Demand for carambola or star fruit are starting to heat up.
“Demand is currently picking up and we are looking for growers to work with,” says Yasmani Garcia of Sweet Seasons in Hidalgo, Tex. “Florida is the main supplier of star fruit and at this time, they’ve been offering very light supplies.” Generally demand for star fruit hits peak in September.
Garcia notes that demand comes from major markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Houston as well as Philadelphia. “As time has gone by, we’ve experienced growth on demand for star fruit since more people are exposed to this fruit and its multiple uses,” he says.
Meanwhile, outside of Florida, which hits peak production of star fruit from June to February, supplies are good and coming from Mexico—specifically Colima and Michoacán. “The supply seems very similar to this time last year. There weren’t any shortages last year or this year,” notes Garcia.
And while the recent chillier Mexican temperatures haven’t affected availability of star fruit, Garcia does note that the sizing of the fruit is smaller.
That said, pricing has been quite stable on the tropical fruit over the course of last year--approximately $16 FOB without any changes. “However one of our biggest challenges is coping with demand when it’s high and satisfying growers with continued orders while demand is low,” Garcia adds.
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Yasmani J. Garcia
Sweet Seasons, LLC