Imported Mexican Produce Shipments Take Big Hit Due to Weather

Imported Mexican Produce Shipments Take Big Hit Due to Weather

Mexican fresh produce volume will be down well into March because of fewer plantings, the shift to other vegetables and bad weather. And by this late in the winter shipping season, volume tends to gradually wind down anyway.

Foul weather and cold temperatures have plagued major Mexican growing areas since late last year.

Sun Fed of Rio Rico, AZ has no doubt there will be less volume in the coming weeks. The company has many crops in the Guaymas Sonora area being affected by the cold.

Sonora is a Mexican state, in the northwestern Mexico region. Sonora borders the states of Chihuahua to the east, Sinaloa to the south, and Baja California to the northwest.

Some growers lost entire crops. As a result, shortages many be felt well into April. Products most affected at Sun Fed by weather include soft squashes, cucumbers and green bell peppers.

Likewise, Ciruli Bros. of Rio Rico relates volume is “way, way down with no short term recovery in sight.

In early February, for example, Ciruli Bros. usually has seven coolers running, but only had four in operation. Vegetables that normally would be ready for harvest the first week of March, we up to two weeks behind in growth.

Items affected in the northern part of Mexico include zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and romas.

Divine Flavor LLC of Nogales, AZ described January as “rough,” but was still hopeful for good volume with conventional and organic mini peppers as well as bell peppers, grape tomatoes and roma tomatoes.

The company grows a lot of its vegetables in greenhouses or high-tech hothouses, most of it in the Culican, Sinaola area of West Mexico. The operation also has squash and mini peppers in Sonora and bell peppers and grape tomatoes in Jalisco.

However, Divine Flavor reports the cold weather in Sinaloa and Sonora has even adversely affected its greenhouse production.

Fresh Farms of Rio Rico reports the Sinaloa region received 10 to 12 inches of rain around Christmas, resulting in a “disaster” for crops.

Calavo Growers Inc. of Nogales noted even before the weather challenges, many growers planted fewer romas and round tomatoes because of uncertainty about the tomato suspension agreement last summer and not knowing if they would have to pay tariffs. This resulted in a lot of growers shifting to bell peppers and cucumbers.