Yet another week of significant increases at the fuel pump has grower-shippers scrambling to cover the costs of transporting their goods to consumers. The weekly U.S. Energy Information Administration Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update showed a 34.9 cent increase over last week’s nationwide average fuel price, the third largest weekly increase since 1994, and the first and second place increases have both taken place within the past two months as well. Now that it is becoming ever clearer that the conflict in Ukraine will not be resolved in the short term, forecasters expect inflation and price increases to continue. Consumers feeling the pinch on their budgets may turn even more away from perceived luxuries and toward the necessities.
The movement of Mexican asparagus crossing through Arizona, California, and Texas is expected to increase. Trading was active at higher prices, with most orders being booked at previously committed prices and very few spot market sales. The movement of Peru asparagus through South Florida ports of entry is expected to increase seasonally, and trading is fairly active at higher prices. Vessel delays continue, keeping supplies relatively light. Trucks are short, and with the Mother’s Day ad pull over, few new sales are being reported as many buyers are willing to wait for production to start next week out of Michigan, New Jersey, and Canada. The movement of asparagus out of Walla Walla District and Lower Yakima Valley, Washington, is expected to increase slightly but remain light. The first F.O.B. price report is expected by May 9. Wide temperature swings and windy conditions have slowed crop progress and delayed harvest from previous estimates. Quality so far is reported as generally good.
Mexican avocado crossings through Texas are expected to increase slightly. Trading was fairly slow at lower prices. Cinco de Mayo demand is over, and shippers are well supplied for the most part, with demand and prices decreasing day by day throughout the week. Avocado movement from Southern California is expected to decrease slightly. Trading was moderate with prices on conventional lower, organic higher. Demand slowing throughout the week is the same as the Mexican market, but shippers report steady movement on most sizes.