As the Midwest and Northeast endured one blizzard after another in late January and early February, it was 90 degrees in the vegetable fields of Culiacan, Mexico. As a result, shipments may not been as brisk as normal, but shipments still are heavy.
Eggplant loadings should increase leading up to Ash Wednesday (February 18), as retailers double their eggplant orders for Catholics to find a meaty item to replace meat in their diets, particularly in markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston, which use a lot of eggplant during Lent.
Besides eggplant, this is a peak shipping period for Mexican items ranging from bell peppers to broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, watermelons, tomatoes and squash.
Concerning spring Mexican grape shipments, it is still early, but initial reports note excellent weather and growing conditions. Initial harvest is expected around May 1st, with crossings at Nogales starting soon afterwards.
Here’s a list of some of the Nogales produce shippers: Bay Area Produce, Big Chuy Distributors, Calavo, Crown Jewels Produce, Delta Fresh Produce, Fresh Farms, Franks Distributing, Lisa Inc., Pacific Tomato Growers, P.D.G. Produce, Tepeyac Produce and Weis-Buy Farms.
Mexican vegetables crossing the border at Nogales – grossing about $1300 to L.A.; $3200 to Chicago; and $5400 to New York City.