Supplies of celery are plentiful in the marketplace currently.
Supplies are better than they were last year at this time. Currently production is happening in Oxnard, CA but will transition to Castroville, CA by the end of the month.
As for competing supplies, Florida has finished up with its production. “The local markets have not really kicked in just yet,” says John Chobanian, commodity account manager for Ocean Mist based in Castroville, CA. “However there is plenty of celery. Santa Maria and Oxnard are where the competition is coming from currently.”
Record low FOBs
As for demand, it’s fair at best which doesn’t help celery sales, says Chobanian, adding that celery consumption does trend towards an older demographic.
Not surprisingly, all of this has made for low pricing. “FOB prices may have hit record lows for record lengths of time -- the market is in a supply-exceeds situation,” says Chobanian, noting that currently the focus for Ocean Mist, which has an array of different pack sizes on celery, is on selling all of its Oxnard product.
Also continuing to challenge California growers this season are drought conditions. “Celery is in the ground for a very long time and hence uses quite a bit of water in the growth cycle,” adds Chobanian.