Post-holiday sales slumps are to be expected in the produce business, but with the additional complication of the pandemic, familiar business models are proving not as useful as normal in forecasting trends. Many in the industry are playing it ‘safe’, relative to buying practices, as they have often suffered loss after loss over the past 18 months. These losses, financial and otherwise, have impacted every aspect of their businesses and they have been more cautious where they can be. This can have both a positive and negative effect.
Some grower-shippers are reportedly picking only to order due to high freight rates and to avoid a potential loss, only to leave some product to rot in the fields. Without a guaranteed buyer, they would rather not assume the cost of packing and shipping. Buyers and sellers know that the typical post-Independence Day trade becomes generally slow, and vacations seem a better plan than competing for the limited business available during the heat of summer.
Asparagus crossings from Mexico movement is expected to remain about the same, with trading slow at lower prices. Demand remains light but supplies are adequate to fill orders now that the July 4th holiday pull has passed. The typical post-holiday lull in movement and demand is reportedly more pronounced this year due to high freight prices.
Peruvian asparagus movement is expected to remain about the same. Trading and prices were mixed, with jumbo fairly active at higher prices and smaller sizes less desirable and priced accordingly. Falling demand after the holiday has also contributed to the lower prices.
Movement of avocadoes from Mexico crossing through Texas is expected to decrease seasonally. The 2020 crop is ending, and the new 2021 crop fruit faces being rejected at the border by inspection for quality issues. Light crossings may begin next week or soon thereafter. Demand exceeds supplies on small fruit, while fairly good demand exists for light supplies larger sizes with higher prices on all. Organic supplies insufficient to quote.
For Peruvian imports arriving through the ports of Miami, Philadelphia, and New York, movement is expected to remain about the same, with trading moderate and prices mixed. Movement from the South District California is expected to increase slightly. Trading was fairly active with prices higher on smaller fruit and organics. Growers plan to increase harvest in response to lack of availability out of Mexico and improving demand.