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Asparagus harvest about to commence in Mexico
Asparagus is set to go into production shortly in the Mexico growing regions, with peak supplies expected about a month later. Mild weather has kept the fields from having a proper dormancy period, however growers are pleased with the lack of rain and expect yields to be close to average.
"We are currently preparing the fields for harvest," said Bram Hulshoff of Desert Farms. "Production will commence in the Caborca region on January 15 with the first boxes out by Week 3. By February 15-22, we will see the start of the peak of production. The weather has been good for the asparagus growth after last year’s harvest, but the winter has not been very strong as we already had anticipated. This means that the dormancy period could have been better. However, we have not had any rain either and this has been favorable for the preparation of the fields. Yields are looking reasonable and we expect our supply levels to be close to average."
Market strong as supplies remain limited
The market is seeing strong prices as asparagus supplies remain tight. With the Mexico growing regions yet to get into full swing, the market is expected to remain firm for at least the next few weeks until peak production normalizes the market again.
"Prices are high right now, particularly on the West Coast, due to the overall low asparagus supplies," Hulshoff said. "Expectations are for that to become more competitive starting from the first week of February. As the Mexican production picks up, prices will adjust themselves slightly."
Earlier Easter to see promotions
With prices set to normalize as peak production comes during the middle of February into mid March, suppliers have noted that with Easter a little earlier this year, supermarkets will begin their promotions just as supplies maintain high levels in mid March. This is expected to keep prices elevated and avoid dropping.
"With Easter earlier this year, supermarkets will be looking to ensure their stock levels are high as they begin their promotions," Hulshoff said. "This period will occur just as supplies of asparagus reach the end of their peak. Therefore, prices shouldn't dip and will remain steady as the season progresses."
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