Winter weather across the northern United State limited demand for produce shipments last week. Even commodities traditionally associated with Valentine’s Day celebrations saw lower prices this week, despite light supplies on some.
Domestic shipments continue to be affected by high truck rates, with the average cost of diesel fuel up this week by over 6 cents per gallon. Labor and logistics issues at U.S. ports, along with loading and shipping delays in the countries of origin, mean that imported commodities continue to face backlogs and risk condition issues once they arrive in U.S. markets.
Asparagus shipments from Peru should continue to decrease as most growers will finish harvest for the season this week or next. Trading is slow with some supplies in too few hands to establish a market, but overall prices were much lower with many sales booked at prices to be established later. Mexican asparagus harvest continues to increase with perfect growing conditions leading to very active harvesting and heavy inventories on hand. Demand is light due to cold weather in the northern U.S. leading to lower prices, and some shipments are being booked open with prices to be established later. Most asparagus packers have switched to retailer-preferred 28-lb cartons in response to limited demand.
Chilean blueberry arrivals are expected to continue to decrease to both east and west coast ports. Trading was active at lower prices with a wide range in quality reported. Mexican blueberry movement is expected to remain about the same, but with active trading and higher prices on all packs. Quality of blueberries in the U.S. markets remained variable.
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