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.
Plentiful supplies out of Mexico and a rapidly ramping up deal in California, combined with weather-slowed shipments to markets in the East Coast markets, have asparagus growers and shippers concerned about sagging prices.
Asparagus marketers are voicing concerns about record or near-record lows the asparagus market reached in winter, but they are not complaining about their retail customers’ ability to move the product.
A higher price point sometimes has held asparagus back in the restaurant sector, but the vegetable is popping up in more menus at new venues, marketers say.
Ayco Farms Inc. does not want to miss out on any value-added sales of asparagus.
Asparagus is available year-round, thanks, in large measure, to 12-month shipments from Peru, which led all importing countries into the U.S. market, with 17.30 million 11-pound boxes in 2013.More Packer Stories for Asparagus
Market Scope - Asparagus — F.o.b.s as of April 14
MEXICO CROSSINGS THROUGH CALEXICO, CALIF., AND SAN LUIS, ARIZ. — Crossings (105-85-50) — Movement expected to decrease seasonally. Trading early fairly active, late moderate. Prices higher. 28-pound cartons/crates bunched green large mostly $44.75-48.75, standard mostly $48.75. Extra services included. Many shippers have finished for the season.
STOCKTON DELTA DISTRICT, CALIF. — Shipments (16-14-39) — Movement expected to increase. Trading early fairly active, late moderate. Prices generally unchanged. 11-pound cartons/crates bunched long green large $19.75-22.75, standard $19.75-22.75; 28-pound cartons/crates bunched long green large mostly $48.75-50.75, standard mostly $50.75-52.75. Extra services included.
SALINAS VALLEY DISTRICT, CALIF. — Shipments (5-6-7) — Movement expected to increase. Trading early fairly active, late moderate. Prices 11-pound standard and large higher, others generally unchanged. 11-pound cartons/crates bunched long green large $20.75-21.75, standard $20.75-22.75; 28-pound cartons/crates bunched green large $48.75-52.75; standard $48.75-52.75. Extra services included.
WALLA WALLA DISTRICT AND LOWER YAKIMA VALLEY, WASH. — 2014 crop shipments (0-0-1) — Movement expected to increase. Trading moderate. Volume is very light but increasing. No official f.o.b. has been established. Unofficial prices from industry sources bunched green Washington extra fancy 28-pound cartons/crates large and standard $52.75-56.75. The first official f.o.b. was expected late the week of April 14 or the week of April 21. Light frost in some areas slowing harvest. FIRST REPORT for 2014 asparagus.