Production of Asian eggplant in Central America and Mexico is entering a more stable time of the year. Although both Honduras and Mexico produce the eggplant variety all year round, now that the rainy season has passed, growers say quality is up and production is not encountering any issues.
"Right now, we are seeing consistent production out of Honduras and Mexico, from where we typically receive two to three containers a week," noted Robert Stewart of R&R Fresh Produce based in Miami. "Supplies typically will only vary depending on the amount of importers there are at any one time."
"The only time we have any issues is during the rainy season which is in summer," he continued. "Due to the quality issues that arise, we generally import less volume at that time of year. In winter, we import more volume as the product is in excellent condition and there are less headaches. It's certainly the easier part of the year."
According to Stewart, current demand for Asian eggplant is slightly down, but not too weak, which reflects the overall demand for the vegetable in the US market. Asian eggplants appeal to particular demographics who enjoy them with no notable variance throughout the year.
"Although demand has been a little slower in recent weeks, overall it remains quite consistent," Stewart observed. "Throughout the year, there is not a real spike in demand of Asian eggplants in any direction. The Asian demographic are the main buyers of the vegetable and it has not made significant inroads into any other market."
Market down slightly
With the moderately softer demand in recent weeks, the market for Asian eggplants is reportedly weaker. "The market is a bit flat with less demand during the Thanksgiving period," Stewart explained. "Three weeks ago, the market was tighter, with prices around $30, but now the price has dropped to $24."
"All of our eggplants come by sea and are sold in bulk," he added. "We supply the wholesale fresh market from the Southeast right up to the Northeast coast."
For more information:
R&R Fresh Produce
Tel: +1 (305) 436-5625