Some “shopping” opened before Mother’s Day – Produce Blue Book

As Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting kicks off in Omaha, we’re reminded of a bit of timeless wisdom from Warren Buffet that couldn’t be more applicable to this week’s global fresh produce market.

“It’s much better to buy a great business at a fair price than a fair business at a great price.”

Or in terms of products, it is normal to pay a little more for a quality product. Due to warmer spring temperatures, fresh produce markets across the country are starting to benefit from wonderful produce at fair prices.

The raw materials which, a few weeks ago, appeared at the top of the list of endangered species now benefit from a regular and quality supply. Lime prices are rapidly falling from record highs.

Plus, berries (black, blue, and raspberry), broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and corn now need a pick-me-up before Mother’s Day.

Week #17, ending April 29
ProduceIQ index: $1.21/lb, stable from the previous week

Blue Book has partnered with ProduceIQ BB#:368175 to bring the ProduceIQ Index to its readers. The index provides a benchmark of agricultural commodity industry prices using 40 major commodities to provide data for decision making.

Florida’s corn supply is plentiful. At $12, the quality two-tone corn is ripe for promotion. However, opinions vary on the supply during the next transition to Georgia, which has experienced difficult weather conditions. Given the inflation of fertilizer and other input costs, corn growers need higher prices to break even. As a result, the Memorial Day attraction will likely be active this year.

Corn falls to $12 FOB Florida, which is on the higher side of historical prices during the spring hunt.

If only the lawyers got the memo. At $70 for a 60 unit, one can only hope that Americans’ unquenchable appetite for Hass avocados is finally approaching its ceiling price. Defying the economy, avocados are 4 for $5 at my local grocer.

Unfortunately, the reported volume of Mexican imports is again falling. The California crop is said to have increased from the previous week, but will do little to fill the cavernous hole left by a declining Mexican supply. With relief still a long way off, it looks like the demons plaguing the avocado markets are here to stay.

Honeydew prices are at their highest in ten years. Melon prices have steadily inflated over the past seven weeks in response to low supply and variable quality. So don’t be surprised to see a white-fleshed melon in your fruit basket. Now, a little more volume is available on the East Coast; however, prices are high across the United States. The increase in Mexican production and the approach of domestic production should relieve high markets within two to three weeks.

Honeydew prices break out and test new highs.

The only product that does not benefit from all this heat is Brussels sprouts. The heat in Mexico is slowing growth of Brussels sprouts and crippling harvest crews. Mexican sprout production is typically down this time of year, while domestic growers, primarily in California, are slowly ramping up production. However, the current supply is limited and could remain so for at least a few more weeks.

Brussels sprout prices have upside potential and are unpredictable.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Set at least fifteen reminders to send flowers to your mother if you haven’t. Or even better, a bunch of assorted berries? Just in time for blueberry pancakes and delicious edible arrangements sent in by adult children too far away, assorted berry markets enjoy very fair prices. So feel free to promote and share with the mom you love.

Please visit our online marketplace here and enjoy free access to our market tools that created the charts above.

ProduceIQ Index

The ProduceIQ Index is the fresh produce industry’s only shipping point price index. It represents the industry-wide price per pound at the place of packing for domestic products and at the US port of entry for imported products.

ProduceIQ uses 40 commodities to represent the industry. The index dynamically weights each commodity, by season, based on the weekly 5-year moving average of sales. Sales are calculated using the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service for movement and price data. The index serves as a fair benchmark for industry price performance.

About Larry Noble

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