Market report: February 2020

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 February 15, 2020

Suggested Buys

Artichokes – asparagus – broccoli – lettuce

Tight and Expensive

strawberries – red peppers

New on the Market

hedgehog mushrooms – black trumpet mushrooms – purple green onions – pink pineapple (call to preorder) – cosmic crisp apples – pink lady apples – cotton candy grapes – English peas – Sharon fruit – kumquats – cara cara oranges – blood oranges

Current Marketing Standings


market down

Prices continue to fall with Mexico gaining momentum on their new crop harvest.  Production is increasing daily out of San Luis due to better weather.  The same can be said for the Caborca growing region, but there’s not as much product coming from that area.  Growers expect production to continue to ramp up over the next week.  Peru has finished for the season due to warm weather.  Quality is improving with better availability.


market up

Decreased harvest volumes over the past week have helped hold prices up, even after the heavy Super Bowl demand has passed.  The decrease in product crossings from Mexico are supposed to linger through February, keeping prices stronger.

bell peppers

all markets up

Green Bell – Less overall supplies are coming out of south Florida due to less plantings and growers transitioning to new fields.  Quality has been better with the improved growing conditions over the past two weeks.  Mexico is running into a tough stretch of rainy days and cold nights, which will affect product crossings into the States.  Prices may continue to rise throughout the coming week.

Colored Bells – Red bell pepper supplies are tight as growers in Mexico transition fields.  Supplies on both 15 lb and 11 lb red peppers will be moderate for the at least the next two weeks.


all markets up

Strawberries – While it appeared that strawberries would be plentiful for Valentine’s Day, cooler temperatures out west have created an extremely tight market.  Shippers are struggling to fill orders, especially on the anticipated long stem strawberries.  Volumes out of Florida and Mexico are steady, but not enough to meet demand.  Prices will be stronger through the holiday.

Blueberries – Some growers in Mexico are beginning to see production volume drop, causing industry demand to shift to Peru or Chile to fill orders.  Quality on all incoming blueberries continues to be excellent, but we will see a stronger market due to lower overall availability.

Blackberries – Supplies are steady coming out of Central Mexico.  Lighter harvests are expected in the coming weeks though, so prices may inch back up.  Quality has been mostly good with red cell being the main quality issue observed.

Raspberries – Similar to blackberries, raspberries are showing excellent quality coming from Central Mexico.  Decreased crossings are being reported, which should hold prices strong, especially with increased demand around Valentine’s Day.


broccoli & cauliflower

all markets down

Warmer weather in the Yuma, AZ growing region has allowed for accelerated growth and better yields.  Prices have improved with better availability.  Cauliflower prices have started to come down as well, also because of warmer temperatures providing better production rates.


all markets down

Supplies currently exceed demand on all lettuce varieties: iceberg, romaine, and leaf.  Warmer weather over the past week has accelerated growth causing an overload of product, particularly in Yuma.  Depending on demand fluctuations, supplies could tighten up a bit with cooler weather hitting the growing areas this week.  Quality has been fair with occasional reports of fringe burn.  If you’re looking for a local lettuce supply this winter, check out our Blue Mitten Farms artisan mix!  Call your sales rep for details.


all markets up

After a week of more reasonable prices, supplies have tightened up once again.  Cooler temperatures in the mornings in the southern growing areas coupled with the plants being on a downward growth cycle are the main factors causing the short supplies.  In Mexico, the colder and wet weather is hurting production and driving demand towards the southeast.  Quality has held up nicely, but prices will be higher as we get into mid to late February.


round tomatoes – market down; grape & roma tomatoes – market up

Tomato supplies continue to improve, allowing prices to fall back down to reasonable levels.  It doesn’t appear we are completely out of the woods just yet with both grape and roma tomato varieties tightening up this week.  Crop yields out of Floirda are down almost 50% from this time last year, which explains why we have had some extreme prices over the past month.  This has all been a result of poor weather in the growing areas of Florida, particularly in the early part of the season.