Despite the weather troubles in parts of Mexico, the imported supplies of green beans look relatively untouched.
“The quality is good. We haven’t seen any rain damage or scarring or any kind of weather problems in awhile,” says Jerry De Franco of DeFranco & Sons in Los Angeles, Ca. “And the supply of green beans right now is good.”
De Franco says that while it looks like there’s more volume of green beans available right now, it could be the post-holiday effect. “January isn’t the greatest month for produce. We’ve also encountered a bit of colder weather from different states and regions and it seems to slow movement and buying,” says De Franco.
The Mexican green bean season started late November and goes until April.
Why the slowdown?
As De Franco noted, demand has been slower for green beans though. “I don’t know if there’s more production or if it’s weather-related. These cold temperatures had us experiencing slower business last week compared to last year,” he says. “Usually Super Bowl week is a very busy week but with the huge storm we’ve had in California too, with rains and cold, our production was a little lighter last week for the weekend.”
Right now, Florida is also producing green beans which come strong into California as well. “But they’re experiencing cold and wet weather so that market has also really slowed down. They don’t have much volume,” says De Franco. “And even with the Florida market right now being high, you’d think everyone would rush to Mexico and drive that market up. But it hasn’t. The Mexican market is down so there’s just not a lot of demand.”
That said, ready prepared beans have continued to increase in popularity with consumers. “Our package washed and trimmed green bean business has increased 20 percent over the last three consecutive years,” says De Franco.
Altogether, pricing on green beans is steady but lower this season. “We’re paying somewhere in the teens right now and last year at this time it was mid-20s,” says De Franco.
However he believes February and March will prove to be stronger months. “I think prices are going to be steady and I think we’ll see more volume in Mexico and continued sales,” he says.