Posts Tagged “Mexican produce imports”

South Texas is Taking Bigger Share of Mexican Produce Imports

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In recent years Texas has been accounting for a growing share of Mexican imports.

Grow Farms Texas of Donna notes volume gains range from Mexican berries to broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and celery and the company believes this is only the beginning..

USDA statistics reveal 2019 crossings of Mexican open field tomatoes were twice as high in Pharr, Texas, compared with Nogales, Ariz., and crossings of Mexican adapted environment-grown tomatoes were just 9 percent less in Pharr than in Nogales.

An important factor in the growth of Mexican imports through South Texas is the proximity to population centers, especially in the eastern half of the U.S.

In the next five to 10 years, Grow Farm Texas believes avocados will continue to grow along with tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, lettuce and bell peppers.

USDA reports market shares for U.S. ports of entry for select commodities show:

  • Avocados: Nogales, Ariz., 2 percent; Pharr, Texas, 45 percent; Tampa, Fla. (boat), 1 percent; Laredo, Texas, 51 percent, Otay Mesa, Calif., 1 percent; Progreso, Texas, 1 percent.
  • Cauliflower: Pharr, Texas, 58 percent; Otay Mesa, Calif., 9 percent; Rio Grande City, Texas, 26 percent; Nogales, Ariz., 7 percent.
  • Watermelon: Progreso, Texas, 21 percent; Rio Grande City, Texas, 3 percent;  Pharr, Texas, 1 percent; Nogales, Ariz, 72 percent.

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Loading Imported Mexican Produce Continues to Increase

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PeppersLoading opportunities for produce haulers for imported Mexican fresh fruits and vegetables have been rising for the past two decades or more, and this trend is expected to continue.

The reasons range from favoritable climates (with the emphasis on the plural) south of the border, cheaper labor and growing costs, not to mention the outrageous political and regulatory climate in crazy California that is makes it ever more difficult to do business there.

For example, A.M. Farms, Stockton, CA., had grown asparagus there since the 1930s, but no longer farms the product.  Dole Fresh Vegetables of Monterey, CA no longer markets asparagus from California and is concentrating its efforts with Mexican grown asparagus.

It used to be Mexican imports by U.S. businesses got underway around Thanksgiving and continued through March or maybe mid-April.  Now some produce items are still crossing the border in late spring and early summer.  For example, watermelon shipments are now available through most of June.  Table grape, mangos and some leafy items go well into summer.

Peak loading opportunities of Mexican produce imports for the winter season, used to be January or February, but now it is closer to being March and April.

Some produce growers are moving farther south into Mexico building greenhouse operations, allowing a longer growing and shipping season.  This helps them bridge the supply gap for the U.S. crops in May and June that are hitting big volume.

Just as some product from west Mexico now is imported through McAllen, TX, during the fall and winter to offer a freight advantages for the Midwest and Eastern markets, some product from Jalisco now comes through Nogales during the spring and summer to offer freight advantages to West Coast receivers.

Some U.S. tomato growers now ship from Mexico year-round by sourcing from new growing areas during what traditionally has been the off season.  Sonora is a huge area for Mexican grown produce and it continues to expand.  It used to be the state of Sinaloa was where the main volume originated.

Virtually all of Mexico’s grapes come from the Caborca and Hermosillo regions of Sonora, with shipments starting in April and continuing into July.

Imported Mexican melons, tomatoes and vegetables from Nogales – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.


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Western Shipping Update: Santa Maria, CA; Mexico and Melons

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DSCN0519+1From Santa Mara, CA vegetables, to Mexican imports and a USDA update on melon availablity, here are some shipping opportunities for produce haulers.

Vegetable shippers in California’s Santa Maria district see stable shipments this spring, even though the region didn’t get as thorough a winter soaking from El Niño as forecasts suggested.  The California drought persists.  Santa Maria started loading  mixed leaf lettuce in early March, nearly two weeks earlier than usual.  Salinas started at the end of the month.

Broccoli and cauliflower shipments are underway in Santa Maria, while celery has in light volume, but should be increasing this week.  Santa Maria produce shipments also now include strawberries, celery, romaine, romaine hearts, Tuscan kale, red kale, green kale, cilantro and parsley.

Santa Maria vegetable shipments – grossing about $6500 to New York City.

Mexican Produce Imports

At Nogales, border crossing include Mexican vine-ripes, romas, grapes and cherries, which continue through April.  With the finish of tomatoes, the new Mexican table grape season launches with crossings at Nogales and McAllen, Tx.  Vine ripe tomato shipments from Baja California also begin crossing near San Diego.

Carrot shipments from the Bakersfield, CA area have shifted to the Imperial Valley.

Mexican vegetable shipments through Nogales – grossing about $2000 to Dallas.

Melon Shipments

The USDA’ Market News Service reported as of April 5th the “difference in pounds from average”  as follows: Mexico/5.3 million pounds, up 11 percent; Honduras/1.8 million pounds, up 105 percent; Costa Rica/780,000 pounds, up 166 percent; Nicaragua/-468,000 pounds, down 100 percent; Florida/-680,000 pounds, down 100 percent; and Guatemala/-1.25 million pounds, down 21 percent.

Florida watermelon shipments are increasing, along with numerous vegetables.

South Florida watermelon shipments, vegetables – grossing about $1000 to Atlanta.

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Produce Loads out of South Texas will Continue Showing Dramatic Increases

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HPmexHwyOpportunities for South Texas produce loads have been increasing over the years, but we haven’t seen nothin’ yet.  Produce truckers will have a lot more chances for Lower Rio Grande Valley produce loads than ever.

The reasons are two-fold.  First, more fruits and vegetables are being grown in Mexico, with many of the operations financed by U.S. produce companies.  Second, the completion of a Mexican highway between West Mexico’s Mazatln and Eastern Mexico’s Matamoros is reducing transit times to South Texas warehouses.  This also is cutting mileage and reducing freight costs for produce receivers thoughout the eastern half of the United States and Canada.

40,000-pound shipments of produce through Texas ports soared from 101,400 truckloads in 2007 to 159,482 truckloads in 2012, an increase of 58 percent.

Much of the produce used to go through Nogales, AZ and still does.  During this same period, Arizona ports had 112,328 truckloads in 2007 and increased to 130,022 by 2012, a 16 percent hike.  Additionally, at California ports there were 43,336 truckloads of produce crossing in 2007, which increased to 61,716 truckloads in 2012, up 42 percent.

Based on these trends of the last five years, a USDA study projects total Mexican imports at U.S. ports will hit 470,000 truckloads by 2020, an increase of 32 percent.  Texas ports are projected to grow to 260,000 truckloads, a 62 percent increase.

There are also plans by Mexico to make improvements to Mexican Federal Highway 40 connecting Mazatlan and Reynosa, the latter, which is located just across the river from McAllen and Pharr, TX.  This could increase Mexican produce imports to South Texas another 73 percent by 2020.

Texas produce and Mexican produce crossing into the Lower Rio Grande Valley – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.




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