Market report: December 2019

Each week, Del Bene shares a produce market report so that you are always up-to-date with what's fresh.

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Insider Tips

for the Week Ending December 14, 2019

Suggested Buys

asparagus – broccoli & cauliflower – yellow & orange peppers – red onions – pineapple – raspberries

Tight and Expensive

green beans – corn – yellow squash & zucchini – round & roma tomatoes – strawberries

New on the Market

persimmons – hedgehog mushrooms – black trumpet mushrooms – quince – satsuma mandarins – pomelo – peaches – nectarines – sweet cherries – kumquats

Current Marketing Standings

bell peppers

green peppers – market up; orange & yellow peppers – market down

Green Bell – supplies are tighter this week due to colder temperatures sweeping through the southeast.  There are still a few growers harvesting in Georgia, but yields are low enough to consider ending the season from temps touching the low 30s.  Florida growers have not started to produce any considerable volume yet.  Temps in south Florida dropped down into the 40s this week, which is also slowing production.  We will see stronger prices until the weather warms up ad

Red Bell – This market is very active, and prices are high.  Lights supplies are shipping from Thermal and Coachella in California, but most of the product is small- and medium-sized peppers. Limited supplies are shipping from Mexican greenhouses and crossing through Nogales.  Quality is fair to good, especially on new-crop California product.  We stock large and extra-large peppers; supplies are more limited for these products.  Tight supplies and continued demand will keep this market where it is next week.

Yellow Bell – Similar to red peppers, the yellow pepper market will be high next week.  Mexican and Californian growers are shipping but very limited quantities.  Prices are lower this week for both yellow and orange peppers though, due to an abundance of supplies hitting the market


all markets steady

Strawberries – Supplies are very tight in the strawberry market.  Cooler weather and recent rains in Santa Maria, Watsonville, and Oxnard has reduced yields and shippers are sending fewer berries.  The California growing areas are expected to receive additional rain this weekend, further delaying harvest schedules up to 3 to 4 weeks.  Watsonville has been forced to end the season early, leaving Santa Maria as the last main growing region until Oxnard increases production.  Florida has started its season but only in a very limited way.  While production has picked up in Baja and central Mexico, these increases will not cover the reduced production from California.  Even as supplies are tight and struggling to keep pace with demand, quality has been good from all regions.  Pricing will remain high until harvests increase.

Blueberries – Plentiful supplies are continuing to hit the US from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay.  The market is steady and quality has been excellent.

Blackberries – Prices are holding steady with only moderate supplies.  Most shipments are coming from Central Mexico.  Quality is improving, and with an increased number of crossings, we should see prices fall.

Raspberries – Plentiful supplies are coming in from Mexico with nice quality.  Now is a great time to feature raspberries with prices nearly as low as we will find them all year.


green beans

market down, but still escalated

Colder weather in both Florida and Mexico is keeping production down and overall supplies not able to meet demand.  The supply issue may linger for the remainder of the month.  Availability has improved to the point where we can fill all orders, but the overall market is tight.  Prices remain escalated.  French beans have also been in high demand due to the green bean shortage in recent weeks, but there are no problems with supplies of the haricot verts.


iceberg & leaf lettuce – market up; romaine – market down

Iceberg – Prices are holding strong again this week.  Heavy rains and cooler temperatures in all growing areas out west are significantly decreasing yields.  Labor shortages are adding to supply issues.  Usually, supplies are abundant after Thanksgiving, but demand is strong as many are still avoiding romaine.  Value added prices are still unsettled and escalated.  We will see a volatile market for at least the rest of this year.

Romaine/Leaf – Decreased demand for romaine is allowing prices and availability to improve, with some continuing to use iceberg instead.  Availability hasn’t improved so much as shippers are trying to create demand by lowering prices.  Whole romaine has shown nice quality coming from Yuma.  Value added prices remain escalated.


market up

We continue to transition to Florida tomatoes.  Crossings from Mexico have been extremely limited, while Florida is battling colder temperatures and has yet to ramp up production.  Many different varieties – including kumato, hot house and cherry tomatoes – are also available; please contact your sales representative for more information.  The market has increased for next week on all varieties and will remain there until supplies improve from Florida in upcoming weeks.