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Colombia Pitahaya targets seasonal distribution in US
“It’s a seasonal fruit so we can’t expect a constant supply during the whole year,” says Santiago Mosquera of Las Vegas, Nev.-based Terra Exports. However year-to-year volume tends to be relatively similar.
“Right now, the supply is coming from the center of Colombia. Exotics such as Pitahaya need to be planted over 1800 meters of altitude,” says Mosquera. That said, interest in exotics has been growing in the country and other regions are also beginning to plant Pitahaya. “Usually regions with it are Huila, Valle and Boyaca. But now, regions like Santander, Cauca and Nariño, have started to growth and increase the supply,” adds Mosquera.
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Meanwhile competing product is coming from Ecuador, which is also supplying international markets. “There’s historic demand from Europe, where the market is almost established with players there. But Asia is still a growing market for us with huge opportunities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia,” says Mosquera. “And the North American market, there’s a chance to gain some presence here.”
Over the years the awareness has grown of the exotic pitahaya fruit, and the effect is felt on pricing. “The change in prices has been significant over the years,” says Mosquera. “At the beginning of the decade, Pitahaya was unknown, and a few exporters were competing with incredible margins over their market. Now, as the seasons change so rapidly the prices are still changing during one week to another but not with a huge difference.”
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