Florida is pretty dead for produce shipments this time of year, but a faint “pulse” will be found with new season citrus. Nogales is another dead spot, but here’s a preview of when it is expected to come to life. Finally, Mexican avocado loads through South Texas are coming back, joining a number of other produce items.
Florida’s Indian River citrus harvest has just started, making it 10 days to two weeks later than normal due to excessive rains, that were compounded by the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Matthew dumped up to seven inches of rain on the region, but the brunt of the storm was further north. While Vero Beach sustained 70 mph-80 mph winds, wind speeds hit 50 mph-60 mph in the groves. In Central Florida, harvesting started about a week earlier than Indian River. Florida citrus really dodged a bullet and in the weeks ahead normal shipments are seen.
Nogales Produce Shipments
This is one of the slowest times of the year for Mexican produce crossing into Nogales, AZ for distribution to U.S. and Canadian markets. The next big volumes will occur from January through March. A second, but smaller surge typically takes place from mid-April through June. Tomatoes have historically led produce shipments through Nogales from Mexico, but watermelon volume has increased to the point it could over take tomatoes. Other big volume items range from squash to peppers and many other winter vegetables. A significant factor in the growth and popularity of Mexican grown produce is due to many California farming operations investing and marketing produce from south of the border. They see lower production and labor costs with fewer stifling rules and regulations, which continue to come with doing business in California….Kind of sounds like trucking in California, doesn’t it.
Mexican Avocado Shipments
A projected 40 million pounds of avocados were expected to be shipped to the U.S. for the week ending October 21st. Mexican volume, entering the U.S. primarily through South Texas, had fallen sharply to 13.7 million the week of Oct. 10 – 14.
There had been a strike by Mexican workers with the primary issue revolving around sales negotiations between the growers and packers. The dispute apparently has been resolved.
Mexican tropical fruit, tomatoes and vegetable shipments through South Texas – grossing about $2100 to Chicago.