Market Alert: Weather Update LET’S TALK ABOUT TOMATOES!
The past few weeks have been quite active as a result of this year’s hurricane season. This is possibly the most damaging of years past for crops in several regions of the Americas and Southeastern United States.
Hurricane Eta damaged many fields and the infrastructure in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. The storm brought several feet of rain to isolated areas causing major flooding, inaccessible roadways, and damage to infrastructure. After impacting Central America, Eta affected both the southern and western coasts of Florida bringing rain and tropical force winds to many growing regions from Homestead and Immokalee in the south, to Palmetto and Ruskin in Central/West Florida.
On Monday, there was another storm that impacted Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica with hurricane force winds and major flooding to an area previously affected by Eta. With that said, we are very concerned about the offshore melon program for this season as these regions are the primary growing regions for melons during the offshore program. We are seeing fruit arrivals as of now but the primary concern is for what the potential yields will be beginning in Mid-December through February. Please know that they may be significantly down, quality could be an issue and market shortages could be possible. We are keeping a close eye on this with our growers and will keep you informed of any updates.
Florida Tomato Market :
When Eta went through the state last week it affected every tomato growing regions from the South to the North. We are seeing a short tomato market for the next several weeks; particularly on the larger sized fruit, and it is reflective in market pricing where we are seeing high prices on large fruit while we are seeing some relief on the smaller sizes. This is expected to be the trend through the first or second week of December as growers slowly recover from the damages and losses left behind form this late season storm. Once we completely transition to Immokalee in Mid-December the markets should retreat even more towards a normal level.
We expect a very active domestic roma market through the third week of December. Between the losses from the storm combined with crop plans that had less acreage being planted for romas this year, the domestic roma market will be limited until we complete the transition to Immokalee.
Grape and Cherry Tomato
Grape and cherry markets seem to be stable and expected to remain as such through the first week of December.
Quality on Florida tomatoes will be hit and miss through mid-December. We will most likely see some spotting and possible decay issues that are all effects of excessive moisture and heat throughout the harvest cycle on the early fruit sets. We should see this start to improve mid-December and beyond barring no further major weather events.
Mexican Tomato Market
We expect to see markets remain active through the second week of December, which is a result of a few factors like cooler than normal weather in Central Mexico. Regions like Jalisco and Guanajuato, where a majority of round tomato production is this time of year, have seen below normal overnight temperatures which slows overnight maturity of a tomato plant. This has slowed production down significantly and affecting an already short market due to the setbacks Florida has felt. In addition to this, Baja should be in full production but they are seeing numbers that are down regionally as much as 40%. This is caused by extreme heat back in early October that caused crop loss as well as severe bloom drop. The region is also suffering a major issue with the Rugose Tomato Virus. We should see the round market improve as crossings through McAllen begin to increase over the next two weeks followed by new crop production out of Sinaloa possibly by Christmas.
Romas are expected to remain tight through the second week of December, several growers suffered losses on their roma production in Mainland Mexico due to excessive heat and virus pressure between September and October. The good news is the newer blocks are sizing up and getting should be ready for production by the second week of December followed by the first production form Sinaloa by the third week of December. On the Baja, like the round production, romas on the Baja have been severely affected by heat related losses as well as virus pressure. These factors combined with the loss of Florida will continue to keep markets active through Mid-December at the earliest.
Grape and Cherry Tomato
We expect improving numbers this coming week and are being informed that forecast should continue to improve over the next two weeks as newer production comes online.
At Native Maine we take great pride in the quality of our products. Our Receiving Team thoroughly inspects all cases to insure sub-par produce is never put on our shelves, and our Personal Shoppers inspect each order individually. However, produce can be finicky, because of that we offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee.