Posts Tagged “strawberry shipments”
Strawberry shipments along with mixed vegetables are showing significant increases from the Salinas Valley, including Watsonville, as truck rates to many destinations had double digit increases. Also, consignment loads should be a concern to truckers.
While Ventura County strawberry shipments are just about finished, Santa Maria and Salinas were providing most of the strawberry volume during the past week. However, Santa Maria is entering a seasonal decline, while Salinas is just heating up. For example, between Salinas and Santa Maria this past week over 1700 truck loads of strawberries were shipped. In the weeks ahead it will the Watsonville area that takes over berry volume.
In the coming weeks California truck rates on produce will be interesting to watch. In recent days, some truck rates from Salinas to New York City were hitting $9000.
Strawberry shippers are complaining about too much strawberry volume and low prices at shipping. However, this writer has yet to see significant drops in strawberry prices at his local Wal Mart.
The situation regarding a glut of strawberries is so bad, it could mean trouble for produce truckers hauling the fruit. Some berries are being sold on consignment. In other words, product is being shipped in hopes of finding a buyer while it is in transit. Some product that normally would be sold on the fresh market is going to the processors.
If you are hauling a load of strawberries that are on consignment, be aware you maybe pressured to change your destination if a buyer is found in another city. Too often, extra miles are added to a trip without adequate compensation for the additional miles being offered.
The USDA reports total shipments of strawberries from all origins for the week of May 6 – 12 totaled 77.9 million pounds, up 31 percent from 59.5 million pounds the same week a year ago.
California strawberry shipments accounted for nearly 99 percent of all commercial shipments, with light volume from Mexico and North Carolina.
California’s shipments of 76.8 million pounds the week of May 6-12 were up 31 percent compared with a year ago, when the state shipped 58.6 million cartons. California’s loadings of organic strawberries the week of May 6-12 totaled 6.2 million pounds, up 20 percent from 5.2 million pounds the same week a year ago.
California strawberry volume for the fresh market of 9.568 million trays the week of May 6-May 12 was up from a previous projection of 7 million trays for that week.
Through May 12, season-to-date shipments (conventional and organic) of California strawberries totaled 55.01 million trays, down slightly from 56.7 million trays last year at the same time and 57.7 million two years ago.
Here are updates on strawberry, avocado and apple shipments.
As of April 7th California strawberry shipments had totaled around 17.5 million trays, which is over 3 million fewer trays than at the same time in 2017. Likewise, at the same time two years ago 27.4 million trays of strawberries had been shipped. Factors ranging from heavy rains to cold weather have been blamed for the lighter volume thus far this season. Assuming improved growing conditions are ahead with the arrival of spring, California shipments are expected to increase soon to over 5 million trays per week and eventually exceed 8 million trays on a weekly basis.
Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7500 to New York City.
If estimates hold about 60 million pounds of avocados will be shipped weekly during the month of April Over 80 percent of the volume will be imports from Mexico. With this kind of volume, avocado shipments leading up to Cinco de Mayo (May 5) will comparable to those weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. The “Big Game” last February resulted in 200 million pounds of the fruit shipped in the four weeks leading up to the football game.
Mexican is in it second half of the season for shipping avocados. More No. 2 product, is typically shipped this time of the season, but no significant quality issues are being reported.. California’s new season is well underway.
Mexican avocado and vegetables crossing through South Texas – grossing about $5800 to New York City.
Significantly more apples remain in U.S. storages as of early April than at this time a year ago. About 61.3 million (42-pound) cartons of fresh apples were stored as of April 1st, up 16 percent from 2017 when there were 53.1 million cartons remaining to be shipped, which is 18 percent greater than the five-year average of 51.8 million cartons.
Gala apples remaining is storage were 10.76 million cartons, up 11 percent from 9.6 million cartons in 2017 and 62 percent greater than 6.67 million cartons in 2016.
Fresh Honeycrisp available was at 3.38 million cartons, more than double the 1.45 million cartons in 2017 and 1.61 million cartons on hand two years ago.
Red delicious remaining to be shipped were pegged at 15.65 million cartons, down 23 pecent compared with 20.2 million cartons in 2017 and up 7 percent from 14.6 million cartons two years ago.
Granny smith apples available were 10.1 million cartons, more than double the 4.8 million cartons in 2017 and 13 percent higher than 7.8 million cartons two years ago.
Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6700 to New York City.
The start date has been set and Vidalia Onion shipments get underway in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, here’s an update on California avocado and strawberry shipments.
The Vidalia onion season will officially start on April 20th, which was recently announced by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Vidalia Onion Committee.
A starting date was implemented several years at as some shippers were concerned about immature or low-quality onions hitting the market early in the season. In 2017, April 12 was the start date, and in 2016 it was April 25. The packing date is based on soil and weather conditions in the 20-county area approved to market onions as Vidalias.
In 2017 Vidalia onions were grown on more than 11,000 acres.
California Avocado Shipments
This year’s avocado forecast is set at 374.6 million pounds, which is significantly higher than last year’s 215.8 million pounds. There was the normal light volume in February, but significant volume increase are seen in coming weeks as there will be avocados coming out of both California and Mexico.
With the close of February, 2 million to 4 million pounds per week were being shipped and volume increases of March are expected to continue April until movement eventually hits about 10 million pounds per week.
Ventura County avocados, strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $3900 to Dallas.
California Shipper’s Strawberry Outlook
by California Giant Berry Farms
Watsonville, CA – Spring conditions have finally arrived in California to help bring on the new strawberry crop for California Giant. Unfortunately, the company missed the chance to take advantage of the early Easter holiday which provides opportunity to build demand and lay the groundwork for a strong spring season. However, conditions have changed significantly and now California Giant is now looking ahead to the next chance with Mother’s Day.
What initially looked like an early season for the company’s California strawberry crop, didn’t quite happen as growers thought it would. . Additionally, the company had weather issues in their two other regions, Mexico and Florida, which typically helps fill the early season gaps.
“…In Watsonville and Salinas we expect big beautiful fruit next week bypassing the typical mud crop” says JT Tipton, District Manager for Salinas and Watsonville. Barring any unexpected return of winter conditions, the sales team is looking forward to Mother’s Day ahead and promotable volume to support their key customers.”
2017 had its share of bad weather conditions of different varieties that presented challenges for produce truckers.
Heavy snows early in the year resulted in collapsing buildings in the Northwest holding onions, among other items. During the spring a Southeastern killer freeze wiped out the majority of peaches and blueberries.
On the Gulf Coast and in Florida two hurricanes were devastating.
On the positive side, winter rains eased the California drought significantly.
Citrus hauling was adversely affected with Irma causing at least $760 million in losses to citrus, with many growers losing at least half of their crop. Vegetable and strawberry shipments also were adversely affected by Irma, but not nearly as much.
Banana imports by boat were diverted from Galveston to Florida ports after the storm. The port of Houston remained closed for months. The 50 inches of rain dumped on the Gulf Coast area was the most on record in the U.S. for a single storm.
In Georgia, a March freeze knocked out 70 percent of the peach shipments and an even higher percentage of blueberries.
Wave after wave of late-winter rains flooded fields, caused crop delays and played havoc with planting schedules and ultimately produce shipping schedules in California. However, Salinas Valley produce grower and shippers were so desperate for rain they weren’t complaining.
The rains brought a much-needed cleansing of the soil in the Salinas Valley by helping to leach unwanted salts below the farmed portions of the soil. Still California needs another two or three years like 2017 to end its drought.
In January 2017 in the Treasure Valley region of Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon, two major snow storms in less than two weeks resulted in collapsing of a number of onion storage sheds and other structures. At least eight onion companies lost one or more buildings, while at least five had three or more cave in.
California produce rates have been showing strength with an increased demand for refrigerated trucks in areas ranging from the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys to Santa Maria and down south in Ventura County. The increases have generally been around one to five percent.
With the official arrival of fall occurring September 22d, which is the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. It also means the transition of many produce shipping areas, if not from one hemisphere to another, but at least from one country to another, or in some cases, especially in the Western U.S., shifting locations in the same state or a neighboring state.
California certainly is the best example of the changing season.
As Watsonville strawberry shipments decline the red berry’s volume is now increasing to the south in Ventura County. In California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, nearly 900 truck loads of cantaloupe are being shipped weekly from the Westside District, but this will soon be in a seasonal decline. At the same time, very light loadings of melons have started from Central and Western Arizona and are increasing. California honeydew volume already is in a seasonal decline with the new season barely underway in Central Arizona and will start in Western Arizona in the next week or so.
San Joaquin Valley table grapes is probably the state’s single biggest volume item averaging around 1750 truck loads weekly. The combined volume of head lettuce and romaine from the Salinas Valley has recently had similar volume to grapes, but lettuce volume will start sliding soon, to eventually give away to desert shipping areas in California and Arizona. Salinas also is offering around 600 loads of celery per week. To the south in Kern County, carrots are totaling about 750 loads.
Salinas vegetables – grossing about $5100 to Chicago; San Joaquin Valley fruit – grossing about $6200 to Baltimore.
Here’s some shipping updates including California strawberries, plus some not so obvious ones such as garlic, Indiana potatoes and imported citrus from Chile.
This has been one of the best season’s for California strawberry shipments as volume, quality and more predictable loadings have been much better than the past three or four years. Good volume should continue from Watsonville heading toward autumn. Last week about 1,000 truck loads were shipped. That should mean good loading opportunities into September, before the transition to shipments out of Oxnard, CA, which will continue into December.
For example, Well-Pict of Watsonville, CA grows and ships strawberries and raspberries for the late-season on about 700 acres in Oxnard. Naturipe Berry Growers of Salinas, CA has a fall crop in Santa Maria, CA., with best loading opportunities coming toward an end-of-August, or early September.
Salinas Valley strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7400 to New York City.
Most garlic shipments in the U.S. are coming out of California, where supplies are plentiful and quality is good. For example, Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA had to cut garlic plantings by about 10 percent the past couple of years due to the drought, but have now rebounded with volume this season being a little above normal. Loadings of garlic started last June and will continue until early September.
Meanwhile, Spice World Inc. of Orlando, FL and The Garlic Co. in Shafter, CA also have good volume out of California.
Indiana Potato Shipments
Red potato shipper Black Gold Farms of Grand Forks, ND starts harvesting spuds this week at its Winamac, IN farming operation and will be shipping through the month. This is the fifth year of the Indiana program.
Chilean Navel Imports
Chile’s navel orange shipments through the week of July 10th were 29 percent over a year ago with 35,591 tons, compared to last season’s 27,600 tons. However, the season started late, but will end two to three weeks earlier this year due to a smaller crop and weather issues. That means imports to the U.S. lasting through October.
Wanting to spend the Fourth of July with family and friends instead of on the road? Here are some of the better opportunities for produce shipments leading up to the celebration of our nation’s 241st celebration of independence.
Avocado loadings will be good, but certainly not great. When you take Mexico pretty out of the mix, because this time of year shipments are at a seasonal low, you are pretty much left with Southern California, as well as imports from Peru arriving at various ports. Still there will be 40 to 45 million pounds of avocado across the U.S. being shipped weekly. We’ll also mention Southern Florida avocado shipments. Florida’s biggest avocado shipper, Brooks Tropical of Homestead will be having its heaviest loadings in two years.
New Jersey blueberries will be in peak season, mostly from the Southern part of the state.
If you loaded British Columbia blueberries last season in time for Fourth of July activities that won’t happen this year. BC blues are a month later, which is more normal, and shipments won’t get underway until the first week of July. The region should ship about 170 million pounds this season, lasting into mid September.
On the West Coast, Mother Nature has been kind to strawberries from the Watsonville area. Heavy shipments are now occurring and will remain that way through mid July. There also will be much lighter loadings of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which will start hitting stride around the Fourth of July.
Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing abut $7900 to New York City.
Early season watermelons from Texas have probably been the best quality in a few years and that hopefully will continue with maturing fruit coming on in Oklahoma…..Meanwhile, Northern Florida and Georgia are looking to have a decent amount of shipments, although volume has been heavier in some other years.
Central Florida watermelons – grossing about $2800 to New York City.
Decent supplies of vegetables are coming out of Southern Georgia. For example, the Moultrie area is loading items ranging from sweet corn to squash, cabbage and green beans……North Carolina vegetable shipments are ranging from bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant….Moving to California, the Gilroy area has some of the state’s largest shipments of sweet corn…..The roller coast ride for Salinas Valley head lettuce has continued since last spring. Shipments should be a little more steady now, with volume better than last year time, but still not heavy.
Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $2000 to New York City.
As the month of March progresses, produce shippers will be transitioning to the coastal valleys of California as well as the Huron district on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. However, for now primary vegetables shipments continue from the desert regions of California and Arizona. But shipping gapes in the weeks ahead are certain.
Loadings for some early season cauliflower and broccoli should start from the Salinas Valley in mid-March. Meanwhile desert lettuce shipments will shift to Huron (San Joaquin Valley) by the end of March. However it be early April before lettuce and leaf items are shipped from Salinas. This is when the shipping gaps will start and the issues will continue at least until May.
A couple of hours drive to the south a very similar scenario is seen in Santa Maria. The broccoli and cauliflower currently being harvested has quality issues due to relentless recent rains.
Quality is expected to gradually improve along with volume throughout March, but yields and loadings will be down along with supply gaps.
Vegetable shipments from the California and Arizona deserts should finish during the third week of March.
In Southern California, rains hit strawberry fields and volume is slowly improving, but still struggling to get back to normal. Decent strawberry shipments are expected by the third week of March from Ventura County. While Southern California strawberries are working to regain good volume, shipments from Florida and Mexico are starting to decline. Both those areas of origin are well above their shipping levels compared to the same time in 2016.
Florida and Mexico had a combined volume of about 36 million cartons compared to about half that in late February 2016. For the past two years, those two production areas have combined to ship around 50 million trays to U.S. markets.
In late February, California had shipped just 3 million crates compared to the close to 200 million it typically ships in a calendar year.
There has been a small turn around in California strawberry fields following a three-year trend of declining acreage, while shipments are up significantly.
At least for this year, the trend for decreased acreage has been halted, with an estimate of a bit more than 36,000, on par with 2016 numbers, according to the California Strawberry Commission Acreage Survey for 2017.
In 2016, total strawberry shipments from California topped 196 million trays, representing about 3.4 percent gain over the previous year even with 5 percent fewer acres.
2017 has not gotten off to a very good start due to several rain storms having drenched California during the first six weeks of the season. However, it is still running ahead of 2016 though behind 2015. By mid-January, total California shipments were in the 750,000 tray range compared to half that in 2016, but 1.2 million in 2015.
However, shipments from both Mexico and Florida were well ahead of the past two years. In mid-January, Florida strawberry shipments loaded almost 3 million trays for shippin while Mexico topped 3.5 million. In 2016, by mid-January those two competing points of origin had only delivered a total of 2.5 million trays last year and about 3.8 million the previous year.
Central Florida strawberries – grossing about $1200 to Atlanta.
California growers continue to be the leading production region in the world and are expected to supply more than 79 percent of the volume shipped in the United States in 2017.
The acreage report is published two times a year with acreage information voluntarily provided by California strawberry growers and shippers. The first “Acreage Survey” for the 2017 harvest year includes acres that were planted in the fall of 2016 as well as the forecast of acreage that will be planted in the summer of 2017 for fall production. For 2017, the commission reports a total of 36,141 acres, with 30,074 planted last fall and an estimated 6,067 slated for summer planting. As a point of comparison, last year, fall plantings totaled 29,318 acres with a then estimate of 6,721 for summer planting.
In 2013, the CSC January acreage report revealed 35,670 acres of fall plantings and 5,146 summer plantings for a total of 40,816 acres. In 2014, total acreage dropped to just under 39,000 and in 2015, the total was 38,100. Last year saw another decline of about 5 percent to 36,039. This year represents a negligible gain, but it’s a gain nonetheless.
In its report about acreage, CSC noted that while acreage has declined in recent years production has actually remained stable or increased partially due to new varieties, which has led to higher yields per acre.
Ventura County strawberries – grossing about $3600 to Dallas.
Florida 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.