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California is only domestic producing state
US passionfruit supplies tight after Hurricane Irma
Passionfruit growers in Florida became another victim of Hurricane Irma. Buyers are currently unable to source Florida fruit and are looking to California for supplies. In the meantime, growers in California saw good production numbers due to favorable weather conditions there. But those yields are not enough to offset the lack of supply from Florida. As a result, the market is easily absorbing the Californian production and prices are set to rise steadily over the next few months.
"Normally, California and Florida supply the US domestic market at this time of year," said Albert Bouvet, of Bouvet Exotics in California. "But with Hurricane Irma hitting Florida, passionfruit grown in the United States is only coming out of California at the moment. The majority of production here spans from San Diego county through to San Luis Obispo county."
The hot weather in California at the end of summer propped up supplies of passionfruit from that region, but with Florida out, buyers are keeping growers busy. "Demand for passionfruit is good," continued Bouvet. "The hot weather in August and September really brought on production numbers and we had about a three to four week window with excellent supplies. The market was able to accommodate the extra production with a slight adjustment in pricing."
Fortunately for buyers, the growing season is relatively long, with passionfruit production in California lasting from July right through to the end of winter. "Production starts out of the San Diego County as early as the end of July," said Bouvet. "And throughout the state in the different regions, it continues into February of the following year."
Prices steadily rising
With strong demand for passionfruit, along with the reduction in current volumes, prices are steadily rising. Buyers can expect that to continue as the year progresses and as inventories start taking a hit with the losses from Florida.
"Current pricing for this week ranged from $33 to $36 depending on size," Bouvet added. "Next week's prices will be up due to the reduction in production. We will be looking at pricing in the $36 to $40 range and even higher pricing during the months of October, November and December."
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