Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

Potato Shipments Exceed Volume from Last Year in 4 Areas, But Down in Others

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By North American Potato Market News

According to the USDA, January Yellow potato shipments climbed 25.8% above 2023 movement, to a record 819,000 cwt. Strong movement from Idaho, the San Luis Valley, the Red River Valley, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kern County contributed to January’s Yellow potato sales growth.

January Red potato movement exceeded 2023 shipments by 24,000 cwt, or 4.0%. Increased sales from Kern County, Central Minnesota, the Red River Valley, and the Klamath Basin offset reduced shipments from the Columbia Basin, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Maine.

For all types, (red, yellow and russet), The Red River Valley showed a 12% increase in January 2024 shipments over January 2023.

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Mexican Melon Shipments Increase by 11 Percent

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Mexican melon volumes are growing. Figures from the Mexican Information Service of Agrofood and Fishing (SIAP) indicate that fruit production grew by 11.2% in 2023, compared to the 580,000 tons recorded in 2022. 

Michoacan is the main producing state in the country, accounting for 144,600 tons. 

The U.S. is the main market for Mexican melons with a market value of 25,6 million dollars in 2022. In addition to domestic consumption, Mexican producers export the fruit to Japan, Hong Kong, Cuba, Colombia, Belize, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Two varieties are marketed in Mexico: Cantaloupe and Valenciano. The latter is larger than the Chinese melon and has a smooth, pale green rind, deep green flesh, and a sweet flavor. 

Mexico ranked as the world’s 12th largest producer, accounting for 1.9% of the international volume.

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Increase in Chilean Stone Fruit Exports Forecast this Season

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The Frutas de Chile Stone Fruit Committee has released a new estimate for this season, including Nectarines, Japanese Plums, European Plums, and Peaches. Forty-four companies, representing 84% of Chile’s global stone fruit exports last season, contributed to the estimate.

The stone fruit industry projects total overall exports of 35,330,388 boxes, a 15% increase over last season.  Estimates for specific categories are as follows:

Nectarines

  • 11.5 million 8 kg boxes; 13% growth from last season.
  • Strong growth in white-flesh nectarines; projected increase of 26%, representing 60% of total nectarine volume.
  • Yellow-flesh nectarine volume expected to decline by two percent, reaching 40% of total nectarine volume.

Japanese Plums

  • 13 million 7 kg equivalent boxes; 16% growth from last season.
  • Red plums are expected to grow by seven percent and black plums by fifteen percent.

European Plums – Sugar Plums – D’Agen (exported primarily to Asia):

  • 8 million 9 kg boxes; 23% growth from last season.

Peaches

  • 2.8 million 8 kg boxes, a decrease of one percent compared to last season.

The Stone Fruit Committee just launched a retail-focused marketing campaign in the U.S., working with retailers nationwide to drive sales of nectarines and plums.  Comments Karen Brux, North America Managing Director of Frutas de Chile, “There are significant opportunities for retailers to build winter stone fruit sales.  We’re developing in-store radio ads, demo programs, digital coupons, online videos, and other tactics to showcase nectarines and plums’ great flavor and nutrition.” Promotions are ongoing and will continue into April.

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33 Percent More Apples Remain to be Shipped Compared to a Year Ago

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In its January report, trade association US Apple of Falls Church, VA unveiled its latest figures showing a 33% year-on-year rise in fresh apple remaining to be shipped and following a consistent upward trend during the past two months.

With volumes standing strong at 112.2 million 42-pound bushels, this shows a 23% rise compared to the January five-year average.

The entity represents the U.S. 26,000 apple growers, nearly 40 state and regional apple associations, and more than 3,700 apple-related companies.

Processing apple holdings totaled 44 million bushels, also showing an increase with volumes 20% higher year-on-year.

By volume, Gala is the largest fresh apple variety in storage this January, with 17.9 million bushels. Honeycrisp comes in second, at 15.5 million bushels.

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33 Percent More U.S. Apples Remain to be Shipped Compared to Last Season

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33 percent more apples remain in U.S. storages for shipping as of February 1st, compared to the same time last year, according to the U.S. Apple Association (USApple).

The total volume of apples remaining to be shipped was 137 million bushels This is 23% more than the five-year average, according to the report.

Fresh apple holdings, at 98 million bushels, were 36% more than reported on Feb. 1, 2023, USApple said. Processing apples, totaling 39 million bushels, were 26% higher than this time a year ago.

Washington state has the most fruit with 109,266,667 bushels of fresh and processing apples, up from the five-year average of 89,059,710 bushels. USApple reported Washington shipped 3.2 million
bushels of apples from fresh storage and 12. 3 million bushels of apples in controlled atmosphere storage between the January and February report.

The total number of apples in storage was 137 million bushels, which is 23% more than the five-year average Feb. 1, according to the report.

Fresh apple holdings, at 98 million bushels, were 36% more than reported on Feb. 1, 2023, USApple said. Processing apples, totaling 39 million bushels, were 26% higher than this time a year ago.

Washington leads the February report with 109.3 million bushels of fresh and processing apples, up from the five-year average of 89 million bushels, according to the report. USApple said the state moved 3.2 million bushels of apples in fresh storage and 12.3 million bushels of apples in controlled atmosphere storage between the January and February report.

New York’s fresh and processing holdings stood at 10.1 million bushels, which is up from the five-year average of 8.4 million bushels. USApple said the state moved 529,872 bushels in regular storage and 299,999 in controlled atmosphere storage.

Michigan’s February fresh and processing holdings stood at 8.6 million bushels, which is up from the five-year average of 5,9 million. The state moved 518,000 bushels in regular storage and 962,800 bushels in controlled atmosphere storage.

For apple varieties, Honeycrisp fresh and processing holdings continue to lead USApple’s February report figures with 20.3 million bushels. The five-year average figure for Honeycrisp holdings is 12.8 million bushels.

Red delicious was in second with 20.3 million bushels of fresh and processing apples. The five-year average holdings for red delicious is 19.8 million bushels. Gala followed in third with 18.5 million bushels of fresh and processing apples, slightly lower than the five-year average for the variety of 19.1 million bushels.

Cosmic Crisp stood at 8 million bushels of fresh and processed apples, the report said.

bushels of apples in fresh storage and 12,290,295 bushels of apples in controlled atmosphere storage between the January and February report.

New York’s fresh and processing holdings stood at 10,135,297 bushels, which is up from the five-year average of 8,364,468 bushels. USApple said the state moved 529,872 bushels in regular storage and 299,999 in controlled atmosphere storage.

Michigan’s February fresh and processing holdings stood at 8,595,000 bushels, which is up from the five-year average of 5,963,000 bushels. The state moved 518,000 bushels in regular storage and 962,800 bushels in controlled atmosphere storage.

For apple varieties, Honeycrisp fresh and processing holdings continue to lead USApple’s February report figures with 20,299,677 bushels. The five-year average figure for Honeycrisp holdings is 12,783,800 bushels.

Red delicious was in second with 20,356,741 bushels of fresh and processing apples. The five-year average holdings for red delicious is 19,880,729 bushels. Gala followed in third with 18,476,610 bushels of fresh and processing apples, slightly lower than the five-year average for the variety of 19,071,917 bushels.

Cosmic Crisp stood at 8,052,381 bushels of fresh and processed apples.

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Chilean Table Grape Exports for New Season are off to a Good Start

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Peru officially became the leading table grape exporter in the world in 2023, taking the top spot once held by Chile and commanding 16% of the global trade for this commodity. Now, holding the second place, the Chilean industry is betting on varietal change to make a comeback.

The Chilean Table Grape Committee posted its first 2024 estimate in late October, projecting over 60 million 180-pound boxes to be harvested this upcoming season. With harvest underway in most producing regions, projections remain optimistic.

Uvanova reports the central producing regions are significantly early, particularly in shorter vegetative cycle cultivars such as the white Superior and Thomson varieties.

Uvanova is Chile’s research commission for table grape development, looking to identify challenges and bring solutions to the industry.

Uvanova is estimating volumes of 62 million boxes, Cruz warns that yields could be later and lower than expected due to higher temperatures.

As for exports, Uvanova sees a possible increase.

During the second week of the season, three million boxes were shipped. This compares to 1.9 million boxes a year ago. In terms of percentage exported to date, Chile has exported about the 60 million boxes or 5 to 8% of the total.

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Strawberry Shipments Plummeted by Weather

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Heavy rains in California plummeted strawberry shipments in early February. Additionally, volume out of other growing regions also are down significantly.A

Markon Cooperative of Salinas, CA ships strawberries from the Oxnard, CA, area and reports loadings canceled for a few days as the area received more than five inches of rain in early February.

California strawberry shipments are typically lower this time of year, but other regions such as Florida and Mexico also are far behind usual volumes.

Agtools Inc. of Irvine, CA in its February 7 weekly volume report showed an increase of 163,000 pounds from Mexico, for a total of 16.6 million pounds year-to-date, but Florida production was down 2.5 million pounds (7 million year-to-date) and California was down 2.6 million pounds (286,800 pounds year-to-date).

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Mexican Berry Exports Forecast to Hit 460,000 Tons

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The National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries) has kicked off the berry season in Mexico, projecting a total production volume of 900,000 tons of berries.

Currently, in Mexico, there is a total area of 170,500 acres of berry production, mainly in the states of Michoacán, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Baja California, and Sinaloa.

In addition, the sector will generate more than half a million jobs during the season to bring berries to consumers’ tables.

The industry is expecting to export 460,000 tons of berries, which marks an 11% decrease from the volume exported last year. The value of the exported fruit to markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia will total approximately $3.8 billion, which keeps Mexico as the main exporter of this product.

Aneberries reports the blueberry is the only berry that participates in a truly global market, the other berries compete mainly in the North American market.

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California Strawberry Shipper Getting off to Much Better Start Than a Year Ago

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(Note: Since this press release the state of California has issued a state of emergency that covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in Southern California due to torrential rains and flooding. Strawberries could be a primary crop adversely affected by this weather. An update will be provided on how crops and shipments are affected.)

By Bobalu Berry Farms

Oxnard, CA — As the company heads into the 2024 strawberry season, partners at Bobalu Berry Farms are reviewing how the crop looks today compared to the very unsettled beginning at this same time last year. 

Thankfully, January has been much more forgiving in 2024 than 2023 with the volume coming out of Oxnard, currently double of what it was at this time in 2023.  The plants are healthy, staying somewhat dry, and providing excellent fruit, even though we are still technically in Winter.

The Oxnard region has received its share of rain already, but with dry days in-between and nice breezes, the plants are thriving.  Additionally, Santa Maria is showing some signs that the spring season there will begin very soon.

“While this is all very good news for our strawberries, the challenge we are facing now is the inclement weather in our receiving markets”, says Anthony Gallino, VP of Sales.  “When you can’t get trucks to the east coast due to blizzard conditions and flooding rain, that affects all of us”, he adds.

Consumers typically begin filling up their shopping carts at this time of year with fresh strawberries from California to help them get that taste of Spring during the winter across the country.  However, when they can’t get to the store due to weather conditions, demand takes a hit, so the Bobalu team is working to keep the pipeline full, and is diverting some fruit to markets that are not impacted by weather at this time.

“The fruit from our ranches here in Oxnard and from our partner fields in Mexico is excellent right now and we are ramping up for the Valentine’s Day demand”, says Gallino.  The company expects to have promotable volume to supply their partners with high quality fruit and stems for the upcoming holiday.

Once Bobalu Berry Farms gets into February, the sales team will be focused on promoting the Spring crop from Oxnard, Mexico and Santa Maria as they prepare for an early Easter this year.

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Winter Desert Artichoke Shipments Moving in Good Volume

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By Ocean Mist Farms

CASTROVILLE, CA  Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, announced their winter artichoke season in Coachella is well under way peaking with harvests of their Gold Standard (green globe) artichokes, as well as first picks of highly sought-after purple artichokes. Peak season on artichokes means promotable volumes to retailers through February.

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The first Frost-Kissed® crop of the season was also being harvested a couple weeks ago out of their southern growing region in Coachella, Calif. According to Director of Sales, Joe Angelo, “These exclusive artichokes were not available last year as they only occur after frosts, much to the disappointment of artichoke aficionados who know that the darkened skin on the outer leaves is strictly cosmetic, doesn’t affect the eatability or quality of the artichoke and, in fact, the frost seems to seal in a more intense and distinctive nutty flavor.” Continuing, “A possible second wave of Frost-Kissed artichokes may be available next month, weather contingent.” 

About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Castroville, Calif., the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America.
The company’s full line of 30+ fresh vegetable commodities include their Gold Standard green and purple artichokes, as well as a valued-added and Season & Steam product line. 

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