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Cooler weather in California creates tight broccoli supply

Broccoli production in California has now completely transitioned away from the desert regions and into the northern growing areas. Supplies are very tight as the weather has made growing conditions unfavorable. 

"The growing regions are now focused on the Santa Maria Valley and the Salinas Valley, as it is too hot for anything south now," said Evan Pybas of Epic Veg. "This will remain so until December when growers will go back south once rain and cooler winter weather returns. Broccoli supplies have been tight. We have been in a month-long cooling trend, with very few days above 70 degrees, along with fairly strong winds and fog. All this is not conducive for good volume and supplies are not as abundant as usual."

Market to remain firm for another month
Unsurprisingly, the market is firm, with broccoli attracting strong prices due to the higher demand. The limited number of growing areas at the moment, as well as quality issues from Mexico, are helping to keep the market elevated. Suppliers expect that prices will remain high for several more weeks.

"The market is firmer than normal, with prices in the mid teens," Pybas observed. "Other growing regions along the East Coast are expected not to start until mid June and we expect the market to stay strong until at least then. We are not seeing great quality coming out of Mexico at the moment, perhaps due to heat down there. As a result, demand for California broccoli is high."

Push during Memorial Day
During the week prior to Memorial Day, suppliers noted a significant push for product. This coincided with the high demand already being experienced for California broccoli. According to Pybas, quality has remained very good, with no major issues.

"We saw excellent demand during the week leading up to Memorial Day," he said. "In the early part of the week, there were loads for the East Coast, with West Coast loads and local deliveries later in the week. Our quality is remaining very good. Sizing has also been very consistent. In our supply, we are not seeing any hollow core or other issues that some have seen."

For more information:
Evan Pybas
Epic Veg
Tel: +1 (805) 736-5868

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