The likelihood of an asparagus purchase slipped one percentage point from last year, but the stalks were the No. 3 “new” item that consumers listed as one they were buying now that they did not buy previously.
Lower volumes from California and a slow start to the Michigan deal should keep asparagus markets strong through May, grower-shippers and officials say.
After a shaky February in which Mexico struggled with yield losses because of cold weather and a late start, the asparagus industry is bouncing back with improved growing conditions and the start of domestic deals. Volume is expected to be strong through spring into summer.
Asparagus volumes could decline significantly in the run-up to Mother’s Day, but strawberry volumes should be closer to normal, despite some interference from Mother Nature.
Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading Co.’s Washington grower field representative Phil Clouse is Washington Asparagus Person of the Year.
Retailers pining for asparagus in promotable volumes could get their wish this Easter, and strawberry volumes also should be up in time for holiday pull.
WALLA WALLA DISTRICT AND LOWER YAKIMA VALLEY — Shipments (9-22-17) — Movement expected to increase slightly. Trading fairly active. Prices generally unchanged. Bunched green Washington extra fancy 28-pound cartons/crates large mostly $60.75; standard mostly $62.75; 11-pound cartons/crates large mostly $25.75-26.75; standard mostly $26.75-27.75. Quality generally very good.
STOCKTON DELTA DISTRICT, CALIF. — Shipments (18-22-15) — Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading moderate. Prices lower. 28-pound pyramid cartons/crates bunched long green large mostly $58.75-60.75, standard mostly $58.75-60.75; 11-pound cartons/crates bunched green large mostly $26.75-27.75, standard mostly $26.75-27.75. Extra services included. Many shipments booked at lower previously committed prices.
SALINAS VALLEY DISTRICT, CALIF. — Shipments (6-6-8) — Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading moderate. Prices lower. 11-pound cartons/crates bunched green large mostly $26.75, standard mostly $26.75. Extra services included. Few shipments booked at lower previously committed prices.
MICHIGAN — Shipments (0-0-2) — Movement was expected to be about the same the week of May 13 and to increase the week of May 20. The first f.o.b. was expected to be issued the week of May 13.