Posts Tagged “Mexican vegetable shipments”
U.S. potato shipments are remaining fairly steady week to week with total shipments quite similar to a year ago….Meanwhile, here is a look at Mexican produce items crossing the border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Roughly the same amount of U.S. potatoes remain in storages to be shipped from the major potato states that existed at this same time in 2017 as of February 1st.
Storages held 202.55 million cwt. (per hundredweight) at the beginning of February, compared to storages holding 203.10 million cwt. a year earlier. Potatoes remaining to be shipped accounted for 51 percent of the volume by fall storage states, only one percent more than 2017. Potato disappearance is down three percent to 197 million cwt., and season-to-date shrink (loss of product due to quality) has also fallen, down five percent from 2017 to 15.4 million cwt.
Decent volume of Mexican vegetables continue to cross the border into the U.S. at Nogales, AZ.
Good quality and ample volume is available with vegetables ranging from squash, to bell peppers and cucumbers. Heaviest volume is with bell peppers and cucumbers (each averaging about 500 truck loads per week), and squash, around 400 truck loads weekly. There are less amounts of items such as watermelon, eggplant, red, yellow and orange bell peppers and mini peppers out and beans, among others.
There has been pretty good volume a lot of perfect weather, which may result in many vegetables peaking earlier than usual and possibly resulting in an early end to shipments in early March.
Still, there is a wide range of items, including soft squash, such as zucchini, yellow and gray, and hard squash such as acorn, butternut and spaghetti as well as green beans, fresh pickles, green and colored bell peppers and eggplant, American and English cucumbers, and roma tomatoes.
There will be increasing volume of some vegetables crossing the border into Nogales in March and April with conventional and organic bell peppers, mini sweet peppers and long English cucumbers.
Of note is a number of Nogales distributors, as well as an increasing number of Mexican growers have been contracting directly with U.S. wholesalers and retailers. This is a significant change in the way Mexican vegetables are distributed from just a few years ago. Many of those Mexican growers are working closely with U.S. growers from California.
Mexican table grapes, which start increasing in volume as most Mexican vegetable items are headed to a seasonal end, will start sometime the last half of April, if not early May. Mexican grapes provided the heaviest volume for the U.S. during the spring until California’s San Joaquin Valley gets going in June.
Mexican vegetable shipments through Nogales – grossing about $4600 to New York City.
Shipping gaps of product from Mexico are not as common as they used to be thanks in part to signicant volume coming from vegetables grown under shade houses and in green houses.
Tomato shipments including romas, grape tomatoes and some round tomatoes are gradually increasing in December, with heaviest volume occurring January through March. Mexican red peppers are in very light volume, and similar to tomatoes, are not expected to have significant loadings until around Christmas.
Melons such as watermelons and honeydew are more unpredictable due to winter growing conditions south of the border, but light volumes are expected through the end of the year.
Cucumber shipments have been underway since mid-September, which were soon followed by zucchini, yellow and gray squash, English cucumbers started the third week of October and hard squash in early November. Loadings of those items as well as green beans, and eggplant were underway with the arrival of December.
Mexican vegetable shipments crossing at Nogales – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.
January and February are typically peak volume months for Mexican vegetable shipments through Nogales, AZ. While volumes will soon start declining, there is still a substantial amount of produce crossing the border for shipments destined throughout much of the U.S. and Canada.
No doubt about it, Mexican tomatoes will continue to be the driving force for product grown in West Mexico and shipped through the port at Nogales. This is led in large part by vine ripe tomatoes, the product that drives Florida tomato shippers absolutely crazy, because the vine ripe are largely viewed as having much better flavor than the Florida grown mature green tomatoes. There also is decent volume with romas coming out of Mexico.
Besides tomatoes, there remains good volume with green bell peppers, cucumbers, watermelon and various squash, ranging from zucchini to yellow, butternut, acorn and spaghetti. Most of the vegetable shipments will continue into late May or early June before hot weather in Mexico ends the season.
A trend often referred to as “protected agriculture” continues to grow in popularity in the farming areas of Mexico. Called “mesh houses,” or shade houses, vegetables receive more protection from Mother Nature’s weather whims. Better quality vegetables also reduce the chances of claims and rejections by produce haulers at destination. Among the more popular vegetables being grown this way are tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Squash and watermelons still are mostly grown in open fields.
Nogales vegetable shipments – grossing about $1300 to L.A., $3700 to Chicago.
Light volume and later shipments have marked many produce shipments from Florida, but as we progress into spring it is gradually improving.
Following a disappointing winter, grower-shippers are seeing improved supplies as Florida’s vegetable growers transition to the new spring crop. Florida produce shippers are eyeing improved supplies of bell peppers as the Sunshine State transitions to the new spring crop. Unfavorable winter weather has delayed bigger spring volume by a week the first half of March.
However, you can expect a lot more April and May vegetable loadings. This will also be spurred by the fact Mexican vegetable shipments will be finishing earlier than normal due to unusually warm weather. This will increase demand for Florida green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers and cucumbers, which are just starting in very light volume. You can also look for shipments of tomatoes, celery, sweet corn, lettuce, radish, cabbage and watermelon. Good volume will arrive in early to mid-April. However, some shippers predicting their volume will be down as much as 30 to 40 percent on some items.
While Florida spring vegetable loading opportunties will be good, I’m not expecting it to be great this season. Few, if any, bumper crops are seen.
Florida blueberry shipments have recently started and are moving into volume. Peak loading oppportunties will be around the third or fourth week of April.
Florida strawberry shipments from the Plant City area are winding down and should be finished by early April.
Florida produce – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.
While California vegetables and citrus have been struggling this season to get going, California strawberry shipments got off to an early and fast start it looks to continue strong throughout the season. Unlike much of the nation, credit unusually warm weather during the winter on the West Cost, which hastened plant maturity.
We’ll also take a glimpse at Mexican imports through Nogales, AZ.
For the week ending March 1, the California Strawberry Commission reported 11.16 million 9-pound tray equivalents had been shipped fresh so far this year compared to 6.89 million at the same time last year and 9 million in 2012. California produces almost 90 percent of U.S. strawberries. The state’s 400 strawberry farms grow fruit on fewer than 40,000 acres.
California avocado shipments
This year, California avocado shipments should be at its peak from mid- to late April and continue through Labor Day. Volume should be about 300 million pounds. The 300 million pounds is more on par with the 10-year average. Loadings originate from various shippers in Southern California.
Southern California produce shipments – grossing about $6600 to New York City.
Nogales Produce Shipments
While Mexican vegetable shipments through Nogales, AZ are on a seasonal down swing, an exception are watermelons being imported from West Mexico. The spring season has started three weeks earlier than last year. The early time frame is attributed to earlier transplanting, improved growing practices and ideal weather conditions. Watermelon shipments from West Mexico should continue in good volume through June.
Arrivals of Mexican grapes will start crossing the border within the next month.
Mexican produce through Nogales – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.