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Divine Flavor specialty tomatoes continue strong summer harvest
The specialty tomato program of Divine Flavor is at full volume late this summer. Following a late-July tour to the Ensenada, Baja, greenhouse of Viva Organica, the specialty vegetable growing wing of Divine Flavor, Michael DuPuis, the firm’s quality assurance and public relations coordinator, said grower and farm Read More ...
Stater Bros. fills regional vice president retail operations role
Stater Bros. Markets announced the promotion of Bertha Luna to the position of regional vice president retail operations. In this role, Luna will continue to report to Stater Bros. Markets Executive Vice President Retail Operations Keith Thomas.  She will lead the retail operations for a regional area served by Stater Read More ...
Westfalia to reshape avocado industry with new rootstocks
Following more than two decades of thorough testing as part of its rootstock breeding and screening program, the Westfalia Fruit Group is releasing two new avocado rootstocks, co-owned by Westfalia and The South African Avocado Growers’ Association, for commercial sale under the Merensky name. Trees of these two new Read More ...
Tanimura & Antle HarvestSelect produce box advances
Tanimura & Antle announced the addition of fruit and root vegetables to its evolving Tanimura & Antle HarvestSelect program in order to remain fully compliant with the new USDA Food to Families program standards.  The USDA announced the Food Box Distribution Program under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act earlier in the Read More ...
Salmonella outbreak linked to onions has national reach
CDC, several states, and FDA continue to investigate a rapidly growing outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections. Red onions have been identified as the likely source. The traceback information collected identified Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, CA, as a likely source of red onions in this outbreak. Additional Read More ...
The Nunes Co., Peri & Sons complete expansion
The Nunes Co. Inc., along with Peri & Sons, announced the completion of their 2020 expansion to the Walker River Cooling Facility in Yerington, NV. The joint venture partners are Nevada–based Peri & Sons, one of the country’s largest onion growing operations, and Salinas, CA-headquartered The Nunes Co., one of the Read More ...
Industry Viewpoint: Virtual advocacy
To say there is a lot at stake for the produce industry during an election year in the midst of a global pandemic is not an exaggeration. United Fresh Produce Association has been guiding the industry through this year’s unpredictable and uncharted territory since March and will continue to do so as we head to the polls Read More ...

Most everyone seems to agrees that the winter-spring lime market that reached dizzying heights was quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event that won't soon reappear.

Punctuating that fact is the current lime market, which has the smallest fruit — 230s to 250s — selling for $8-12 per carton, which is just a small fraction of the price they bought during the height of the shortage.

There is still a shortage of the largest fruit — 175 per carton and larger — but that market is still in the more normal $20-40 range.

"If you can find any," commented Dennis Coffman, a salesman with lime specialist Brandt Produce Inc. in Edinburg, TX. "Nobody really has that fruit, and when they do they only have 200 or 300 cartons at a time."

But Coffman tells buyers to be patient.

"They have gotten some rain down there [in Mexico], and the big fruit is coming," Coffman said. "Within four to six weeks, we should have large fruit again."

Reviewing the March-April timeframe when the market was at its peak, Coffman said, "I've been selling limes since 1987 and the best market I had ever seen before was $60-$65 [per carton], and that would only last for a few days. This time, the market exceeded $100 and stayed there for six weeks."

He said weather conditions produced very light winter crops of both Persian and Key limes, which was further reduced by wind and then exacerbated by growers chasing the hot market and stripping their trees.

Both the Mexican domestic market, which prefers the Key limes, and the export market, which fancies the Persian limes, were bidding on the same fruit.

"It was a perfect storm," said the South Texas salesman.

Coffman said there is no indication that the trees themselves were hurt or that the earlier market will have lingering effects. As the summer moves on and demand for limes is traditionally higher, he said supplies should be adequate and the market should stay at a more normal level.

Market Watch

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Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse