Truck availability remained mostly adequate, and truck rates were mostly stable, even as fuel prices increased again this week in response to uncertainty on global markets. Grower-shippers hoping for a strong ad pull for Easter have mostly been disappointed so far with chains hesitant to commit to large orders. Though the pandemic is in a vastly improved situation compared to the past two years at this time, consumer shopping patterns remain difficult to predict. In addition, new highly contagious variants continue to be identified, driving returns to masking and social distancing in areas where restrictions had been lifted.
Movement of Mexican asparagus crossings through Calexico, California, and San Luis Arizona, expected about the same. Trading was slow at lower prices early in the week trending slightly higher later. A few growers have discontinued harvest which is typical for this time of year. Others continue in hopes of late Easter orders. Supplies of standard size are plentiful but large is harder to find. Movement of Peru asparagus is expected to increase slightly as more shippers resume importing, but to remain very light.
Many shippers expect to handle mainly Mexico product through the Easter holidays, as very little Peruvian asparagus is currently arriving, and this week’s vessel is delayed to next Tuesday at the earliest.
Mexican blueberry crossings through Arizona, California, and Texas are expected about the same. Trading was moderate at slightly higher prices. Quality is reported as variable. Many present shipments are from prior bookings and/or previous commitments. Movement of blueberries out of Central and North Florida is expected to increase as harvesting increases. Trading was active with prices generally unchanged. Quality is reported as good.