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Supplies of imported papaya are starting to build
“Supplies of papayas are tight. There aren’t many available. And I don’t know the exact numbers but the imports are definitely down,” says Lance Peterson of Pharr, TX.-based Super Starr International.
Photo: Superstarr International
That said, things look to be changing. “Supplies are increasing. Our production volumes will continue to increase over the following weeks,” says Tadeo Better of Agromod Produce, also of Pharr. “Papaya imports have been lower this January but last year was unusual because of the extremely high volume of papayas that were produced in the first half of the year.”
The supplies are coming in from a variety of Mexican regions including Chiapas, Colima, Campeche, San Luis and Veracruz.
Photo: Agromod Produce Inc.
Turnaround in demand?
Demand meanwhile is seeing a slight uptick. “The demand for papaya is constantly increasing all over the U.S.,” says Better. “Consumption should develop positively as the temperatures rise since people in the U.S. tend to see papaya as a tropical product that’s consumed mostly during spring and summer.”
The biggest challenge for the fruit is still getting people to try papaya. “There are still a lot of people that have never tried it or tried a long time ago and didn’t like it,” says Peterson. “Now there are better varieties that offer more appealing smells and flavors.”
Photo: Agromod Produce Inc.
Price pick up
Yet with the limited supplies and pickup in demand, prices are slightly higher right now. “After last year's surplus that lead to a historic low price, this month's prices have been by far higher than last January. We’re expecting this year to remain more stable than 2017,” says Better.
Though, like many growers, transportation is taking its toll out on commodity prices. “The transportation problems are hurting prices,” says Peterson. “The high cost of freight is keeping the prices from rising. With the amount of papaya entering the U.S., prices should be much higher. But the supply is good and steady and prices should go up a little once freight prices come down.”
Looking ahead, that supply should even out. “We expect production volumes to increase slowly over the next weeks and reach the season´s peak in a few months,” says Better, who says Agromod is exploring new options for the papaya including introducing dried papaya products with spicy seasoning.
For more information:
Tel: +1-(956) 510-8126
Agromod Produce Inc.
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