Prime Time Produce's Mike Aiton Discusses Strong Current Pepper Demand
COACHELLA, CA - As we surpass the middle of the summer season, one of the hotter points of the year for the west coast of the U.S., Prime Time Produce’s Mike Aiton, Marketing Director, took the time to share with me that the pepper market is currently above normal FOB levels, and has been staying that way for the past several weeks.
“Overall yields have been lower than expected, not only in California but throughout the rest of the country as well,” Mike shares with me. “This shortage has had a positive effect on pricing for an extended period of time, as high temperatures and other weather-related problems across the country have delayed local programs and kept availability lower than expected.”
The heat in the west put an abrupt end to Prime Time’s Coachella season, Mike explains, with temperatures having hit over 120 degrees.
“History is repeating itself now in central California as temperatures have been in the 110 degree neighborhood for the past few days. Consequently the transition to cooler coastal areas in California cannot come soon enough,” Mike tells me.
As that transition looks to get underway, Mike cautions that volumes for the next week for red, green, and mini peppers will be a bit tight, balancing out and seeing production return to seasonally high levels next week.
“Availability and pricing will then be favorable for promotions throughout the balance of the month and continuing through the Labor Day holiday,” Mike says, adding that more and more states are getting in the game now, alleviating some of the pressure on the west.
As the change in seasons and back-to-school time approaches, AndNowUKnow will continue to keep our finger on the pulse of this and other transitions in fresh produce throughout 2016 and beyond.