Inside this Food Report
Farmers and processers in the U.S are gearing up for the summer harvest time, acreage has been contracted and crops are going into the ground. Here in Washington and Oregon state about two thirds of the pea crop is now planted and pea harvest is expected to begin in June. The Midwest/east regions should begin planting peas middle to late April. Due to cooler weather still in that part of the country plantings may be a bit behind schedule. According to the Farmer’s Almanac predications it is expected to be a much warmer and drier summer throughout much of the U.S. with June and July the hottest months. This might affect our pea crops but we will just have to wait and see!
By the time this newsletter reaches some of you, a few of the Noon team will be travelling over to Japan. Springtime in Japan can be magical if you are lucky enough to be there during the peak of the cherry blossom time. It all depends on the weather and area but when the beautiful pink flowers of the sakura blanket the country it is truly a beautiful sight to see. We have heard that the first blossoms in Tokyo began to open on March 25th.
So here’s to springtime and hoping we can catch some magic!
All The Best,
Betty and The Noon International Team.
United States: Northwest peas are approximately two thirds of the way planted. Harvest for most suppliers in the Northwest will commence beginning June. No adverse weather conditions noted as yet. Pea growing areas in the Midwest are still too frozen to begin to seed which may delay the pea crop in the Midwest by a week or two. It is expected that seeding in Midwest/East should begin middle to end April.
California still suffering from drought conditions. Most nut trees are planted in the areas that have suffered from extreme drought. It is expected that nuts, especially almonds, will be priced high with limited supply available.
Lower volumes of U.S. potatoes have been shipped to Japan over the last year due to the lower value of the Japanese Yen. Most of the lost sales went to Europe and Canada due to a more favorable exchange rate. Northwest potato harvest is expected to begin around the second week of July.
Mexico: Quality and volume for broccoli and cauliflower is on budget for this time of year. There have been no issues for pests or diseases. The climate continues to be good with cool temperatures at night and warmer temperatures in the day.
Guatemala: Broccoli season winding down. Sugar snaps, snow peas, okra, brussel sprouts and melon now being produced. Weather conditions are good.
Ecuador: A heavy hail hit the main broccoli growing region in mid March. This is rather a rare occurrence for Ecuador. The storm was localized and primarily damaged some of Ecuador’s organic broccoli fields. Demand for Ecuadorian broccoli remains high so any setbacks with weather related issues have a major affect on the market.
Peru: Mango season is wrapping up and freezing should be completed this month. Weather has been cooperative resulting in good quality and yields. For fresh mango near record levels are being exported. Demand on frozen was strong but contracts should be fulfilled. Processors are now preparing for the freezing of avocado late April to early May, with prices being discussed now. There will be a lot of pressure on Peru to supply avocados as the drought in California had major impact on US avocado production. Global demand for Peruvian avocado has been so strong that many processors are looking to neighboring countries to help supply raw material. Peru is coming into their second asparagus season in and around the Inca area in South Peru with processing commencing this month. However it is much smaller in volume than their main season during September through December.
Chile: Berry harvest finished last month, a few weeks earlier than usual. It was an exceptionally difficult season for Chilean berry processors. Early frost and then extreme drought conditions resulted in undersized berries. Tough weather conditions along with a major port strike left much of the fruit stranded causing major headaches for exporters and stress for buyers.
Brazil: Extreme drought hit brazil earlier this year . As a result tropical fruits are being harvested in very low volumes. Sun damage, over maturation and fruit deformities are being reported all resulting in higher pricing.
Argentina: Corn harvest has begun although a bit behind due to heavy rains.
Taiwan: Taiwan’s edamame imports into Japan were down this year by 7.3% due to the weakened Japanese yen. Taiwan’s lost edamame sales to Japan went to China who secured a 8.1% increase in sales into Japan. Taiwan is expecting to harvest this spring a total of 20,000 tons of finished edamame product.
Zhejiang Province: Temperatures have been rising and rain has been falling with the coming of Spring . This has been beneficial for the crops. Pea Pods and sugar snap peas will begin to bloom this month. March is the peak harvest time for rape flower. Due to high domestic demand, shitake mushroom prices are high.
Fujian Province: Strawberry season has begun and all indications point to a good crop this season. Sugar snap peas and pea pods are now being produced.
Shandong Province: High inventory levels of burdock and taro are available from last season. Currently Spinach will be the main processing focus.
China Goes ‘Organic’ After Food Safety Scares
Numerous and repeated incidents of contamination/adulteration of food and health safety issues in China have been making big news the world over. Over the past few years, babies have died after drinking melamine-laced milk, restaurant-goers have taken ill after consuming food fried in “gutter” oil, high levels of pesticides and chemicals have been found in food products, and buyers have been cheated into buying fake products masquerading as the real thing.
Discover The Eggplant!
Quick! What’s common between eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes? All three are vegetables belonging to the nightshade plant family. Actually, eggplants are not vegetables at all; from a botanist’s point of view, they are fruit (and so are tomatoes)! Eggplants are nutritious, tasty, and lend themselves to a variety of uses in recipes.
Bringing Home The Bacon A ‘Rising’ Concern For US Consumers
Grocery shoppers across the United States are finding that prices of staples such as milk, eggs, meats, sugar, and produce are going up, sending household budgets into turmoil.
Did You Know….
Stores in Tokyo and other parts of Japan were packed over the March 29th /30th weekend. As of April 1, Japan’s sales tax will go from 5% to 8%. It is the first increase in 17 years! Many shoppers were purchasing high luxury items such as watches, while others were buying large appliances. Food shelves were bare as consumers stocked up on food products carrying long expiration dates.
It has been reported that there was a 20 % increase in actual shoppers over the last weekend in March and depending on the store, sales increased by 50% - 90%. After this huge consumption it is expected that retail sales will slow down for the next month or two and retail outlets are thinking of ways to bring in new and different products to continue to encourage Japan’s consumers to spend.
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