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US: Steady domestic, strong import pear market
Steady supplies of pears have made for a relatively average domestic season. Imported pears have found a receptive market which should take care of volumes before summer.
According to Marc Dudley of The Produce Connection in Florida, the overall tenor of this season has been very steady.
"It's been a pretty steady market," he notes, "nothing has been too up and nothing has been too down." The year has been marked by reliable supplies and good quality. He also cites a greater focus on the part of the government to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables as a driver of higher demand for pears.
This increased demand has made it a good market for imported pears, says Addie Pobst of CF Fresh. They're currently winding down shipments of Bartlett pears from Argentina and are starting to import other varieties in the next couple of months. So far, she notes, the market has been receptive to the imported fruit.
"Prices have been good and movement has been steady," she says. Their imported pears taper off around April to make way for California production, and consumers have responded well to the quality of fruit they're providing.
"Everyone always says they have good quality fruit," she says, "but this year we've had exceptionally good quality. It's just been a really good year."
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