After a slight lull, California broccoli and cauliflower volumes are inching back up, but locally grown deals this summer will likely check volumes again.
Warmer-than-expected spring weather tightened broccoli supplies in late May and early June for Salinas, Calif.-based D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, but that would likely change soon, said Gabriela D’Arrigo, marketing coordinator and saleswoman.
“We should be getting back to normal in the next few weeks, and it should stay normal for awhile,” D’Arrigo said.
Markets should stay strong as California acreage dips in anticipation of locally grown deals nationwide, said Mark McBride, salesman for Salinas-based Coastline Produce.
“We’re seeing really good interest for broccoli and cauliflower ads,” McBride said. “This spring’s been pretty good for quality, especially crown cut. It’s been exceptional.”
Coastline has seen very strong demand for crowns from Far East export markets, McBride said. The company also had a strong Memorial Day.
Broccoli supplies were light for Salinas-based Church Bros. LLC the week of June 10, but Steve Church, the company’s chief executive officer, expected them to return to normal the week of June 17.
“The market’s been fairly good the past couple of weeks,” Church said June 11. “We moved product forward as much as we could to level our supplies. We should see steady pricing to possibly lower.”
Supplies could be slightly less than normal the last week of June, Church said.
Church Bros. reported good quality on the crowns and other broccoli products it shipped in the first half of June.
Late starts in the Carolinas, Virginia and Maine could buoy demand for California product, Church said.
Locally grown production should start to surge the week after the Fourth of July, McBride said.
On June 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $10.35-12.50 for 20-pound boxes of loose crown cuts, down from $13.25-14.64 last year at the same time.
Cauliflower volumes, meanwhile, will likely be lighter than normal through June, Church said. The company reported strong demand and excellent quality on product shipping in the first half of June.
Cool growing weather in the Salinas Valley has produced excellent color, weight and overall quality on Coastline’s cauliflower, McBride said.
Cauliflower, like broccoli, also was in strong demand at Memorial Day, he said.
Supplies were short in late May and early June for D’Arrigo Bros., but they would likely start to slowly come back up beginning the week of June 17, D’Arrigo said.
On June 11, the USDA reported prices of $15.65-16.95 for cartons of film-wrapped white cauliflower 12s, up from $11.35-13.48 last year.