Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

California Avocado Shipments Should be Up 70% from 2019

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California avocado shipments should experience a huge rebound this year with 369 million pounds forecast. This is about a 70 percent increase over 2019.

Still, California is a small player compared to the volume out of Mexico. While some California avocados are shipped to the East Coast, the vast amount goes to markets in the Western states. Last year, with a small crop, most destinations were to markets in California.

The California Avocado Commission of Irvine reports early-season volume has slightly exceeded projections. Peak loadings should occur from April through July and continue through Labor Day.

Some growers started harvesting in mid January due to strong markets and their big crops, with others starting in February.

Index Fresh Inc. of Riverside, CA plans to have good volume into September.

Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA also had an early start. Two years ago the company was hit harder than most by fires in groves as well as a heat wave.

Another reason California growers have started shipping sooner was due less volume this year from Mexico.

Mission Produce Inc. of Oxnard, CA started a month earlier this season than originally planned.

Eco Farms of Temecula, CA got off to a slow start in January, but loadings picked up in February.

Henry Avocado Corp. of Escondido, CA was shipping light volume in February, but shipments picked up in March, and the company will be full capacity from April to July, before starting to taper off in August.

The company has some spring and summer fruit going to customers in the East, but most of its fruit stays on the West Coast.

The Giumarra Cos. of Los Angeles has two California packinghouses, one in Escondido and one in Ventura and is shipping from both facilities.

Southern California avocados and citrus – grossing about $6400 to New York City.

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20% Crash in Mexican Grape Shipments Forecast this Season

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A 20 percent crash in Mexican grape shipments are predicted this season.

The 2020 estimate for Mexican grapes is 19.7 million 19-pound boxes, about 3.9 million boxes down (20 percent) from a year ago of 23.6 million boxes. That crop, however, was significantly higher than the 2018 production of 16.37 million boxes, so forecasters are saying there will still be good volume.

Mexican grape shipments to the U.S. will start in mid-May, lasting into early July. The season is expected to start earlier than in 2019, with the red Flame seedless being in good volume from late May to late June. Mid-season green grapes loadings will be in good volume from early June to early July, while black seedless best movement is expected from late May to late June.

Green perlette grape volume is hit hard by a freeze and 2020 volume is predicted at 800,000 boxes, less than half of the 1.7 million box output last season.

Early-season Mexican grape volume is expected to be about 2.8 million boxes, up slightly from 2.6 million boxes a year ago.

Red seedless loadings for 2020 is forecast at 8.65 million boxes, off 19 percent from last year’s total of 10.7 million boxes; 

Mid-season green variety output is estimated at 4.15 million boxes, down 18 percent from 5.08 million boxes a year ago;

Red globe production is 300,000 boxes, down from 306,000 boxes last year;

Black seedless is forecast at 1.5 million boxes, down 22 percent from 1.92 million boxes in 2019; and

Other grape varieties are forecast at 1.5 million boxes, up slightly from 1.2 million boxes last year.

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California Spring Produce Shipments Shaping Up to Be Fairly Normal

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California spring produce shipments should be good as growers and shippers expect plentiful supplies due to favorable growing conditions.

A wide range of vegetables are shipped by Boskovich Fresh Food Group of Oxnard, CA ranging from cabbages, Chinese mix and bunched items such as parsley, cilantro and spinach.

The company grows celery in Oxnard from November through June, when the season transitions to Santa Maria.

Boskovich is wrapping up shipments of head and leaf lettuce in Yuma, AZ., and will move to Santa Maria in early April.

Other items such as radishes and beets will switch from Mexico to Oxnard in mid-April.

The company expects good volume for most items for Easter, April 12.

Five Crowns Marketing of Brawley, CA is the state’s largest shipper of sweet corn, and weather has been ideal. The operation ships sweet corn year around, starting in Brawley in April, then moving to Coachella in May, followed by Mendota, Tracy, Arizona, and Washington.

Most recently, the company has been sourcing from Sinaloa, Mexico.

Five Crowns will begin shipping cantaloupe in early May, followed by variety melons and honeydew around May 10 – 15. The company also will have seedless watermelons from Arizona starting in early June with big volume in time for the 4th of July. After that, watermelon shipments will move to Mendota and Tracy before transitioning to Mexico for the winter.

Sunnyside Packing Co. of Selma, CA has eggplant, bell peppers, soft squash, hard squash and a few green beans and a small onion program.

Ventura County vegetables and strawberries – grossing about $7200 to New York City.

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Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments Gearing Up in April

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Strong Florida produce shipments this spring are expected due to favorable growing conditions.

Tomatoes, strawberries and cabbage were the Florida commodities with the highest volume during the week of Feb. 16, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Increases in vegetable shipments started in mid February for items such as
avocados, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, bell peppers, other peppers, radishes, squash, strawberries and round tomatoes.

These products were joining others that already had good volume. At that time Florida accounted for 37 percent of U.S. tomatoes shipments with 49 percent for strawberries and 39 percent of cabbage.

West Coast Tomato Shippers LLC of Palmetto, FL was having an excellent season in recent months due to fewer plants by other Florida growers, plus Mexican tomato volume also was down. The company will be shipping tomatoes into early June.

Astin Strawberry Exchange LLC of Plant City, FL is just finishing its strawberry season and now has blueberries, which will be shipped through May.

Utopia Packing LLC, a division of Utopia Farms, Myakka City, Fla., will get into its main volume with cucumbers and bell peppers in April.

Seald Sweet International of Vero Beach, FL is shipping fresh valencia oranges through May and then ship out of storage through June.

Brooks Tropicals Inc. of Homestead, FL is in a seasonal lull as the
company’s Florida-grown Slimcado tropical avocados were winding down, with summer shipments set to start in June. Dragon fruit also will be available in June and passion fruit in July.

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Live Oak Farms to Ship Coachella Valley Bell Peppers

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Le Grand, California — Live Oak Farms adds to its Bell Pepper Program this spring with supplies starting from mid-April, as the Le Grand-based family-owned farming operation adds Green and Red Bell Peppers from the Coachella Valley to its production network.

The addition of Coachella and Southern San Joaquin Valley production in late-May will enable Live Oak to meet the needs of its customer base better. “Our customers have been asking for Live Oak to expand our production window, and we’re pleased to announce that Live Oak’s commitment to excellence in product quality and service is coming to Coachella this year,” said Donna Vaughan, Live Oak Partner, and salesperson.

Live Oak’s Bell Pepper program had previously been limited to a late June to October window. With the additional acreage across new growing regions, Live Oak’s California program ensures supplies through the end of the year, with acreage in Coachella and Bakersfield joining the established production in Merced and Santa Clara Counties.

Live Oak Chief Operating Officer Ed Beckman said, “Live Oak embarked on the expansion of our existing Bell Pepper program in 2018, with the installation of one of the most advanced technology packing lines in North America. We’re now complementing our growth in Central California with an expanded production window supported by an aggressive product development program that works closely with seed companies and other technology providers to differentiate Live Oak in the marketplace.”

The program for the coming spring includes Green and Elongated Red Bell Peppers, including DRC packs to order. The January plantings will allow for the first product to be shipped in April, with Red Bells to follow in May.

Live Oak Farms is now in its 91st year and includes both third and fourth generation family members in its day to day operations. The company also grows tomatoes and roma tomatoes from June through Late October and added an upscale Jalapeno pepper to its specialty pepper line in 2018.

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Mango Imports to Rise Dramatically in Coming Months

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U.S. imported Mexican mangoes will increase dramatically through the spring and into the summer.

Peru’s mango shipments to the U.S. are winding down after peaking in late January. Due to heavy Peruvian mango volumes some imports from Mexico by the U.S. have been delayed.

The Mango Board reports Peru’s volume to the U.S. will increase by approximately 61 percent over to last year, from approximately 12 million boxes to 19.3 million boxes (4 kilograms/box).

Mexico’s eventual volume will be much bigger than Peru.

Mexican mango shipments to the U.S. have increased from just 277,000 metric tons in 2015 to 368,000 metric tons in 2019. Mexican mango shipments to the U.S. in 2019 were nearly 5 percent higher than 2018 shipments, the USDA reports.

In 2019, Mexico mango shipments to the U.S. reached a peak in July, when 18 percent of Mexico’s annual volume was shipped. After July, top volume months for Mexican mango shipments to the U.S. were June (16 percent), May (15 percent), August (15 percent) and April (12 percent).

With per capita mango availability rising from about half a pound in 1990 to more than three pounds in 2017, U.S. distributors believe there is room to increase imports of Mexican mangoes.

Mexico accounts for about two-thirds of total U.S. mango imports.

2019 Mexican Mango Imports

In 2019, Mexico exported 82 million boxes of mangoes to the U.S., which was an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.

Volume projections for quarter are expected to be similar to last year’s 10 million boxes, except the Michoacan season is delayed by two to three weeks, which will shift its volumes from March to April.

Looking Ahead

Ciruli Bros. of Nogales, AZ recently received it first shipment of ataulfo mangoes from Chiapas to south Texas and Nogales. The company now has good supplies of yellow mangoes from Chiapas that will continue into April for Easter, April 12th.

Mexican yellow mango volume should be about 15 percent higher than a year ago in March.

With Mexican mango imports recently growing 8 to 10 percent a year, Ciruli Bros. expects to have higher double-digit growth in mango volume this year.

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South Texas Onion Shipments are Just Starting

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South Texas onion shipments are now underway and the region has had favorable growing conditions

Acreage has been trending downward with about 6,000 acres of plantings. It wasn’t that long ago there was around 7,000 acres.

Good shipments are seen for a few months.

The Onion House LLC in Weslaco, Texas reports on its better crops in over four decades due to nearly perfect growing conditions, limited rain and moderate temperatures.

Observers cited several reasons for the decline ranging from low markets, to labor shortages, pests, disease and urbanization resulting from dramatic population growth in the Lone Star State. This is particularly true with onion production areas closer to metropolitan areas — such as Austin, San Antonio or the Rio Grande Valley. This means farmers are having to weigh the trade-off between continuing agriculture or moving into real estate. Still, much of the acreage is located in relatively remote areas.

Bland Farms of Glennville, GA grows onions on about 300 acres in South Texas, and has a normal crop. The company began shipping Mexican onions in mid February and now was starting with its Texas product. Bland expects to start its Vidalia onion loadings from Southeast Georgia in mid April.

South Texas onions and Mexican produce crossings this week have increased by double digits to many destinations (20 percent plus to some) – grossing about $6000 to New York City.



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New Farm Partnership Between J&J Family and Lewis Taylor

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LOXAHATCHEE, FL – A new tag team enters the fresh produce ring. J&J Family of Farms, a locally grown, nationally-known marketer and distributor of fresh produce, announced a new partnership with Tifton, Georgia-based Lewis Taylor Farms. With a new alliance formed, Lewis Taylor Farms brings superior production with 6,500 acres of produce as well as 81 greenhouses for 275 million vegetable transplants and 65 million pine tree seedlings.

According to the press release, J&J’s new partnership with Lewis Taylor will expand its portfolio significantly in the form of greens, broccoli, mini watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Lewis Taylor, in turn, gains a powerful ally in the peppers, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant categories.

Lewis Taylor began farming operations in the 1930s and is now one of the largest privately-owned vegetable and greenhouse operations in the Southeast. Known for its focus on sustainable agriculture, Lewis Taylor Farms maintains the highest quality and standards to ensure the best product reaches customers.

Together, the J&J Family of Farms and Lewis Taylor Farms have more than 100 years of combined experience specializing in fresh produce and innovation. J&J Family of Farms is strategically positioned as a national supplier, with a robust line of products offered year-round to meet growing customer demand.

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U.S. Fresh Apples Remaining to be Shipped are Up 14%

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A significant 14 percent more U.S. fresh apples remain in storages to be shipped this year, which is 7 percent greater than the five-year average.

In its fifth storage report of the 2019-20 season, the U.S. Apple Association reports fresh inventories on March 1 are 74.4 million cartons, 14 percent up from 65.1 million cartons last year and 2.3 percent higher than the 72.7 million cartons on hand two years ago.
In comparison with year-ago levels, U.S. Apple reported March 1 inventories of:

  • Fuji: 9.77 million cartons, up 21 percent;
  • Gala: 15,80 million cartons, up 23 percent;
  • Granny smith: 9.6 million cartons, up 29 percent;
  • Honeycrisp: 6.48 million cartons, up 28 percent;
  • Cripps pink/Pink Lady: 3.75 million cartons, up 4 percent;
  • Red delicious: 16.39 million cartons, down 12 percent.

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Exports of Peruvian Citrus are Expected to Increase this Season

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Peruvian citrus exports are building as the season moves further into March. Volumes are seen as being similar to last year when movement increased 2 percent. This season about a 5 percent increase is forecast.

Procitrus, Peru’s Citrus Producer’s Association, points out mandarin exports, represent 81 percent of all fruit in the category. Behind mandarins are oranges with 11 percent of all citrus exports and limes with 7 percent.

Main primary export markets for Peruvian citrus remain the U.S. – with 35 percent market share – the U.K. – 19 percent – and Holland – 16 percent. While these markets remain pretty consistent for the industry, exporters continue looking for new markets.

Weather also looks to be favorable for the season and the industry anticipates strong quality and quantity.

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