Posts Tagged “produce imports”
There is a definite trend of increased imports and rising value to the economic conditions in the Southwest, according to a report issued by the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University. The annul report is requested by the Texas International Produce Association.
“The economic impacts of U.S. produce imports from Mexico on southwestern land ports of entry are substantial, expected to total $1.62 billion by 2025 as these imports continue to grow over the next five to seven years,” the study surmised. “Additional employment will occur as 13,241 jobs will be required to support this increase in economic activity.”
About 98 percent of these imports entered the United States by land ports of entry on the southern border in the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The report determined about 90 percent of these imports are fresh fruits and vegetables, representing a total of $10.67 billion of value.
Using 40,000-pound equivalents as the average weight of a truckload, it was estimated that these shipments represent more than 463,000 truckloads. Texas has been the leading port of entry for the past six years and is expected to maintain the No. 1 slot through the furthest projection year of 2025. In fact, each year it is solidifying its hold on first place.
When the survey began in 2007, a total of about 261,000 truckloads of product came from Mexico into the United States through those four states. Arizona accounted for around 112,000 loads while Texas chipped in with about 101,000. California added 43,000 loads and New Mexico contributed 4,378 truckloads. Arizona’s market share was 43 percent followed by Texas’ 39 percent.
In 2016, 222,000 loads came in to the United States through a Texas port representing about 48 percent of the shipments. A rizona’s 161,000 loads represented another 35 percent. California accounted for 68,000 truckloads, representing 15 percent. New Mexico, of course, lags behind but its 18,500 loads in 2016 represented a 400 percent increase in a decade.
Projecting forward, the researchers predicted that in 2025, 688,000 loads would come through the four states with Texas’ share approaching 350,000 loads, which would be more than 50 percent of the total.
A Florida port experiences a record month for imports, while another acquisition occurs in the citrus shipping industry.
Central and South American fresh produce imports have been credited with causing a record breaking month – December -for Port Everglades in Florida’s Broward County. Those imports have been steadily increasing, according to port officials.
Wonderful Citrus is now the top importer of counter-seasonal citrus products in the U.S. since the purchase and the move doubles the company’s grapefruit position, according to a news release. Along with DNE’s citrus marketing and import business, Wonderful acquires World Pack’s distribution center in New Jersey.
This will not be the first time Wonderful is importing citrus. The company had trials in previous years and last year, for the first time, created programs from countries including Chile, Peru, Australia and South Africa.
DNE has imported from those countries as well as others.
Will South Texas surpass Nogales, Az with imports of fresh produce from Mexico n a year?
Mexican fresh produce imports entering the U.S. through the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas increased 21 percent from 2014 to 2015, and 108 percent over the past eight years. And Pharr, Tx, will likely surpass Nogales, as the busiest U.S. port of entry late this year or in early 2017.
These are some highlights of a recent study of USDA data by Texas A&M University’s Center for North American Studies.
By comparison, Arizona crossings were up 13 percent and California crossings 12 percent from 2014 to 2015.
Over the past eight years, Arizona crossings are up 31 percent, California’s 50 percent.
In 2015, about 210,000 Mexican produce loads crossed through Texas, 147,000 loads through Arizona and 65,000 loads through California. Crossings at some Texas ports were particularly high in 2015. Imports through Pharr rose 36 percent, imports through Laredo 22 percent.
The big jump over the past eight years, meanwhile, can be attributed to a number of factors: improvements in Mexican infrastructure and highways; lower production in the U.S. (due to labor, water and other issues), higher U.S. demand for fresh produce; the Mexican government’s investment in the country’s produce industry; and U.S. shippers’ investment in Mexican production.
“Importers and distributors have been business savvy in shifting volumes to Texas to be in position to take advantage of the time and cost savings for delivery to Midwest and East Coast markets when coming through Texas,” said Bret Erickson, president and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, in Mission, Tx.
The biggest highway improvements in Mexico is the 143-mile Autopista Durango-Mazatlan, which connects the growing regions of west Mexico to McAllen, Tx. The new highway opened in 2013.
The surge in Texas crossings has meant more Nogales-area distributors building facilities in Texas, as well as new companies opening up shop near Texas ports.
More infrastructure is needed, handle the bigger loads in South Texas. There’s also are complaints that produce warehouses there need to become more efficient in having loads ready for trucks that arrive on schedule for pick ups.
Shipments of many Mexican fruits and vegetables through Texas have increased significantly in recent years, but none more than avocados. Tomatoes are the volume leader, but avocados are now the second-largest commodity in terms of volume.
In 2015, 1.69 billion pounds of Mexican avocados were imported through Texas ports and were the top commodity coming through Pharr in seven months of 2015.
Texas isn’t the only U.S. state benefiting from increased production in Mexico. .
“For the Mexican produce industry, the growth in the import numbers across all states is impressive. With the sustained drought problems in the Western U.S., we expect to see even more growth in Mexico in the coming years, which should mean even more produce will be imported through west Mexico into Nogales,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.
South Texas and Mexican produce – grossing about $2900 to Chicago.
A company filing bankruptcy is never good for anyone. In the produce industry there is the Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act (PACA) administered by the USDA, whereby creditors receive a certain amount of protection, and hopefully get at least a portion of the money they are owed repaid.
I’ve advocated for decades that product truckers be offered the same protections under PACA that are afforded those in the produce indutry. Under a bankruptcy truckers would be among the last in line to be paid, which usually means they will receive nothing.
I was reminded of this when Progreso Produce Limited I LP filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation for the Boerne, Texas, business Sept. 30. The 40-year-old company is listing more than 60 creditors including many fresh produce companies.
The company is reported to have debts ranging from $1 million to $10 million. Assets of less than $50,000 are reported. The bankruptcy trustee notes there doen’t not appear to be any property available to the trustee to pay creditors.
River Ranch Closing
Meanwhile, produce, grower-shipper-processor of fresh vegetables, River Ranch Fresh Foods is closing operations. The Salinas, CA, based company will cease operations, effective Nov. 8.
Taylor Farms Retail will service retail value-added accounts beginning Nov. 9, plus Growers Express will handle all field-pack commodity requirements.
River Ranch, which was formed 34 years ago, was purchased by Taylor Fresh Foods three years ago with the hope of improving financial performance and regaining viability.