Celery Market ReportMarch 13, 2019
Celery market this week has escalated to mid-$50 level. Factors creating this high market include lighter plantings and weather. Growers reduced acreage a bit this year due to losses on celery in recent years. And then, the weather. In Florida they have had relatively minor affects from adverse weather, but where acreage was cut back slightly already, it has left those Florida growers with limited volume to cover contracts only. Historically, when weather hits the west coast hard, Florida can take up some slack-but not this year. In the west, growers cut back celery acreage across the board. Now, Arizona has finished up, and Imperial and Coachella Valleys will finish by end of this month. Everyone will be looking to Oxnard for supply. Unfortunately, of all growing areas, Oxnard has been hit the hardest by rain and high winds. Some plants were knocked down and destroyed by wind and rain. Others have survived but in poor quality with yields reduced by, in one reported case, up to 30%. We will struggle throughout the Oxnard season which will be through the month of May. Growers are now planting in Salinas for usual start date of June 1st. Whether there will be planting gaps caused by spring rains in Salinas is yet to be seen, but for now, we can expect shortages and high prices to continue through May.
March 13, 2019