Iceberg lettuce prices fell sharply in late January, but buyers found no relief on romaine as 24-count cartons remained over $30.
Supply and quality issues will complicate the remainder of the California and Arizona lettuce deals, and prices should stay high as a result.
A week of frosty weather that rolled through California and Arizona around New Year’s brought snowfall to avocado groves, higher lettuce and broccoli prices and a narrow escape for citrus.
Frost conditions that hit desert production areas in California and Arizona just before New Year’s are likely to tighten supplies of lettuce and send prices higher in January.
D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California is expanding its romaine heart line with the introduction of a 12-pack of three-count organic hearts in a bag design that recalls the ownership family’s origins in Europe.More Packer Stories for Romaine
Market Scope - Lettuce, romaine — F.o.b.s as of Jan. 26
WESTERN ARIZONA — Shipments (374-335-316) — Movement expected to increase slightly. Trading 24s active, hearts very active. Available supplies very light. Prices generally unchanged. Cartons 24s mostly $30.35-31.61; hearts in 12 3-count packages mostly $30-32.56, film-lined 48s mostly $31-33.56. Quality variable. Most present shipments from prior bookings and/or previous commitments at lower prices.
ALL CALIFORNIA DISTRICTS — Shipments (96-123-92) —
IMPERIAL, COACHELLA AND PALO VERDE VALLEYS, CALIF. — Movement expected about the same as the 83 units shipped the week of Jan. 19. Trading early active, late very active. Prices 24s higher, hearts generally unchanged. Carton 24s mostly $24.75-28.95; hearts in cartons of 12 3-count packages mostly $30.95-32.95. Quality variable.
OXNARD DISTRICT, CALIF. — Movement expected about the same as the 9 units shipped the week of Jan. 19. Trading moderate. Prices higher. Cartons 24s $24.75-28.95. Quality variable.
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