While California is producing asparagus currently, parts of Mexico are also going and the Washington region is starting its production this week. Rolandelli notes that New Jersey may also be going into production while north of the border in Ontario, Canada, production is delayed by at least three weeks due to cold weather.
Demand looks even
“And demand has been steady for asparagus,” says Rolandelli, adding that while retail demand has been steady, open market demand has been very weak since February 1st.
That leaves relatively even pricing. “Pricing has been pretty steady since a few weeks before Easter,” says Rolandelli. “Right in that $40 -$50 range on 28-lbs. asparagus. It’s creeping up this week because California growers are getting to the end of their seasons and volume is about to drop. It’s in the high $50s-low $60s going into this weekend.”
Looking ahead, Rolandelli anticipates continually steady pricing since volume isn’t going to fluctuate much to affect a change. “The USDA numbers for the industry note that in February, shipping of asparagus at peak was just under 600 truckloads per week,” he says. “We’re down to 200 truckloads a week so it’s 1/3 the volume.”
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