Here is a glimpse at shipments on Northwest pears, as well as California melon loadings, and finally tomato shipments out of Southern California and Mexico. Finally, are produce rates too high as one shipper claims?
The Northwest pear shipping forecast has been revised for the upcoming 2014 harvest, with 20.2 million, 44-pound cartons now expected to be packed by season’s end. This estimate is two per cent larger than the five-year average but six per cent smaller than last year’s record shipments. This year’s initial spring projection showed a crop of 18.7 million cartons.
Shipments have been underway about a month, and with no significant weather issues so far, and harvest is expected to extend into mid-October. Green Anjou pears are expected to make up 53 per cent of the total 2014 crop, with the Bartlett and Bosc varieties likely to yield 22 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. The organic portion of the Northwest crop has increased by around three per cent, with around 976,700 cartons.
In California, Westside district melon shipments from the San Joaquin Valley should continue into mid October, although volume will be much smaller that last month of the season. Quality is reported excellent, however, shippers are complaining about movement not being as good as it should. A big crop is reported, so could it be the market is a little high and consumers are resisting?
California Tomato Shipments
Further south in California, tomato shipments are in full swing with another large crop moving from the San Diego area and Mexico’s Baja California. One tomato shipper recently described freight rates on tomatoes as “ridiculous.” He said it was costing $4 to $5 per box to ship his tomatoes.