In addition to record levels of imports moving through the nation’s sea ports, volumes moved by the domestic trucking industry continue to show growth as well. The latest tonnage index released in May by the American Trucking Association indicates that the trucking market, and specifically the share of contract tonnage versus the spot market, is transitioning back to pre-pandemic levels. In spite of several key economic factors related to trucking showing negative growth in May - including retail sales, housing starts, and manufacturing output - the monthly index was at its second highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. This is despite increasing stresses on the industry from many factors, including the rapidly rising cost of diesel fuel.
The movement of Peruvian asparagus through South Florida ports of entry is expected to remain about the same this week before increasing slightly next week. Shipments may be affected by a trucking strike in Peru protesting the high cost of fuel. Trading jumbo and extra-large very active, large active, others moderate. Prices on small generally unchanged and others higher. Supplies of green jumbo and white in too few hands to establish a market; supplies extra-large green also very light, large light, others moderate. Production in northern Peru is expected to finish this week, with many current shipments already coming out of storage.
Demand for the European market remains strong in larger sizes. The movement of Mexican asparagus crossings through Arizona, California, and Texas is expected to remain about the same. Trading jumbo size moderate at higher prices, others fairly slow with prices generally unchanged. Most shipments continue to be booked at previously committed prices. The movement of asparagus from Michigan is expected to decrease seasonally. Trading active with prices on 28 lb. cartons higher and others generally unchanged.