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Trendspotting: Potatoes up, tomatoes down

By
Craig Levitt, managing editor

The Russet potato market continues to be 60 percent higher ($28 for an 80-count) than prior years. Growers report that potato production has declined again for the fourth year.

“While supply has consistently flagged due to various factors, demand for potatoes (most notably processing potatoes) is swelling,” said Mark Campbell, founder and CEO of ProduceIQ. “As a result, all categories of potatoes have experienced supply challenges.”

Conversely, tomato prices are on down. According to ProduceIQ, the round-type is down 12 percent, and plums/Romas are down 15 percent compare to the previous week.

“Suppliers are projecting elevated markets (compared to the average price) through mid-June,” said Campbell, “but, with so many local players joining the market in summer-soaked North America, the data doesn’t always reflect what buyers may be able to find in their region.”

Average grape prices are down 14 percent compared to the previous week, and Campbell expects prices to continue to dip as supplies increase out of Mexico and California over the next few weeks.

Brussels sprouts prices are at their second highest in the last 10 years. “Fading Mexican production and a slow-to-start California season, coupled with quality issues in the remaining Mexican crop, are thrusting prices upward,” said Campbell.

“Brussel markets are everywhere, especially in the first half of the year,” he said. “Average prices trend higher but experience less volatility as California picks up production throughout the summer. Supply should grow as soon as next week, and prices will begin to come down.”

Craig Levitt

Craig Levitt

About Craig Levitt  |  email

When his dreams of becoming a professional hockey player came crashing down due to lack of talent, Craig Levitt turned to journalism. He graduated from Hofstra University in 1992 and has covered various areas of the retail food trade since 1996. Craig joined The Produce News in 2017 and is now managing editor. In his spare time, Craig still plays men’s league hockey (poorly) and enjoys walking the aisles of his favorite supermarket with his wife and two daughters.

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