Posts Tagged “imported Mexican produce”
Imported Mexican produce shipments to the U.S. increased by double-digits in the second quarter of 2020, according to a transportation report from the USDA.
The Mexico Transport Cost Indicator Report reveals second quarter total reported shipments of fruits and vegetables from Mexico were 2.96 million tons, an 11 percent increase compared with the second quarter of 2019.
The total of the top five commodities shipped from Mexico (figured on an annual basis: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, avocados and squash) increased by 31,000 tons, or 6 percent.
Imported seedless watermelons entering the U.S. in the second quarter topped all fresh produce commodities for the quarter, with 297,000 tons shipped. However, that was down 19 percent from same quarter in 2019.
Truck rates for shipments of 501 miles to 1,500 miles from the Arizona border crossings averaged $2.55 per mile, up 1 percent quarter to quarter, but down 6 percent compared with the second quarter a year ago.
Rates for shipments of 501 miles to 1,500 miles from the Texas border crossings averaged $2.25 per mile, down by 10 percent quarter to quarter and down by 1 percent year to year.
Diesel fuel prices for border crossings through Texas averaged $2.21 per gallon for the quarter, compared with $2.60 per gallon for crossings through Arizona.
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.
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.
Heavy crossings of imported Mexican produce into the leading border areas of Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley and Nogales, AZ are continuing before a seasonal decline in volume begins in March.
Wintertime is peak time for Mexico’s fruit and vegetable shipments into the U.S. and Canada that includes a long list of items.
Imported Mexican produce Starts in late January and pretty much continues through September, with biggest volumes coming from avocados, limes, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, watermelons, onions, limes, and mangoes.
For example, mostly Mexican vine ripe tomatoes with much lesser amounts of grape and plum tomatoes are currently averaging about 3,450 truck loads crossing at Pharr, TX.
Divemex is a major Mexican grower which partners with The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, BC, which handles good volumes of conventional and organic bell peppers, mini peppers and cucumbers. The operations also move a lot avocados in a year around program as well as seasonal berries.
Fresh Farms of Nogales is shipping good volumes of Mexican zucchini, cucumbers, English cucumbers, sweet corn, green bell peppers, colored bell peppers, eggplant, hard squashes and green beans.
At the Port of Nogales, AZ, tomatoes always provide the top volume crossings during the winter. Currently Mexican tomatoes crossing into Nogales are averaging around 4,500 truck loads weekly. Still, there remains good volume with items such as cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, melons and eggplant..
Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce Ltd. looks to Mexico in the winter for several items, said Trevor Stuart, account manager.
“Over the next three months, our main import commodities out of Mexico for Frontera are your full line of chili peppers, bell peppers and limes, and, later, the kick-off to the start of mango season,” he said.
Frontera Produce Ltd. of Edinburg, TX has its biggest winter volume with Mexican chili peppers, bell peppers and limes, followed in April and May by mangoes.
During the fall season the American produce shippers are loading onions from storages. Kicking off the New Year, Mexico is shipping fresh onions, followed closely by sweet onions from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Mexican produce from Nogales, grossing about $3300 to Chicago.
Mexican produce from South Texas, grossing about $4700 to New York City.
Imported Mexican shipments are expected to remain steady with good volume for the next six weeks. Meanwhile, here’s a break down of U.S. potato shipments when comparing russets and other varieties.
Mexican produce shipments from bumper spring crops are now occurring Mexico with items such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, bell peppers, watermelon and mangoes. Table grapes, among others, will begin in a few weeks.
March and April are often seen as a secondary shipping peak for northern-grown Mexican products as demand typically increases with improving spring weather in U.S. markets. Imported Mexican produce shipments are expected to remain very steady through April.
Russet potato shipments have been giving away, at least to a certain degree, to other varieties of spuds, although russets easily remain the category. At least this is the case from a study of potato movement from July through December. It has been a long time since russet shipments have seen an increase compared to other potato varieties.
In data collected by Nielsen, fresh russet volume was up 0.43 percent for the six-month period. Russet potatoes accounted for 66.08 percent of potato category sales, up from 65.46 percent a year ago.
Red potato shipments ranked second behind russets for the July through December period, accounting for 16.03 percent, down from 17.03 percent in the same period a year ago. Red potato sales for the six-month period were off 1.48 percent compared with year-ago numbers, and red potato volume was down 6.78 percent compared with a year ago.
The third-ranked potato category in July through December last year was yellow potatoes, accounting for 10.75 percent of total fresh potato sales compared with 9.85 percent last year. White potatoes, the fourth-ranked fresh potato category, suffered declines in volume and sales compared with a year ago.
White potato sales were off 6.20 percent compared with a year ago, while volume of white potatoes sold at retail from July through December was off 12.21 percent compared with the same period a year ago. White potato sales accounted for 5.55 percent of potato category sales, down from 6.19 percent the same period a year ago.
Fingerling potato sales account for just 0.23 percent of total potato category sales from July through December, up just slightly from 0.22 percent the same period a year ago.
Grand Forks, ND red potatoes – grossing about $4600 to New York City; $2000 to Chicago; $2800 to Dallas.
Idaho russets – grossing about $5100 to New York City.
San Luis Valley, Colorado russets – grossing about $2200 to Chicago $4000 to New York City.
Imported Mexican produce volume has been much lower than normal due to rain and cold weather throughout the winter, plus a freeze at Christmas delayed plantings and tightened supplies of many items. However better weather is resulting in higher volume in February.
While Mexican produce shipments in late February were approaching normal, some items remain in much lighter volume. For example, bell peppers are expected to remain lighter than usual. Mexican watermelon shipments should remain good until the last half of March when production will be less. Yellow mangoes loadings have started within the past week, with volume picking up heading into March.
Mexican watermelon imports should hit good volume by mid-April. A similar situation is expected with honeydews and cantaloupes. Steady Mexican vegetable shipments are expected to continue with zucchini, yellow, gray, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash.
There is now good volume with imports through Nogales with tomatoes on the vine, beefsteak, roma, grape, yellow grape and cocktail tomatoes, yellow bell peppers and organic round and roma tomatoes and eggplant.
Imported Mexican produce through Nogales – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.
Imported Mexican produce through Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley – grossing about $3900 to New York City.