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US(CA): Light supplies, erratic market for spinach

Supplies of spinach from California have been light, which has led to high prices. A wide range in quality has also compounded the volatile market situation.

“Supplies on most commodities have been erratic, and that erratic nature has caused people to quote or not quote product on some days,” said Jeff Halfpenny of Talley Farms. “The spread of supplies has caused the perception of light supplies, and that has confused the market.” While supplies have indeed been light, the way they've entered the market has made them seem lighter than they are. The variable quality of what's out there has also influenced pricing.

“There's been a lot of heat, so there's mildew and some burn up,” said Halfpenny. “Quality has been a bit up and down from everybody, and there were also a few second labels in there to mix things up.” On October 16, prices for a carton of bunch flat 24s from California's Central Coast were between $14.00 and $20.55. Halfpenny noted that he's seen price swings get as high as $8.00 this season.

“I would say the market is going to stay the same for the next few weeks, though they're forecasting some heavy rains that could change things,” said Halfpenny. “We've had dry weather that has allowed us to plant whenever we want to, but rains could make for some really erratic supplies.”

For more information:
Jeff Halfpenny
Talley Farms
Tel: +1 805 489 5400

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