Only cucumbers and bell peppers remain high

US (PA): Wholesale prices back to normal for most produce

Everything seems to be back to normal after the January storms in the East Coast. A trader at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market has reported that prices at the market have come down considerably, as most items, with the exception of bell peppers and cucumbers, seem to be returning to normal.

Open ground green peppers have stayed a bit high and cucumber prices seem to be rising. Most of the fruit and vegetables being traded at the market are currently coming from Mexico. The price increase is most likely due to the ongoing weather issues that Florida has been experiencing this season. Extra large green peppers are currently holding around $32-34 for a case of peppers, compared to $16-18 last year during the same period.

Hothouse cucumber pricing are currently around $11-12 (for packs of 12) for the long and skinny 12 inch seedless cucumbers wrapped in cellophane. The current supply is coming from Mexico but the market should also start receiving Canadian cucumbers in the next few weeks.

The rest of the supply coming into Philadelphia such as strawberries, western vegetables and greens seem to be holding steady.

Eggplant, asparagus and pepper prices are expected to rise at the end of the month with the Easter holiday. Asparagus during the Easter season for the East Coast is usually sourced from Mexico and Peru.

Richie Mastero from Ryeco said that there doesn't seem to be any big changes in demand during the holiday seasons compared to how it used to be in the past. "I think that this is because many people like to go out to eat instead of prepare large meals at home for big groups. Easter, Mother's day and Valentine's Day seem to be holidays more for purveyors than retailers." concludes Mastero

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