Leaf supply, demand hit lull; iceberg prices high - The Packer

Leaf supply, demand hit lull; iceberg prices high

02/25/2004 12:00:00 AM
Bryan Scribner


Like Davis, Duda said he expected his company’s iceberg product to start in Huron on April 1.

Both shippers said lettuce would most likely transition back to Salinas following the three- to four-week Huron deal in the San Joaquin Valley.

Though supplies were expected to be low by early April, Boggiatto Produce Inc. plans to enter the Salinas deal the last week of March, in line with its start date last season, said Michael Boggiatto, president of the company.

The company goes directly from the Imperial Valley to Salinas, bypassing Huron, with its leaf lettuce and romaine crops.

Boggiatto also said low temperatures have decreased lettuce volumes. A freeze and heavy frost lasted for several weeks this winter, shippers said.

“A few weeks back (in January), we had some bad freeze damage to romaine — a lot of blistering and subsequent decay,” Boggiatto said. “That was probably one of the toughest freezes we’ve had in years down there. Even if you were to peel the product way down, the freezing was deep into the romaine.”

Supplies and prices, however, had come closer to normal by late February, Boggiatto said. All winter, he said romaine prices were moderate.

Mills’ Davis said temperatures had started to increase by mid- to late February. High temperatures in Yuma during the last week of the month were expected to be about 70, while lows were expected to be in the 40s.

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