Market Minute: Heat, hurricanes wreak havoc on markets
Weather conditions are not getting any better. After the extreme heat experienced on farms across the U.S. and rains from Hurricane Kay up along the California coast, we now have Hurricane Ian ravaging some of the Florida growing areas. We have always met with weather-related challenges in the produce business and eventually get through it.
Hurricane Ian was incredibly painful in Florida, where some lost homes and others their lives. Farm crops can always grow back more rapidly again. Homes and businesses will take much longer to rebuild.
The Florida growers are active in assessing their farm damage along with flooding from Hurricane Ian. This will take weeks and perhaps months to accomplish. Obviously, this is a huge impact on crops resulting in produce supplies and increased pricing.
Tomatoes: This could be a supply struggle due to the Florida storm. Good quality product will be coming from Mexico. Pricing will be much higher due to supply and demand.
Asparagus is promotable. Good supply is coming from Peru and Mexico. Larger sizes are increasing. Prices will be dropping on a new crop.
Onions are also promotable. New crop onion quality is looking very good. The market is steady and pricing is starting to drop. Supply is coming out of Washington, California and Idaho/Oregon.
Potatoes are promotable. Current harvesting is adding more supply to stock and the market is dropping. Russets are available out of Idaho, Washington, Colorado and Wisconsin. White, red and golden potatoes are also promotable. Markets are steady. Good quality spuds are available from Idaho, California, Washington and North Dakota.
Under the present circumstances, it would be very wise to make sure you communicate with all of your supplier sources on product availability. Expect some rising prices.
Ron Pelger is a produce industry adviser and industry writer. He can be contacted at 775-843-2394 or by e-mail at [email protected].