The market on celery is easing down as supplies become more available.
“We’re coming out of a little lull on the supply side over the last three or four weeks. We’re getting back into fairly normal supplies here in the middle of January,” says Russ Widerburg of Oxnard, CA’s Boskovich Farms Inc. “We were harvesting a couple of weeks ahead of schedule in early December. As the weather cooled then, things began to slow down to maintain the size and we gave up some volume.” As the weather changes, normal harvest dates are back for celery.
Production currently is largely in Oxnard, CA— Widerburg notes that 70-80 percent of the national volume is out of Oxnard at this time of year. Some smaller levels of production are coming out of Brawley and Coachella, CA and Mexicali, Mexico and on the East Coast, production should begin in Florida soon.
Demand was strong
Meanwhile demand had been really strong for celery up until the end of last week. “The market was peaking in the $40 range. While demand slowed because of higher pricing, supplies are starting to pick back up. It looks like for the short term, the market is easing down,” says Widerburg.
It's a better market than last year at this time when celery pricing was between $10-$12. “But two years ago, the market escalated in January, all the way through to spring, at the $60 levels,” says Widerburg.