Execulytics Consulting's Mike Mauti Provides Insight on Asparagus Market in January Produce Moneyball Update

Execulytics Consulting's Mike Mauti Provides Insight on Asparagus Market in January Produce Moneyball Update

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TORONTO, CANADA - Once the shine wears off of last year’s holiday celebrations and the New Year’s noisemakers are tucked away for another year, the dreary winter blues set in. But it’s not like that for everyone. I’m sure the produce buyers out there will agree with this familiar-sounding tale.

This is the time of year when buyers start to look toward warmer weather and the greener pastures of spring program planning. And those warm and optimistic feelings are probably felt strongest amongst the asparagus buyers. Nothing else in the produce department screams spring and new beginnings quite like asparagus.

I can remember back to my asparagus buying days; at that time the magic number was $32 FOB. It was at this point that we considered the program was reaching peak season and the time to focus was upon us. That was then—if you keep reading, you will see things have changed since I was penciling orders for this springtime juggernaut.

Produce Moneyball will attempt to get the straight goods on standard-sized asparagus as the calendar moves us out of winter and into spring. If anyone else out there remembers $32 as the magic number, keep reading.

Asparagus volume in 2021 peaked at the beginning of March and costs were just above $12 FOB, with volume on a downward trend through April

The accompanying graph shows asparagus volume during March and April of last year. The start of this two-month stretch marked the beginning of prime season. The volume peaked week nine at the beginning of March. While quantities bobbed and weaved each week thereafter, it was clearly on a downward trend until this analysis ends in week 16 at the close of April.

Last year’s cost during week nine was just above $12 FOB. That’s a far cry from the $32 I remember. The big discrepancy can be explained by a 4.1 percent annual deflation rate experienced over the last ten years.

This year, Produce Moneyball predicts similarly low costs, but producers can expect a reprieve from the low points of the last several years, this year hovering in the mid to high $20’s FOB.

Remember if you are looking for a small warming trend in the middle of winter, turn to Produce Moneyball. It could be just the tonic you’re after.

Mike Mauti, Managing Partner, Execulytics ConsultingMike Mauti, Managing Partner, Execulytics Consulting

Leading the Execulytics team, Mike brings more than 20 years of experience as a leader in the fresh foods industry. Over this time, Mike has gained expertise in retail operations, procurement, and merchandising. Specific skills around grocery retailing, particularly in produce buying and selling, make Mike a valuable partner for suppliers and independent retailers alike.

Execulytics Consulting

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Execulytics is a consulting firm catering to the produce supply and independent grocery retail industries.