Posts Tagged “Mexican vegetable shipments”

Mexican Produce Crossings at Nogales to Increase in January

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While some winter vegetables from West Mexico have been crossing the border at Nogales, AZ since mid November, volume has been gradually increasing. Peak shipments occur during January, February and March.

Importer/exporter and shipper EarthBlend of Nogales was receiving a steady supply of Sonoran soft squash and cucumbers, and Sinaloa volume in mid November. Volume is now significantly more now and will get even better after the New Year.

Among its first items for shipping were  Sonoran soft squash and cucumbers. It has good volume with beans, soft squash (Italian, yellow and grey), hard-shell (butternut, spaghetti, acorn and kabocha), cucumbers (slicer, European and Persian), bell peppers (mini sweet peppers, green, red, yellow and orange) and hot peppers (jalapeno, serrano, poblano and Anaheim).

When spring arrives it will be loading watermelon, honeydew and roma tomatoes.

This will be Earth Blend’s first season to have steady shipments of melons. The past three years the company has been increasing its roma crop volume, starting the harvest in mid-April and finishing mid-June.

EarthBlend’s peak shipments with Mexican watermelons and honeydew will occur from mid-March through the end of May.

Importer Rich River Produce of Rio Rico, AZ started shipping Mexican vegetables in mid October, a full month ahead of when it normally starts. However, weather factors and strong domestic demand has interrupted a steady flow of product.

Rich River Produce specializes in chili peppers and other hot pepper varieties. Besides hot peppers, the company also has good supplies of bell peppers, cucumbers and roma tomatoes.

The company works with eight to nine growers throughout theMexican winter growing regions.

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Mexican Veggie Shipments Looking Much Better than Last Year

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Although there has been a slow start to the Culiacan production, volume is starting to kick in this month. Eggplant, cucumbers, colored bells and other vegetables will run strong before the traditional fade as the heat rolls in late April and May.

Sonoran vegetable production is underway in Guaymas for SunFed of Rio Rico, AZ but starting to wind down. The transition started a couple of weeks ago and SunFed fields to the north are going strong.

Quality of the product is reported good. The cold slowed growth up – particularly for the colored bells and eggplant – so harvest started a little later. Squash volume is good but even better with other vegetable and melon.

The production outlook for West Mexico is good. While unlikely, the greatest threat to production could be late-winter cold in Sonora. 

Culiacan farms in mid-February, had temperatures colder than normal. Abnormally cool weather has slowed some of the production out of the Sinaloa area. Also impacting the Mexican vegetable season this winter has been excessive rain particularly to the north in the state of Sonora.

Despite the wet and cooler weather in Mexico, this year’s production and market prices have been much better than 2022. A year ago, growers had significant labor problems that impacted production while farms were also battling dramatic year over year cost increases in 2022. This all made for a very difficult first quarter last year. The outlook for the first and second quarters of 2023 looks better than 2022. 

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Mexican Warmer Weather Expected to Spike Vegetable Volume

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Ciruli Bros. LLC, of Rio Rico, AZ reports winter vegetable movement and volume well below what it has been used to due to colder than normal weather.

However, they seem to be turning the corner with Mexico finally experiencing temperatures in the high 80s and 90s, which should really accelerate production.

Historically, Mexico doesn’t have freezes after Valentine’s Day, so the time has arrived for the Mexican spring season to surge.

For Ash Wednesday (February 22) eggplant shipments are expected to soar. The company expects new sets of cucumbers and zucchini will be coming into production resulting in good loadings for the spring.

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U.S. Potato Shipments are Similar to a Year Ago; A Look at Mexican Product Crossing into South Texas

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A1U.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.

The 13 key fall crop producing states listed in the USDA report account for 91 percent of all potato volume.

The leading potato shipping areas last week shipped about the following number of truck load equivalents:  Idaho, 1750; Colorado, 625; Columbia Basin (Washington) and Umatilla Basin (Oregon), 340; Wisconsin, 285; Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, 250; and Nebraska, 185.

San Luis Valley of Colorado potatoes – grossing about $2400 to Chicago.

Stevens Point, WI potatoes  – grossing about $3200 to Atlanta.

Rio Grande Valley

Mexican vegetable shipments and tropical fruits are crossing the border at Pharr, in South Texas, on a fairly steady basis from week to week, although volume is not exceptionally heavy on most items.  The biggest tonnage is coming from tomatoes and avocadoes.  Both commodities are averaging about 1,000 truck loads per week.  Tomatoes consist primarily of vine ripes, followed by plum or romas.  However, keep in mind the Mexican avocado loadings will soon start declining as the season comes to an end before returning in a few months.

Mexican strawberries are amounting nearly 450 truck loads weekly, with limes have similar, but increasing volume.  Otherwise, there are watermelons and cucumbers, with a host of other items with much smaller volume.

In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas grapefruit amounts to around 250 truck load weekly, with much smaller volume found with oranges.

South Texas and Mexican produce – grossing about $5700 to New York City.

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Mexican Vegetable Shipments Continue Crossing at Nogales

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DSCN8842Decent 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.



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Heavier Volume of Mexican Items to Nogales Coming in January

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DSCN5435West Mexico winter vegetable shipments are crossing the border into Nogales, AZ, although heavier volume typically doesn’t occur until January.

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.

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Mexican Veggie Shipments Continue at Nogales Port of Entry

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DSCN5112January 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.




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Florida Spring Produce Shipments to Hit Stride in April

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HP0325Florida vegetable shipments are gearing up, but will it be record loading opportunties?  It certainly does not appear likely.

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.


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Southern California Berry, Avocado Shipments; Mexican Imports at Nogales

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130While 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.

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