Supplies of Mexican pineapples are expected to be hit by rains in the east of the country. Veracruz, where many of the pineapples in Mexico are grown, has experienced a lot of rain in recent weeks with the end of the rainy season lingering.
"We supply pineapples out of Veracruz all year round," said Gustavo Dominguez of La Minita Fresh. "There has been a lot of rain in the area which has affected supplies. One of the issues is the access to the fields. Additionally, if you harvest pineapples when they are wet, it results in damaged fruit. So we have to wait until it dries out."
The first of the shipments will resume in a couple of days and Dominguez notes that the rains are normal at this time of year. "Supplies are just slow and it will remain this way until winter comes and drier weather returns," he said. "They should already start improving from next week on."
Market average but unpredictable
Despite the slow influx of pineapples, the market remains close to the average. Prices seem to be remaining balanced as the demand for pineapples fluctuates. Costa Rica has also suffered a supply shortage recently. This also came at a time of soft demand, so prices remained stable. But it's unknown how long this can be sustained.
"Prices are around $8 which is quite normal," Dominguez shared. "There is good demand, but we simply don't have enough to meet it entirely. There is a delicate balance between supply and demand at the moment and it's very hard to predict."
Mexico has some advantages over Costa Rica
With Costa Rica dominating the pineapple landscape, Mexico growers are eager to highlight some advantages they have over their Costa Rican counterparts. The main advantage is the proximity to the US market. Mexican pineapples can be over the border and into US stores in a matter of days, compared with Costa Rican fruit which can take a week or two. Even by ship from Veracruz, it's a relatively short hop to Florida. Suppliers also say that pineapples from Mexico are better quality.
"We are competing with Costa Rica through our excellent quality pineapples," Dominguez noted. "Additionally, we can have pineapples here from Mexico in two days by road, and by sea from Veracruz to Florida, it's a much shorter distance."
"Currently, we supply the MD2 variety of pineapple, but we are thinking about possibly some other varieties in the future," he added. "At the moment, we are looking for buyers for our pineapples and looking to establish mutually beneficial partnerships."