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Strong bell pepper season expected out of Mexico
The bell pepper season is underway in Mexico and growing conditions are looking excellent. Warm weather will bring vigorous growth along with higher quality, and growers are expecting good volume this year.
"We started our Sonora bell peppers season ten days ago," said Bert Chamberlain of Trufresh. "Our season there runs from mid-November through to April, depending on the market as well as quality. At the moment, we are still ramping up with 4-5 loads a day. This will increase to 10-12 loads per day in the early part of 2018. It's been very warm down there, warmer than normal for this time of year. The weather is looking good and we are expecting yields to be higher than last year."
Market strong on the back of short supply
Supplies of bell peppers continue to be short which has raised the market price to above average. The strong market has also been driven by healthy demand. Chamberlain noted that the period after Thanksgiving is typically slow, however this year, bell pepper demand has not weakened and this trend is expected to continue in the lead up to Christmas.
"Prices are higher than they were at this time last year," Chamberlain said. "In fact, prices have been consistently high for a while now as supply has been short and demand strong. As a result, the market is really strong with Jumbo peppers selling for $23, and the Extra Large sizes sitting at $25, gradually decreasing from there in step with size. As of yet, color has not been a factor as much as sizing. Typically, the week after Thanksgiving tends to be slow. However, this year it has been much busier and we expect to see demand increase towards the Christmas period. Throughout this time, supplies will continue to be short and prices will remain high."
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