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Dominican Republic breadfruit in the US sees even volumeSupplies of breadfruit from the Dominican Republic are strong right now.
“We are getting a lot of breadfruit from the south part of the Dominican Republic and the North is about to begin its production,” says Jefferson Rodriguez of Doral, Fl.-based JK Tropicals. He adds that there are three main regions in the country where breadfruit hails from the most: in the South from San Cristobal, Azua, Bani and Padre las Casas; the North with Puerto Plata and Espaillat; and the Northeast with Samana and El seibo. “We practically get breadfruit from all over the country to keep a constant supply for our customers,” says Rodriguez.
That said, supplies might thin out soon thanks to the high temperatures in the Dominican Republic. “Last year we had a few months with a real shortage of breadfruit,” says Rodriguez. “This year it seems it will happen again because of the same phenomenon: the drought and the heat that will last until September.”
In terms of North American demand, Rodriguez notes that high demand comes mainly from Miami and New York year round, but there’s also demand from Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia. “Canada buys breadfruit too but in a lower percentage,” he says. The main competitor on the supply side for the Dominican is Jamaica. “Customers give us feedback that while Jamaica has big breadfruit, ours tastes better and is big enough,” he adds.
Generally pricing is relatively stable. “Usually the price for a 40-pound box is US $12-$13 FOB DR,” says Rodriguez. “But last year we reached prices of US $15-$16 after the hurricane season that caused damage to the plantations in the north.”
Looking ahead, Rodriguez sees a supply shift coming. “In the coming weeks, breadfruit from the south will be out of season,” he says. “We need to focus on the North and Northeast and that means the price can go up a little bit.”
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