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Strikes delay Mexican avocado season

While the grower strike is largely resolved, the setback will affect supply and prices over the coming weeks. 

Avocado prices have been fairly high for the opening of the 2016-17 Mexican harvest due to a producer strike, but the issue appears to be resolved and prices are expected to start stabilizing.

Diario.mx reported growers in Michoacan did not harvest for the week of July 4-11, protesting outside the offices of the Mexican Avocado Grower and Packer Exporter Association (APEAM) calling for fixed dollar payments on exports.

In the domestic Mexican market prices reached MXN65 (US$ 3.50) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) last week, compared with an average price of MXN15 (US$ 0.81) for the previous season.

APEAM representative for the municipality to Tancítaro, Javier Mora, told the publication negotiations had been in pesos for exports, so even if the value of the dollar rose the price received would be the same.

The story reported that after the strike that affected 90% of the state’s municipalities, growers reached a deal to be paid in pesos but with a dollar equivalency.

In an avocado market update, U.S. company Mission Produce said effects would be continue to be felt even though the situation was getting back to normal in Mexico and industry volume was up slightly last week due to higher Californian production.

“Basically the numbers don’t look as bad as the reality, but the combination of severely curtailed production will have repercussions for the next several weeks; until more fruit is available for the market,” Mission said in the update.

“Mexican shipments to the U.S. were about 16 million pounds, down from 22 million the prior week. The grower embargo is essentially resolved at this point, but the slowdown will have a lingering effect for several weeks as the pipeline refills.

“Production estimates for the next three weeks are 18, 22 and 25 million pounds, signaling that the Flor Loca harvest is ramping up.”

The update highlighted volume from California would decline in the coming weeks, but Mexico should rebound to fill the void.

“Market pricing should remain high until supply and demand are more in balance.”

Despite the news of protests, Mexican Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada Rovirosa attributed the higher prices to a “cyclical” situation for the crop in the local press.

“This has to do with cyclical processes. The harvest finished in June and the new harvest started on July 10 and here prices will surely start dropping substantially,” he was quoted as saying.

“In terms of time, I don’t know, but I want to comment that around 2.5 million [metric] tons of avocados are produced and Mexico produces 1.3 million.”

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

www.freshfruitportal.com

 

FreshFruitPortal.com

Mexican mangos to US ahead of last year’s shipments

Mexican mangos to US ahead of last year’s shipments

About halfway through the window during which Mexican growers export mangos to the US, the rate at which mangos have arrived in the US is ahead of last year’s pace.

The National Mango Board projects that total shipments of Mexican mangos into the US will reach 42.1 million boxes this season. Shipments for the season reached 35.6 million boxes during the week ending on June 15, and that’s about three million more boxes than were shipped at the same time last year. Last season’s shipments from Mexico were at 35.7 million boxes for mid-June last year. The week ending June 15, 2013 saw Mexican growers ship 3.3 million boxes of mangos into the US, which means this is when shippers approach peak volumes for the season.

The most popular varieties this season have been the Tommy Atkins and Ataulfo, with those two varieties representing almost 70 percent of the mangos coming into the US from Mexico.

Publication date: 6/28/2013
Author: Carlos Nunez
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Mexican citrus affected by weather

Mexican citrus affected by weather

Hurricanes hitting different parts of Mexico’s citrus-producing regions could lead to lighter crops for the 2014-2015 season.

Orange production in Mexico, most of which is centred in the state of Veracruz, is forecast at 4.3 million metric tons, according to a report from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Production for the previous season is estimated at 4.3 MMT, and the report points to cold weather and drought conditions as factors in the slight decline. In fact, dry conditions, as well as rising production costs and volatile returns, have caused many growers to abandon their orange groves this year. Yields are expected to reach 13.3 metric tons per hectare for the 2014-2015 season, while the previous season’s yields reached 13.6 metric tons per hectare.

The lime crop for 2014-2015 is expected to be about the same as the one from the previous season. Both crops are estimated at 2.2 MMT. Grapefruit production is expected to reach 420,000 MT for the 2014-2015 season, a slight drop from the previous season’s production. Yields are also expected to take a dip, with 2014-2015 grapefruit yields forecast at 24.2 metric tons per hectare, while the previous season’s yields are estimated at 24.7 metric tons per hectare.

Publication date: 12/24/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Mexican veg deal coming on for Ciruli Bros.

RIO RICO, AZ — Mexican vegetable volume is building this December for Ciruli Bros. LLC, based here.

Chris Ciruli, the firm’s chief operating officer, indicated Dec. 9 that the Los Mochis, Sinaloa, green bean deal had just begun. Ciruli was also receiving hot peppers and green, yellow and Mexican gray squash.

Slightly farther to the south, Culiacan was shipping eggplant and cucumbers, with colored Bell peppers, tomatoes and Romas due to start by Christmas.

“Those will be our last new items until mangos start March 1,” he said.

Ciruli expects to be importing and distributing seasonal Mexican produce into May.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Mexican veg deal coming on for Ciruli Bros.

RIO RICO, AZ — Mexican vegetable volume is building this December for Ciruli Bros. LLC, based here.

Chris Ciruli, the firm’s chief operating officer, indicated Dec. 9 that the Los Mochis, Sinaloa, green bean deal had just begun. Ciruli was also receiving hot peppers and green, yellow and Mexican gray squash.

Slightly farther to the south, Culiacan was shipping eggplant and cucumbers, with colored Bell peppers, tomatoes and Romas due to start by Christmas.

“Those will be our last new items until mangos start March 1,” he said.

Ciruli expects to be importing and distributing seasonal Mexican produce into May.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Avocado market strengthens as Mexican shipments wane and California fruit sizes

The California avocado deal has been hampered by a plethora of small-sized fruit, with Mexican producers providing most of the larger fruit for the past couple of months. But the avocado market is on an uptick as Mexico moves into a typical lag period and California fruit begins to have a more diverse size portfolio.

Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales for Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, told The Produce News that “Mexico is barely importing any small fruit at all, while packers in California are getting better sizing every day.”

The result, he said, is a strengthening in the market. He said Mexico’s fruit, which has largely ranged from 32-48s, was down in volume the last week in June and should be down for most of July. It will be August, he predicted, before Mexico gets into big volume shipments again as its new crop begins.

At the same time, California is expected to have good size and good volume well into October.

At the beginning of the season, the California crop was estimated at about 515 million pounds, which is a big-volume crop. The smaller fruit during the first third of the season has reduced the estimate a bit, but most observers still expect it to be very close to the 500 million-pound figure.

Illustrating the size issue was Mark Carroll, senior director of purchasing and merchandising for produce and floral for Gelson’s Markets, which is a Southern California chain of 16 upscale stores.

Gelson’s typically supports the California avocado growers when their crop is in season, but this year it was mid-June before he was able to find enough large fruit for his conventional displays.

He said he was able to switch to organic avocados from California early in the season because he uses a 48 size in his organic displays. But he just wasn’t able to find enough of the 40 size and larger fruit for his conventional displays until mid-June.

Wedin said that most of the larger California Hass avocados that have been available are “Lamb Hass,” which is a slightly different variety though it does have the “Hass” designation and as the season wears on it is hardly distinguishable from the regular Hass. It does have a slightly smoother skin, especially early in the season.

Bob Lucy, who is a partner and handles sales at Del Rey Avocado Co. in Fallbrook, CA, cautioned that while the fruit is getting larger, it may be several weeks before there are consistent supplies across all sizes.

Lucy said many growers have been size picking for two months, literally taking any fruit with any size at all off the trees. So even though the fruit is now sizing at a much faster clip, he said it is going to take several weeks to completely fill the pipeline of all sizes.

So during the last week of June, the shipment of smaller fruit (60-72) from California actually increased as a percentage of total volume while larger fruit (40 and 48) declined, according to Lucy

Of course this was also caused by a several-dollar jump in the market place, which saw a strong demand for many sizes.

By the last week of June, the U.S. Market News Service reported that larger fruit from California was selling in the $ 35 to $ 37 range, while the smaller fruit was in the $ 28 to $ 30 range. Some of the smaller fruit was being sold in bags for attractive retail pricing on multiples.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

AMHPAC convention looks toward future of Mexican protected agricultural production

Focused upon strengthening and sustaining its thriving industry, the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture, commonly known by the Spanish acronym AMHPAC, held its seventh annual convention.

More than 330 participants attended the Aug. 28-29 meeting, which was held in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, on the Gulf of California about 15 miles northeast of the famous resort town of Cabo San Lucas.

A Sept. 3 press release indicated that convention participants came from five countries, while domestic attendees came from 20 Mexican states.

“Over 100 representatives from 42 produce growing companies under protected schemes were reunited,” with most of these being tomato growers, according to the release. Furthermore, “51 supplier companies took advantage of this setting to promote their inputs and services.”

The opening session was a workshop regarding “Case studies in the daily operation of tomato export.” This highlighted a detailed discussion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s tomato suspension agreement, including related workings of the Mexican mechanism of operation registration in SAGARPA, the national department of agriculture. Mexico’s Ministry of Economy has an automatic notice of export, which was also detailed.

In the opening general meeting, Juan Ariel Reyes, AMHPAC’s president, stated, “We are focused in making the Mexican protected horticulture industry to become a solid and sustainable guild with international recognition”.

Enrique Julio Zorrilla Fullaondo, general manager of corporate banking for Mexico at Scotiabank, provided an analysis of Mexico’s economic and financial environment.

A long list of speakers also gave important presentations on Aug. 29.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

AMHPAC convention looks toward future of Mexican protected agricultural production

Focused upon strengthening and sustaining its thriving industry, the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture, commonly known by the Spanish acronym AMHPAC, held its seventh annual convention.

More than 330 participants attended the Aug. 28-29 meeting, which was held in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, on the Gulf of California about 15 miles northeast of the famous resort town of Cabo San Lucas.

A Sept. 3 press release indicated that convention participants came from five countries, while domestic attendees came from 20 Mexican states.

“Over 100 representatives from 42 produce growing companies under protected schemes were reunited,” with most of these being tomato growers, according to the release. Furthermore, “51 supplier companies took advantage of this setting to promote their inputs and services.”

The opening session was a workshop regarding “Case studies in the daily operation of tomato export.” This highlighted a detailed discussion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s tomato suspension agreement, including related workings of the Mexican mechanism of operation registration in SAGARPA, the national department of agriculture. Mexico’s Ministry of Economy has an automatic notice of export, which was also detailed.

In the opening general meeting, Juan Ariel Reyes, AMHPAC’s president, stated, “We are focused in making the Mexican protected horticulture industry to become a solid and sustainable guild with international recognition”.

Enrique Julio Zorrilla Fullaondo, general manager of corporate banking for Mexico at Scotiabank, provided an analysis of Mexico’s economic and financial environment.

A long list of speakers also gave important presentations on Aug. 29.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Texas Cyclospora Cases Linked to Mexican Cilantro

At least 126 Cyclospora-related illnesses in Texas reported this year have now been traced back to fresh cilantro imported from Mexico, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

State and federal health officials revealed the source of the outbreak at the same time they announced that the outbreak was considered over.

The case count spiked in June and July 2014, but any illness occurring after May 1 was considered part of the outbreak. At least 166 Cyclospora cases have been reported in Texas this year.

Of the outbreak cases, 21 were traced back to four restaurants in North Texas that all carried cilantro sourced from Puebla, Mexico. All 21 of those consumed dishes containing the cilantro.

Officials did not find any samples of cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, but they said there is strong enough epidemiological evidence to link the illnesses to cilantro.

Last year at this time, 631 people in 25 states — including 270 people in Texas — fell ill in a Cyclospora oubreak also linked to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico, as well as to salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico.

Cyclospora is a single-celled parasite that can be found in food or water contaminated by infected feces and often in tropical areas. Symptoms usually appear roughly one week after ingestion and can include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps and nausea.

Food Safety News

US: Mexican mango imports wind down

The volume of mangos imported into the United States from Mexico has been decreasing for the last several weeks as the import season winds down. In the last few weeks, Mexican imports have lagged behind those from a year ago, and the volume of fruit brought in from Mexico this year is less than that from last year.

“We’re toward the end of the mango deal from Mexico right now,” said Gary Clevenger of Freska Produce International. “We’ll probably finish up around mid-September, after that we’ll transition to Brazil and then Ecuador in October.” While volumes of imported fruit usually taper off during this time of the year, total fruit imported from Mexico has been down this season. For the week ending on August 16, 2014, just over 54.6 million boxes of mangos had been imported into the United States from Mexico. By the same point in the season last year, mango imports had reached 64.3 million boxes.

“It’s a combination of things for why there’s less volume from Mexico,” said Clevenger. “I think it’s the combination of weather and off-bearing trees in some regions.” With volumes decreasing, Clevenger noted that prices have risen over the last week and a half. As of August 16, the average price for a box of Kent mangos was $ 4.24 at the Texas entry point and $ 4.13 at the Nogales entry point. Both of those figures are higher than the average prices from the previous week, by 11 percent for the Texas entry point and 14 percent for the Nogales entry point. Similarly, the average price for a box of Keitt mangos was $ 4.15 at the Texas entry point and $ 4.03 at the Nogales entry point – both of which were 11 percent higher than the average price from the previous week.

“Prices have risen over the last week and a half,” said Clevenger. “There haven’t really been spikes in demand, it’s just demand created from low volumes.”

For more information:

Gary Clevenger

Freska Produce International

+1 805 650 1040

FreshPlaza.com

US: Mexican mango imports wind down

The volume of mangos imported into the United States from Mexico has been decreasing for the last several weeks as the import season winds down. In the last few weeks, Mexican imports have lagged behind those from a year ago, and the volume of fruit brought in from Mexico this year is less than that from last year.

“We’re toward the end of the mango deal from Mexico right now,” said Gary Clevenger of Freska Produce International. “We’ll probably finish up around mid-September, after that we’ll transition to Brazil and then Ecuador in October.” While volumes of imported fruit usually taper off during this time of the year, total fruit imported from Mexico has been down this season. For the week ending on August 16, 2014, just over 54.6 million boxes of mangos had been imported into the United States from Mexico. By the same point in the season last year, mango imports had reached 64.3 million boxes.

“It’s a combination of things for why there’s less volume from Mexico,” said Clevenger. “I think it’s the combination of weather and off-bearing trees in some regions.” With volumes decreasing, Clevenger noted that prices have risen over the last week and a half. As of August 16, the average price for a box of Kent mangos was $ 4.24 at the Texas entry point and $ 4.13 at the Nogales entry point. Both of those figures are higher than the average prices from the previous week, by 11 percent for the Texas entry point and 14 percent for the Nogales entry point. Similarly, the average price for a box of Keitt mangos was $ 4.15 at the Texas entry point and $ 4.03 at the Nogales entry point – both of which were 11 percent higher than the average price from the previous week.

“Prices have risen over the last week and a half,” said Clevenger. “There haven’t really been spikes in demand, it’s just demand created from low volumes.”

For more information:

Gary Clevenger

Freska Produce International

+1 805 650 1040

FreshPlaza.com

Salmonella, Inspection Problems Face Mexican Restaurant in Indiana

Complaints about Salmonella illnesses and health inspection problems are reportedly plaguing a Mexican restaurant in Carmel, IN.

Several diners who had recently eaten at the Agave Bar and Grill at 31 E. Main St. said they had been sickened by Salmonella, and some were reportedly hospitalized this week.

However, owner Alejandro Hernandez said the local health department had not found any of the bacteria on the premises and that he thought the problem might have originated with his suppliers.

Department inspectors cited the restaurant July 1 for more than 40 violations of health codes, including inadequate hot water for workers to wash their hands, raw chicken and beef left out at room temperature, freezers soiled with debris and employees not wearing hair restraints. Hernandez said then that he would be installing a second hot water heater.

A follow-up visit July 9 showed nine critical violations and nine non-critical ones, according to Larry Beard, a county health department inspector. Hernandez said that, as of July 22, all health code violations had been fixed.

Food Safety News