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Heavy supplies and light demand for Brussels sprouts

A supply heavy, demand light market for Brussels sprouts has prices dropping slightly for domestic and imported sprouts from Mexico. “Right now, the market is down,” says Bob Montgomery of Guadalupe, Ca.-based Beachside Produce. “It’s much lower than where it has been. Today you’ve got a market anywhere from $15-$17 and a few weeks ago, we were billing $22-$23.”

Contributing to that decrease in price is an abundant supply of sprouts. “A lot of people planted extra acreage, given the way the market has been for the past few years. The market’s been good, so now more people decided to plant and there’s more supplies available,” says Montgomery. “The domestic supply is good and going longer. And then you also have Mexican supplies coming in, as they have been for the past few weeks.”

Where’s the demand?
Demand also seems to be light. “It’s not quite as brisk as what we’ve seen the past couple of years,” says Montgomery. “There’s still a good demand. Brussels sprouts have become more of a mainstream item, but I think a lot of people are going to, as an industry, bag sales as opposed to fresh market bulk sales.” For now, he believes the market should stay steady this week and is optimistic that there’s a bit of a bump in price and demand next week. “If we can get a little bit of demand going, the market might move up a little bit,” he says.

The rain effect
While overall the quality of the sprouts does look relatively good, Montgomery notices industry-wide the effects of the recent California rains followed by the cold weather. “There are a few more small ones out there and there’s a bit of purpling of the sprouts from the rain,” he says. “It leaches the fertilizer and things like that out. You add cold weather than on top of that and that’s a natural reaction—the heads turn a little purple.”

For more information:
Bob Montgomery
Beachside Produce
Tel: +1 805-249-5653

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