their sideways pattern. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board estimated their end of January palm oil stocks at 2.02 million metric tons, slightly below expectations and down 12.5% from 2.290 million reported in December.

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PRODUCE

PRODUCE

DOWNLOAD THE MARKON FRESH CROP REPORT

higher
Arugula & Tender Leaf Varieties:

Supplies of tender leaf/spring mix varieties are limited in the Arizona and California growing regions.

  • Low temperatures and rain in California’s Imperial Valley and Yuma, Arizona over the past two weeks have taken a toll on tender leaf items
  • Abnormally low temperatures have slowed plant maturity; yellowing leaves and product breakdown are the main quality challenges
  • Markon brand suppliers are meeting Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Spring Mix and RSS Heritage Blend demand but are struggling to cover 100% of RSS Arugula orders
  • Arugula supplies are the tightest within the tender leaf category due to sensitivity to abnormally low temperatures
Lower
Asparagus:

Volume has risen dramatically, driving recently high prices down to low levels. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.

  • Northern Baja/Mexicali, Sonora, and the Caborca areas of Northern Mexico are the primary growing regions at this time
    • Peruvian growers are struggling to compete with low Mexican markets, significantly decreasing the number of imports shipped to the East Coast at this time
    • Small-diameter stalks dominate yields, but jumbo and extra-large sizes are readily available
    • Quality is very good; stalks are straight and size is consistent
  • Expect supplies and markets to stay relatively low through this month as temperate weather is aiding growth.
higher
Bell Peppers:

Green bell pepper prices are rising; demand exceeds supply. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • Mexican supplies are tightening; prices are moving higher
    • Cool daytime temperatures are hindering growth, pushing back new crop harvesting start dates in Sinaloa
    • Demand is strong
    • Quality is fair; bruising and decay are occasional issues
    • Expect limited supplies and rising markets for the next one to two weeks
  • Florida stocks remain extremely limited due to weather; prices are up
    • Rain-related quality issues are present in some lots following past storms
    • Quality ranges from fair to good; supplies are dominated by choice grade
  • Expect higher prices and limited supplies over the next 7 to 10 days

Red Bells

  • Mild daytime and cooler nighttime temperatures are impacting maturity
  • Quality is fair
  • Bruising, decay, and inconsistent color are occasional issues
  • Gold bells remain limited with less overall acreage planted
  • Expect elevated markets and lower volume for the next one to two weeks
Lower
Broccoli & Cauliflower:

MFC Broccoli and ESS Cauliflower are available. Prices are weak in the Arizona-California desert and Mexican growing regions.

Broccoli

  • Domestic quality ranges from fair to good despite recent rains; precipitation followed by warmer weather next week will lead to increased occurrences of pin rot/brown bead, yellowing, and mildew pressure
  • Mexican-grown product is available for loading in South Texas at lower FOB costs;
    • Growers are shipping ample supplies from both Northern and Central Mexico
    • Quality is very good due to dry, temperate weather
  • Expect markets to remain relatively steady at low levels through February

Cauliflower

  • Stocks are abundant despite cooler weather and some rain events in January
  • Quality issues may become more prevalent as higher temperatures follow last week’s rain
    • Expect to see increased dark spotting and mildew pressure as well as some inconsistently sized and off-color heads
  • Expect prices to continue to slide through this week before turning around within five to seven days
higher/steady
Green Onions:

Supplies are tight, pushing up demand and prices. Harvests are limited in the primary growing region of Mexicali, Mexico.

  • RSS Washed & Trimmed Green Onions are available; packer label may be substituted when supplies do not meet Markon specifications
  • Prices are expected to continue climbing through next week
    • Rain and wind have wiped out some mature lots and led to power outages at some packing sheds
    • Muddy field conditions have prevented harvesting in some fields
    • Increased dirt and mud is expected in some final packs
  • Ordering for quick turns is recommended through the rest of February as stressed plants will have decreased shelf-life potential
  • Expect markets to pick up and then begin to deflate over the next 7-10 days as supplies rebound
higher
Green Leaf, Iceberg, & Romaine Lettuces:

Iceberg markets are up following reduced yields in the Arizona and California desert regions; green leaf and romaine prices are inching higher as well. MFC Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are limited; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed due to industry-wide low weights and diminished quality.

  • Alternating weeks of warm and cold weather, as well as rain and hail, have reduced supplies
    • Production crews are working slowly through poor field conditions, which has decreased overall yields and pushed markets higher
    • Elevated levels of bottom rot, dirt/mud, epidermal blistering/peeling with discoloration, mildew damage, pinking, and mechanical damage are affecting finished pack yields
  • Warmer weather is forecast for next week but additional adverse weather will hit the region in late February; expect active markets
  • Prices for all three lettuces will continue rising over the next 7 to 10 days
higher
Lemons:

As the California lemon season progresses, small fruit (165- and 200-count supplies) will tighten. Size and grade substitutions may be requested to fill orders.

  • Districts 1 and 2 (the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California) are currently in production
    • 115- through 140-count sizes dominate crops
    • Quality is excellent
  • Production in District 3 (the Arizona-California desert region) will end next week
  • Expect a slow yet steady price climb as demand increases over the next six to eight weeks
  • Quality ranges from very good to excellent
higher
Limes:

Markets are on the rise as supplies reach seasonal lows; demand is moderate. MFC and ESS Limes are available.

Mexico

  • Mexican supplies are lighter which is common for this time of year; prices are rising
  • Persistent rains and cold weather this fall/early winter led to bloom drop and reduced available supplies
  • Supplies are dominated by larger size 110-and 150-count limes
  • Quality is good; light color, scarring, and decay are minimal
  • Expect markets to continue rising over the next one to two weeks

Colombia

  • Colombian stocks are shipping by boat into domestic ports in New Jersey and Florida
  • Quality is good; due to past rains, light stylar and oil spotting are having to be graded out
  • Markets are comparable to Mexico; prices are trailing slightly lower than Mexico FOB’s
higher/steady
Mixed Berries:

Temperatures are rising, aiding growth and increasing blueberry and blackberry supplies. Raspberry volume remains low, but should climb in two weeks.

Blueberries

  • Peruvian and Chilean imports are ample
  • Mexican production is returning to normal as weather warms in Central Mexico
  • Demand is steady; quality is very good
  • Prices are stabilizing

Blackberries

  • Yields are increasing in Central Mexico due to higher temperatures
  • Quality is very good; some softness and red cell has been reported
  • Markets are steady

Raspberries

  • The California season has ended
  • Mexican production is limited; expect higher volume in two weeks
  • Quality is average; leaky berries have been reported
  • Demand exceeds supply
  • Prices are elevated, but should start easing toward the end of the month
steady/higher
Navel Oranges:

The California Navel crop is dominated by large sizes; small fruit (113- and 138-count oranges) continue to be extremely limited. Size and grade substitutions will soon be requested to fill orders; the Cara Cara and Mandarin varieties are options.

California  

  • MFC and ESS Navel Oranges are available
  • Overall supplies of 113- and 138-count sizes will remain extremely limited through the Navel season and into the Valencia season this spring
  • California Cara Cara oranges and Mandarins are viable substitution options
  • Expect elevated markets and tight supplies

South Texas

  • This domestic crop is currently dominated by medium-size oranges (72- through 88-count fruit)
  • The Valencia orange variety is now available in Mission, Texas through late April
  • Steady prices and limited stocks are forecast, as Texas oranges will be used fill California shortages

Mexico

  • The Valencia orange variety is available (crossing in Nogales, Arizona)
  • This crop is currently dominated by small-size oranges (113- through 138-count fruit)
  • Expect steady markets and tight supplies, as Mexican oranges will be used fill California shortages

Florida

  • Supplies are currently dominated by 80- to 100-count and larger packs
  • The Mid-Sweet variety is currently available
  • Valencia oranges will begin shipping in March
  • High prices and limited stocks are forecast, as Florida oranges will be used fill California shortages on the East Coast
higher
Onions:

Prices remain elevated; demand exceeds supply. Markets will remain high for the next four to six weeks as new crop onions are delayed. White onion supplies remain scarce; markets are extreme in all regions. MFC Onions are available out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Washington.

  • Pacific Northwest
    • Supplies will wind down over the next two months; some smaller sheds have potential to finish in March
    • Pack-outs in the Northwest are declining; some lots exhibiting internal browning will result in lower yields and diminishing storage supplies
  • Colorado
    • Expect supplies to be depleted by the end of February/early March
  • Utah
    • The season will finish mid-March
  • Canada
    • The season is coming to an end with very limited supply; pack-outs are low due to poor quality
  • Texas
    • The domestic season is slated to start mid-March; a normal crop is expected but demand will be stronger due to Mexican onion shortages
  • Mexico
    • Markets on the Mexico side of the border are keeping supplies from crossing into the U.S
    • At this time, there is no specific timeline for onions to cross at regular intervals; overall crop is 30-40% lower than last year
steady
Parsley & Cilantro:

RSS Washed & Trimmed Cilantro and Parsley are available; packer label is being substituted when supplies do not meet Markon specifications

  • Several low-pressure systems in both the Oxnard, California and Yuma, Arizona growing regions have caused frequent low temperatures and precipitation
  • Stocks are exhibiting minimal issues at time of harvest, but cumulative stress over the growth cycle is reducing shelf-life and lowering yields at the field level
    • Growers have increased sorting on value-added production lines to combat early breakdown and yellowing as well as avoiding certain lots, reducing overall available supplies
    • Ordering for quick turns is recommended for the next two to three weeks
  • Markets are expected to increase slightly next week but overall remain mostly steady
higher
Pears:

The Washington Bartlett pear season is winding down. MFC D’Anjou Pears are available out of Washington.

  • MFC D’Anjou Pears will remain available through June
  • Size profile is leaning towards the larger side (70-count through 90-count); 110-count and smaller are limited
  • Pricing is expected to rise with increased demand
  • Overall quality is excellent
Lower
Potatoes:

MFC Idaho Burbank and Norkotah Potatoes are readily available.

Storage Crop

  • Potato size is currently dominated by 60- through 100-count supplies; larger, 40- through 50-count stocks have tightened
  • Quality is excellent for both varieties
  • Prices will remain weak through February

2024-25 New Crop Idaho Season

  • Growers are expecting to plant in the western areas near Boise in late March
  • The southern region near Twin Falls will be planted in early April
  • Planting on the eastern side normally gets underway in mid-April
higher
Strawberries:

Rain is expected in the Oxnard, California growing region starting Sunday, February 18 and continuing through Wednesday, February 21. This rain event will reduce supply levels and have a negative effect on quality. Rain is expected in the Dover, Florida growing region from Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18.

Oxnard

  • The forecast calls for rain Sunday, February 18 through Wednesday, February 21
  • Volume is currently low and with rainfall forecast for next week, supplies will further tighten
  • Expect a demand-exceeds-supply market for the next two weeks
  • Quality is currently good; rain will decrease overall quality, causing white shoulders and bruising
  • Maintaining the cold chain will be vital for shelf-life; Markon recommends ordering for quick turns

Mexico (into South Texas)

  • Overall volume is decreasing as the season has moved past its peak
  • Quality is currently good; white shoulders have been reported
  • Anticipate steady prices and tight supplies this region helps fill the void from West Coast shortages

Florida

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Strawberries are available
  • Forecasts call for rain Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
  • Quality is currently good; white shoulders and uneven size have been reported
  • Expect tight supplies at the start of next week as fields recover from rain; volume will increase later next week due as weather improves
Tomatoes:

Round tomato supplies are tightening; markets are rising. Roma tomato supplies remain adequate with lower markets. MFC Tomatoes are available.

  • Florida volume is very light due to bloom loss following January’s unfavorable cold and rainy weather; demand has shifted to Mexico
    • Quality is good to fair with growers moving into second and third picks
    • Smaller (6×7) round tomatoes are more prevalent
    • Expect lighter supplies over the next two to three weeks with bloom drop in January and overall less acreage planted
  • Mexican Roma and round tomato production is limited following cold weather in Culiacan; demand is strong
    • Quality is good as growers move into new lots
    • Supplies are dominated by larger size rounds and Romas (4×4 and 4×5 packs)
    • Grape and cherry tomato supplies are adequate; prices are slightly lower
  • Expect Roma and round tomato prices to rise over the next two to three weeks
Live from the Fields: MFC Artisan Romaine Quality Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video highlighting the benefits of MFC Artisan Romaine during periods of erratic weather that impacts most other leafy greens.
  • MFC Romaine is available; Markon Best Available is being substituted in some lots due to quality challenges
  • Multiple recent weather events including freezing temperatures and above-normal rainfall have caused quality challenges for desert row crops
  • Commodity romaine has been one of the most heavily impacted with issues such as:
    • Bottom rot and/or decay
    • Decreased case weights
    • Epidermal blisters
    • Discolored epidermal peeling
  • Harvesting crews are working hard to remove or minimize defects, these are industry-wide problems
  • MFC Artisan Romaine has held up incredibly well to the erratic weather
    • This item can be a good substitution while we weather the romaine challenges in February
    • Color, size, and shape are very consistent
    • Quality is excellent with little or no weather-related defects in finished packs
  Lettuce Ice in the Desert Region
  • The Arizona/California desert growing region is experiencing widespread lettuce ice today following a cold front that moved into the area over the weekend. Temperatures have dipped into the low-to mid-30°s and the forecast is calling for only slight warming through Wednesday, February 14. Harvesting and loading delays can be expected for most desert row crop items through mid-week.
  • Markon inspectors are actively monitoring supplies of commodity and value-added lettuce and tender leaf items that have already experienced multiple freeze and rain events over the past month. Quality and shelf-life challenges will be prolonged with this week’s freezing temperatures.
  • Ordering for quick turns is recommended and as always, please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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