ProduceIQ Index: $0.78 /pound, +6.9 percent over prior week
Homestead Florida was directly impacted from Tropical Storm Eta with heavy wind and rain. As a direct result, Tomatoes, Beans, Cucumbers and Squash, all commodities grown in Homestead, experienced a major jump in price.
Besides Florida’s woes with the storm, Mexico is also having a lull in production due to cooler weather. A cold front chilled Mexico, slowing growth and may lead to reduced overall yields.
At a category average of $0.97, Tomato prices are high and at no near-term risk of falling below the minimum prices set by the Tomato Suspension Agreement. Plum-type Tomatoes had the most significant gains, increasing +59 percent last week.
Beans almost doubled in price to $0.89 /pound. Bean farming requires nerves of steel and this year is no exception. Historical Bean pricing is highly volatile and exhibits unpredictable patterns.
Recognize a pattern? We don’t. Beans have random weather-driven price movements over the past 15 years.
Cucumbers and Squash are both fragile cucurbits that don’t perform well in wind and rain. Anticipate reduced yields and from Florida during this time of increased Thanksgiving demand. Prices increased +36 percent and +68 percent respectively.
Earlier, Tropical Storm Eta also impacted the growing areas of Limes in Mexico and Pineapple in Costa Rica. Limes realized a +71 percent increase to $0.41 /pound from what had been close to floor pricing. Pineapple supply was reduced, but demand was insufficient to cause higher prices. Boat shipping lanes from Honduras and other Central American countries have experienced delays from the storm.
Broccoli and Cauliflower continued the price ascent that began two weeks ago. Higher demand with lower yield (albeit on lower quality) is creating extreme price rises. The crisis we experienced only 3 weeks ago when product moved too slow, backing up supply in the coolers and causing prices to fall, now seems like a distant memory. The produce marketplace moves fast.
8 weeks of record high prices for the Lettuce & Leaf category. Thanksgiving demand expected to keep prices elevated.