Last week, the roads were filled with the long-haul drivers who have been working throughout the pandemic to keep stores and restaurants supplied for the holidays. Low unemployment in almost every sector of the workforce means that many drivers, foodservice workers, and others in the food supply chain who took on other lines of work during the initial shutdowns are unlikely to return to the sector without serious financial incentives. The problems with backups and delays at the major ports have improved due to the various remedial measures taken and improved flow through the ports.
However, a shortage of local and nearby truck drivers has been a limiting factor for the sector. Movement and sales slowed as normal after the Thanksgiving holiday period but are expected to pick again shortly for the Christmas season. Mexican avocado crossings through Texas are expected to remain about the same. Trading was fairly slow with prices mixed throughout the week. A wide range in prices is reported as shippers express concern about the maturity of fruit being shipped. With larger sizes hard to find, packers are said to be picking fruit that is not meant to be harvested for several months, putting Spring availability in question as well.
Mexican blueberry crossings through Arizona, California, and Texas movement expected to increase. Trading was very slow, at lower prices. Quality is reported as variable, and some sales are being booked open with prices to be established later.
The volume of Peruvian imports of blueberries arriving through the Philadelphia and New York City areas movement via boat is expected to decrease as the season is past peak. Trading on conventionally grown berries was moderate, and organic very slow with prices generally unchanged.