My mission is to educate and train consumers and the produce industry with proven old school practices, marrying them with new world technology and metrics to facilitate  omni channel marketing of produce to the benefit of grower, wholesaler, retailer and consumer.

  • redpepperking



Good morning and Happy Sunday. All markets are closed for the President’s day holiday, so this serves as advance notice on what to expect this week. Over the last 30 to 40 days the score is Demand 3 supplies 0. You must be convinced by now that when short supplies are met with lethargic demand markets will not move higher and in most cases will be lower? What is even worse is when you are led to believe supplies are short and you have lethargic demand, that is a recipe for disaster, I have been a participant and observer of those in the past.

If you look at last’s weeks video reports, I mentioned two very important things. First, rain was expected on Monday or Tuesday so the growers will harvest all they can over the weekend. Two I am not a big fan of the squash market and throw in 2b, red peppers are stuck in the $20 range.

If you are a long-time reader you know hogs get fat and pigs get slaughtered so don’t buy the hype. What does that mean? As I have stated many times before, “ the true short supply markets, due to weather events, manifest themselves a week or two later, and sometimes a month later not a day later. 95% of the time you would be better served buying the facts for more money a week or two later, than buying the fiction a day later to try and catch a market bottom. WHY? Growers today are well informed and have assets that were not available even 20 years ago to protect their crops from a variety of instances. What they always had is if they knew bad weather was coming, they would harvest everything they could before the event, thus beating the significant weather to its punch.

The preceding scenario has played out many times in my career, let me replay it for you. Weather report says there is a freeze or a huge storm coming in 5 days.

Step one, some grower/shippers will try to raise prices in anticipation of bad weather. Paulie’s rule #1, buy the facts not the fiction, or in this case the anticipation of bad weather. Step 2, grower/shippers either harvest whatever they can or protect whatever they can to minimize the damage or effects. Hype continues, Paulie’s rule, see rule #1. Step 3, we can have 2 divergent scenarios. Divergent #1, bad weather hit, and growers say we lost 20%, 50%, 100%, pick a number it’s probably wrong. Depending on the loss or perceived loss of the crop, determines how much prices will rise in the next 1-7 days. The key word is “perceived”. Here is the problem. Let me use squash as an example of all produce items. Squash was $6.95, went to 10.95 after the “anticipation” of a weather event, then went to $18.95 after the event, then to $20.95. Do you see the problem here? The problem is they are basing those prices on short supplies that may or may not happen a week or two from today, remember they picked all they could pick and that product is now in their coolers, so in reality we have a $6.95 to $8.95 market and those “pigs” that wanted to catch the bottom are going to get “slaughtered”. I would add if the market was strong before the anticipation of a weather event, let’s say the market was $14.95 then went to $18.95 after the event, that would lead to a better outcome because supplies were short going in.

Divergent #2 Oh boy. They took the market from $6.95 to $10.95. Picked all they could and then, NO weather event. Now they have more product, demand drops off significantly, especially for the buyers who paid $10.95 and this market is headed for $4.95 or lower. This scenario will also hurt if the market was short going in because of the additional product harvested. Buy the facts not the fiction and it’s better to wait and pay a little more and be sure than jump in to pay less and be wrong. Many buyers get fooled time and time again because of the anticipated profits that lead to real losses.


RED PEPPERS - Demand dropped up significantly and supplies have increased. The general market is 10.95 -$12.95 fob and some deals for less. There is not an overabundance of supply but more an underabundance of demand. I think the terminal will be $16-18 and $14 is in the cards as well to try and increase demand. The caveat is 25# reds which are in high demand and should be in the $30 plus range at the terminal level.

GREEN PEPPERS – This market is headed south FAST. XL green pepper deals abound, some as low as $8, choice is even less. Big supplies and weak demand spell no good news on the horizon for green peppers. $12-14 at the terminal level.

CUCUMBERS – The real deal here. HOT, HOT HOT, and unless I am missing something could stay that was for a week or two or the week of the 2’s next week is enough to cool them off.

ROMA TOMATOES – The other HOT item as well as other tomatoes. They should bring $30 plus at the terminals.

GREEN SQUASH – This happens to be the scenario I laid out in my opening statement. Picked too many for the prices quoted and now searching for a new bottom of it’s BS highs. The new story will be will it get short again because it has been a terrible growing year before we start in Hermosillo in March? Make sure you are nice to your grower, the party is not over.

YELLOW SQUASH – It to is overpriced but is also must stronger than green squash. I think we will still be in the $30 range at the terminals.

EGGPLANTS – A couple of dollars higher from last week as predicted, let’s see if we can hold onto these gains this week. Market at the terminals $16-20

KABOCHA SQUASH. Short and waiting for new areas to begin , and it may be a long wait. Kabocha could easily be in the $24 plus area

AVOCADOS – How do you like my new boxes in my pictures? It will be 2 more weeks before we can use them, but we do have avocados on their way to California, New York and Texas and soon to different ports in the USA. I have 3 containers a week available year-round of 70’s and 80’s size Hass Avocados that I can pack in trays or bag them like the big box stores. We are also in the final stages of bringing on more production of larger size avocados as well, year-round production, no gaps and realistic pricing. Please contact me if you are interested. Currently the market is $60 plus on 48's and larger, 60's are $40, 70's are $30 and 84's are $22.. You will be very happy with my prices and the will not change. You need to make the call.

BLANKET STATEMNENT Remember these plants have been stressed all year with heavy rain, cold heat so they will not produce as usual. Production will be off, and all of these markets can change from day to day. Stay on your toes, listen for information, buy the facts not the fiction and call me if you need me.

OK boys and girls it’s a pleasure? Remember I love you, I love the produce business. Take care and I’ll see you on Wednesday.

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