Posts Tagged “Florida tomato shipments”

The Changing Face of Spring Produce Shipments out of Florida

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A4The face of Florida spring produce shipments long have been centered around citrus, mixed vegetables and tomatoes.  This will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, but there are some other products that have entered the picture and could provide substantially larger volume in the future.

Florida peach shipments have started in recent years, and the state is heavily promoting the stone fruit, particularly in April, when it has a shipping window pretty much to itself.  Florida peaches are shipped as imported Chilean peaches are winding down, and before the product is ready in California, Georgia and South Carolina.

Asian vegetables are relatively new to Florida produce production, which are grown across the state and have a growing concentration in the St. Augustine/Hastings area of North Florida.

These items range from Chinese cabbage, to bok choy, beans, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli and many other Asian herbs and vegetables.  As these items become more mainstream, there will be more loading opportunities for produce haulers.

There also has been increasing acreage with sweet potatoes in recent years.  Florida has the first domestic sweet potatoes of the growing season prior to the traditional Louisiana, Mississippi, California and North Carolina sweet potato seasons that start in late summer.

Brussels sprouts are another up-and-coming crop in Florida, particularly in the Hastings area.  Cabbage traditionally has been a staple crop in this area, but growers in the area have recently branched out to other crops, such as broccoli and cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Florida Tomato Shipments

Grower, shippers such as Oakes Farms Inc. of Immokalee and DiMare Co. of Homestead launched tomato shipments in October and continue into June.  Tomato volume typically has a substainal volume increase starting in the middle of March.

Between March and May, Florida accounts for 55 percent of grape and cherry tomato shipments in the U.S. and 41 percent of the round tomatoes.

On average, Florida supplied 100 percent of temple oranges, 70 percent of sweet corn, and 55 percent of snap beans shipped the U.S. from 2014-17.

Florida produce shipments – grossing about $3200 to New York City.

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Shipping Updates: CA Produce Loads on the Decline; FL, Mexico Tomato Shipments Struggle

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DSCN0449There’s probably no single California produce item having more truck loads per week than table grapes, although this should be changing soon as volume is headed towards a season ending slide.  Still, San Joaquin Valley shippers loaded about 975 truck loads last week.  The first Chilean grapes to arrive at Philadelphia by boat are expected the week of December 18th.

In the Southern San Joaquin Valley in the Bakersfield area, there is pretty steady movement of carrots averaging around 375 truck loads weekly.

As the seasonal shift of vegetable shipments is nearly completed from the Salinas Valley, light volume of items ranging from broccoli to cauliflower has started from Central and Western Arizona.  Heavier volume already is underway, particularly from the Yuma area with lettuce.  The combination of head lettuce, as well as romaine and leaf lettuce totaled nearly 2500 truck loads last week and volume is still increasing.

Low Tomato Shipments

Thanks to Hurricane Irma last September, Florida tomato shipments this season are down 54 percent compared to the same time a year ago.  Florida, as of December 9th has shipped 3.44 million cartons, down 54 percent from 7.4 million cartons in 2106.   For example, Florida tomato shipments the week of December. 3-9 totaled 500,000 cartons, down over 65 percent compared with 1.492 million cartons the same week last year.

The USDA reports total supply of domestic and imported tomatoes the week of Dec. 3-9 was 1.9 million cartons, down 25 percent from 2.56 million cartons the same week a year ago.

Tomato prices at shipping point had hit $35 in mid-December resulting in high prices at retail stores and resulting in fewer sales as consumers balked at the high prices.  The f.o.b. (shipping point) price for central and south Florida tomatoes on Dec. 12 was $37.95 per carton for some mature green tomatoes, four times higher than the $8.95 per carton the same time a year ago.

Cold weather in central and eastern parts of the country limited some Mexican tomato shipments coming through south Texas in early December.  For imports coming in through Nogales, tomato shipments from Sinaloa, Mexico should experience significant volume increases in January.

Florida may not have normal tomato shipments until mid-January.

 

 

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Shipping Updates: Florida Tomatoes are Rebounding; Rates Up for Western U.S. Potatoes

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DSCN0190Florida tomato volume is rebounding as the recovery from Hurricane Irma continues.  Meanwhile, double digit freights on potatoes from some states in the Western U.S. are occurring.

Florida tomato shipments remain much lighter than normal thanks to Hurricane Irma last fall, that is fixing to change.  Volume is gradually coming back as the replantings mature, but it will be around Christmas or perhaps early January before volumes return to normal.  Irma dumped a ton of water of some fields, so use caution loading.  There’s a chance of bacterial and general quality problems with some product, until a little later in the season.

North American Potato Shipping Update

North American fall potato shipments in the most recent USDA update is pegged 505 million cwt. (per hundredweight), down 1 percent from last year.  Canadian growers harvested 106 million cwt., up slightly from 2016, and U.S. growers are expected to produce 399 million cwt., down 2 percent from 2016.  U.S. growers planted 906,500 acres, down from 923,800 in 2016, and harvested 900,600 acres, off from 909,600 in 2016.

Canadian growers planted 345,800 acres and harvested 342,200, both amounts similar to the previous crop.  The USDA reported yields per acre at 443 cwt. for growers in the U.S. and at 309 cwt. for growers in Canada.

Potato shipments for Christmas are getting underway and truck rates from both Idaho and Colorado have increased 10 to 20 percent to many markets.  Wisconsin, which has the lowest volume of the three states, is not experiencing volatility in rates.  Idaho is shipping moving nearly 1700 truckload equivalents of spuds a week, although a significant amount of this is going by rail.  Colorado is shipping around 750 truckloads per week, while Wisconsin is loading about 400 truckloads.  The Columbia Basin and Umatilla Basin on the Washington/Oregon border has similar volume  (about 350 loads) to Colorado  and rates have generally went up 10 to 15 percent recently.

Twin Falls area Idaho potatoes – grossing about $6300 to New York City.

San Luis Valley Colorado potatoes – grossing about $2000 to Dallas.

Stevens Point, Wisconsin area potatoes – grossing about  $3300 to Atlanta.

Washington’s Columbian Basin potatoes – grossing bout $5100 to Chicago.

 

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Completion of Expansion for Pioneer Growers Facility is Announced in Florida

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by Pioneer Growers

DSCN8998Belle Glade, FL – Pioneer Growers has announced the near completion of their new facility expansion that includes expanded cold storage and processing facilities at their Belle Glade, FL location.

The facility became operational recently, and this is the third and final phase of a mid-term expansion plan that includes 64,000 additional square feet of space for processing, storage, and office space. The Florida facility now includes 13 docks and 700 new pallet spaces to aid in cooling incoming product and staging outgoing shipments.

Vice President and General Manager Gene Duff remarked, “As one of the largest fresh sweet corn growers in the U.S. it’s important that we continue to expand and improve our facilities to meet not only growing demand, but to maintain production efficiencies that continue to improve our product handling and quality.”

Construction of the phase three project began in August of 2016 and was part of a 5-year plan that included previous expansions of processing, receiving and packing areas and features Thermomass tilt wall  construction.

Pioneer is currently shipping sweet corn, cabbage and radishes along with green beans which are processed in the new Phase 3 expansion.

In closing Duff remarked, “Pioneer Growers has always been an industry leader and our growers and employees are proud and excited to work in the most modern facility in the Glades where we produce and ship some of the freshest, best quality sweet corn and vegetables grown anywhere in the U.S.”

Pioneer Growers is a grower owned marketing cooperative specializing in fresh sweet corn and mixed vegetables including green beans, radishes, and cabbage.  Today, Pioneer is a leader in the sweet corn industry offering year-round availability with more than 13,000 acres across Florida, Georgia and the Northeast with a focus on premium quality driven by their commitment to super sweet varieties packed in the Pioneer and Green Giant Fresh brands.

Florida tomato shipments and vegetable shipments – grossing about $2500 to New York City.

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Florida Strawberry, Veggie Shipments Good – for this Time of Year

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dscn8613Florida strawberries and tomatoes are leading produce shipments from the Sunshine state this month.

Florida has over 11,000 acres of strawberries are grown in the Plant City area each year, with Hillsborough County shipping about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter.

Since late spring, the weather was good and the state has been leading the nation in strawberry shipments now for a number of weeks.  Although small compared to California’s total strawberry shipments, Florida ships about 20 million flats each year.

Florida is loading about 1,000 truck loads of strawberries per week.

Florida Vegetable Shipments

Unlike some winters, Florida growing conditions also have generally been favorable for vegetables, leading to fairly stable shipments from week to week.   Mature greens provide Florida’s heaviest tomato volume, with much less amounts coming from plum and grape tomatoes.  However, if you add the three types of tomatoes together, they are averaging about the same amount of volume as Florida strawberries.

However, a major difference between hauling strawberries and tomatoes relates to geography.  Florida’s strawberry shipments are concentrated in a relatively small growing area just west of Tampa.  By contrast, Florida tomato shipments are spread throughout much of the state, with some areas being more active depending on the season.

At the same time, Florida also is shipping a number of other winter vegetables.  However, volume with Florida vegetable shipments are much lighter this time of the year.  While Florida may be shipping around 1,000 truckloads of mature green, plum and grape tomatoes each week, the next closest item is bell peppers, averaging only 250 truck loads weekly.  Other leading Florida vegetables range from cabbage, to sweet corn, cucumbers, and beans, but the volume this time of year is only 50 percent or less that of bell peppers.

This will remain so until the last half of March, or April, depending upon weather conditions.  All of this means mixed loads and only partial loads for the most part in the winter.  Even during the heaviest Florida produce shipping season in the spring, multiple picks and drops are very common.

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Florida Outlook for Tomato, Citrus Shipments

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112_12781Florida tomato shipments look to be similar to last season, while a big plunge is seen with Florida citrus.

During the 2015-16 season, which ended in June, tomato growers packed 28.2 million 25-pound equivalent cartons of mature greens and vine-ripe tomatoes, down from 36.5 million from the previous season.  The decline is attributed primarily to excessive rains during the growing season.  Torrential spring rains reduced yields that caused the 8 million carton shortage,

Last year, Mexican tomato imports increased 18 percent from the prior year from October to mid-June.   Imported Mexican tomatoes are primarily vine ripes, while Florida’s tomatoes are mostly mature greens.

Fall plantings for this season are expected to be similar to a year ago.  Florida tomato shipments will get underway in October.  In fact Florida typically is shipping tomatoes most of the year, with the exception being July, August and September.

Florida Citrus Shipments

Florida citrus acreage has declined  to its lowest level in nearly three generations.

On September 12th, the USDA reported the Sunshine State’s citrus acreage declined to 480,121 acres for 2015-16, the lowest since the agency began surveying acreage in 1966.

Oranges, which constitute 89 percent of the state’s citrus acreage, is the lowest since that period as are grapefruit and tangerines.  In 1970, Florida growers planted 715,806 acres of oranges, 124,050 acres of grapefruit and 101,615 acres of specialty fruit or tangerines and tangelos.

Currently, oranges make up 425,728 acres, grapefruit, 40,316 acres and specialty fruit, 14,077.

Orange production is down 3.7 percent from the 2014-15 season while white grapefruit sustained the biggest loss at 17 percent for the period.  Red seedless grapefruit experienced only a 4 percent decline.

Tangerine and tangelo acreage declined 17 percent respectively from the previous year.

Of the 27 citrus-producing counties, 24 recorded acreage declines.

The Indian River region produces the most grapefruit acreage while the central region leads in the production of oranges and specialty fruit.

In terms of total citrus production, the central, southern and western regions represent the biggest acreage.

Florida will have light overall shipments of produce until March or April when spring vegetables get underway.  In fact the whole Southeast is pretty “dead” this time of year.

Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $800 to Atlanta.

 

 

 

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Shipping Outlook: WA Apples, FL Tomatoes and Oranges

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Here’s an update on Washington apples shipments, as well as Florida tomato shipments and Florida orange shipments.

Washington apple shipments now shows the total crop remaining in storages at 116.7 million boxes, down a fraction from 116.9 million a month ago and 117.1 million on January 1st. Record apple shipments occurred in 2014 totaling 141.8 million boxes.

The 2015 crop is 54 percent, 62.9 million boxes, shipped versus 54 percent a year ago and 56.7 percent two years ago. Weekly shipments are averaging a healthy 2.5 million boxes.

Florida Tomato Shipments

Abnormal winter storms have caused shortages of all Florida grown produce. Damaging winds, heavy rains and even tornadoes have crossed the state nearly every week since the holidays. About 80 percent of the tomatoes in the U.S. are currently coming from Mexico.  Meanwhile, Florida production and shipments of tomatoes should increase significantly by Mid April.

Florida Orange Shipments

The USDA 2015-16 Florida orange shipping estimate has increased 3 percent to 71 million, though it is still well below the 96.8 million boxes of oranges moved during the 2014-15 season.  A 2 million box rise in Valencias to 35 million accounted for the increase, while early and mid-season varieties stayed at 36 million boxes.  Florida citrus officials say its citrus crops remain in a “crisis” situation due to disease issues.

The USDA’s estimate of the 2015-16 Florida grapefruit crop also rose slightly to 10.7 million boxes from 10.5 million. Specialty citrus decreased a fraction to 1.8 million boxes.

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Shipping Update: CA Walnuts, Veggies and FL Tomatoes

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004More California walnut shipments are seen this year, plus lighter loadings of early season desert veggies.  Also, a look at Florida tomato shipments.

Walnut production in California is slightly more than that of the previous season. But because exports to China are down because of duties imposed, this may actually result in more domestic shipments than last season.  However, the amount of domestic shipments will be determined in part, if exports to Turkey and the Middle East replace of the China bound walnuts.

The forecast has walnut production at 575,000 tons, a one percent increase from last year.

Central San Joaquin Valley walnuts, kiwi, pomegranates, apples, etc. – grossing about $4000 to Dallas.

Desert Vegetable Shipments

Both the Salinas Valley and the Santa Maria district were wrapping up shipments early at the close of November.  Combine that with the seasonal shift of broccoli, cauliflower and other items to Yuma, AZ and the Imperial Valley of California, where volume is lighter than normal, and we’re looking at shipping gaps.  Good volume and steady shipments may not occur until after Christmas.

Deserts shipments still too light to get an accurate quote on truck rates.

Florida Tomato Shipments

South Florida is shipping  grape, mature green and cherry tomatoes, primarily from the Homestead and Palmetto-Ruskin areas.  However, temperatures that often have been running 15 to 20 degrees warmer than normal have reduced volume and sizing on the product.

For example, as of mid November, growers had harvested a little more than 1,158 40,000-pound units of mature greens compared to 1,383 units the same time last fall.

Central and South Florida tomatoes, mixed veggies – grossing about $2500 to New York City.

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Florida Tomato Shipments are Increasing After Rocky Start

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DSCN2886Florida always has light produce volume in the fall and the winter, but the Sunshine state’s  produce loads has been even lighter this year.  After a tumultuous fall which brought lighter shipments with central Florida’s tomatoes, volume is finally, a long last, picking up.  Still, don’t expect spring like volumes.

Yet, the higher volume has actually led to some rate increases.

Florida tomato shipments out of Immokalee have been just okay in terms of quality, but apparently have looked pretty good compared to the early stuff out of the Palmetto-Ruskin area.

Heavy August and September rains stunted yields and certainly did not help the quality in the early fall.  As late fall growing conditions become more favorable with moderated temperatures and lower humidity levels, volume and loading opportunties  showed some improvement.

Fall tomato shipments yields were down 30 to 70 percent  from normal depending on plantings, but the Palmetto-Ruskin region has been increasing.

The quality of the central Florida mature green tomatoes is reported good and Florida is now entering the time of year — early winter is when you should be hauling the best quality tomatoes that have been available in awhile.

Central Florida usually starts in early October with grape and cherry tomatoes and begins harvesting mature-greens by early November.

Central Florida freight rates have increased 10 to 15 percent  to places such as New York, Philly and Boston due to increasing volume with tomatoes, strawberries out of Plant City and exisiting light production of veggies.

Central Florida produce – grossing about $3000 to New York City.

 

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Texas Oranges, Grapefruit Moving into Volume; Florida Tomato Loadings are Down

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IMG_6428Texas citrus shipments from the Lower Rio Grande Valley have moved into good volume…..In Florida, tomato loadings are underway, but will not hit decent volume until the end of November.

In Texas, there has been a major change in citrus shipping.   Paramount Citrus of Delano, CA has acquired Rio Queen Inc. in Mission, TX and Healds Valley Farms Inc. in nearby Edinburg.

As a result, Paramount Citrus now owns 10,000 acres in the valley, plus is handling sales and marketing for 40 growers with another 10,000 acres.

About 60 to 70 percent of the Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus shipments this season will be through Paramount Citrus.  Consolidations in south Texas have been occurring for the past 25 years.  There are now just a handful or so companies that both grow and ship their own citrus.

About 85 percent of the valley’s citrus shipments are with grapefruit, with the balance being in oranges.  Total citrus shipments from south Texas this season are expected to be slightly below that of a year ago, but still will be a good sized crop.

South Texas Citrus, plus Mexican produce – grossing about $2300 to Chicago.

Florida Tomato Shipments

Due to heavy September rains, Florida mature green tomato shipments will be down by about 25 percent  from the Homestead and Palmetto-Ruskins areas.  Loadings also are taking place later than normal this year.  Shipments typically start in late October and hit volume in mid-November.  This year, however, volume shipments are not expected to begin until late November.  Florida tomatoes are shipped in 25-pound cartons.

South Florida produce shipments – grossing about $2400 to New York City.

 

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