“Up until this last week, supplies have been astronomical. They’ve been virtually unlimited,” says Craig Rolandelli of San Ramon, Ca.-based JMB Produce. “It was very high volume and very low markets because there were more plantings in Mexico and perfect weather. But then that all changed last week when it got cold in Mexico.”
Asparagus sizing also seems to be affected. “The sizing and quality have also been very good out of Mexico until last week,” says Rolandelli. “With the cold weather, the sizing has dropped.”
Demand to change?
Meanwhile demand has been somewhat flat. “But the Easter pull will start around March 15th to the 17th for the East Coast and then from the 21st to the 23rd for the west coast,” says Rolandelli.
Pricing meanwhile has strengthened. “The markets have come up and they have gone from $18 the past few weeks, to the mid $30s this week on 28 lbs.,” says Rolandelli. “The volumes are lower and it’s cold but it’s supposed to warm up. So we’re going to see what happens after the next week.”
Delta and Central California production on asparagus should start March 10th as well notes Rolandelli.
“But the markets should firm up. California will go through beginning of May and Obregon, Mexico will start at the end of March in Mexico,” says Rolandelli, noting that Mexico’s production is virtually year round now.
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