January 2021 weather issues were the main obstacle when it came to fresh produce according to National Produce Consultants. Throughout the month of January, 14 fresh produce items were on alert, with ten of those items being impacted by either cool weather or hurricanes.
Bananas, cantaloupe, celery, corn, and asparagus were the fresh produce items on alert all month long. Hurricanes affecting Central America impacted the production of bananas and cantaloupe. Florida was still trying to recover from a rough couple of months of hurricanes and cold weather, impacting not only corn production but also its quality. Parsley, the only fresh produce commodity on alert all month, was not impacted by weather. It was simply under pressure and behind schedule.
The production of asparagus was in a transition period in Mexico from Baja to Caborca. While Culiacan, a new growing region in Mexico, eased off the pressure tomatoes were facing for a couple of weeks in January due to Florida still recovering. Raspberries were heavily impacted by cold weather in Mexico, resulting in increased prices and lower availability.
Other fresh produce items impacted by cold weather included red leaf, squash, strawberries, and honeydew. Honeydew sizes were one of the results of cold weather and sizing concerns were also present in mushrooms. Although the busiest time of the year for mushrooms is over, they’re still facing supply reduction and COVID-19 related problems. Finally, the market for green beans has stabilized after the holiday period and are now seeing good supply and demand.
Fresh Produce Watch
Items Affected By Hurricanes
Bananas – Cantaloupe – Corn – Tomatoes
Items Affected By Cool Weather
Celery – Honeydew – Raspberries – Strawberries – Red Leaf – Squash
Parsley (Behind Schedule) – Asparagus (Transition) – Mushrooms (Sizing) – Green Beans (Supply Shortage)
To view the full reports click here.
What to Expect At Your Local Fresh Produce in February
Unfortunately, weather issues are expected to continue during the month of February. With a lot of regions suffering from cooler temperatures, both quality and supply issues will continue to be present for strawberries, squash, celery, and corn.
Raspberries are expected to see an increase in price as they also continue to suffer from cold weather in Mexico. The situation with bananas will remain the same for the foreseeable future as both productions in Mexico and Ecuador recover. Supplies for cantaloupe will be on the lower side until production in the growing region of Zapaca in Guatemala returns.
On the other hand, as Guatemala recovers from recent hurricanes, honeydew production will see relief come from Honduras, which will help Florida keep the market stable. Asparagus’ transition from Baja to Caborca will also end in the coming weeks, which will help bring the cost down and production up.
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