Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

Higher celery pricing likely to stay for the near future

Celery supplies out of California are lighter currently and will probably remain that way for the next few weeks.

“At this point, we’ve been harvesting ahead of the growing schedule and now everything is catching back up and getting back to normal growing days. That’s lightened up the supply side of it,” says Russ Widerburg of Oxnard, CA’s Boskovich Farms Inc. “We actually had good volume all the way through January and February and the market was kind of ho-hum. But once we got to the end of February and into March, that’s when it started lightening up and it’s created a bit of a spike in the market.”

For Boskovich, celery supplies are coming out of Oxnard, CA, a region where its celery comes from for nine months of the year. At the end of June through September, the growing region switches over to Lompoc, CA. “Right now there’s still some product in Santa Maria and also Coachella and Brawley, El Centro and some is grown in Yuma, AZ too,” says Widerburg. “Probably 60 percent of the national volume is grown in Oxnard. And there’s also product coming out of Mexico and Florida.”

Celery demand and freight rates
Meanwhile demand is good for celery, though high freight rates make it challenging. “Celery is one of the last things people put on a truck as filler because the freight rate is compromised due to the lack of units you get on a load. But demand has been good for the supplies that are out there now,” he says.

That aforementioned spike is in the $20-$22 range now. “It’s been on a gradual increase growing by $1-$2 increments. That’s why we think the price should hang out there for a month or so,” Widerburg says. “There’s optimism that pricing should stay good at least through the front part of spring.”

Looking ahead, a growing region transition happens at the end of March and into early April. That’s when celery will finish up out of the Southern districts of Mexico and Coachella and transition to the Santa Maria/Oxnard area. “And usually with a transition, you have lighter supplies because people don’t tend to overlap a whole lot,” adds Widerburg.

He also notes that the celery market is long overdue for a price catch up. “We had a $60-$70 market two years ago and since then it hasn’t been really good. It’s the first time we’ve had a sustained spike in the celery market in a few years,” he says.

For more information:
Russ Widerburg
Boskovich Farms Inc.
Tel: +1 (805) 487-7799
[email protected]