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Avocado panic purchases in the US

Mexico's border problems affect berries

Food exports have been affected by the problems there have been in the last two weeks at the border crossing with the United States.

Berry producers (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberries) have seen their sales shrink by 20 percent because the waiting time in the border crossings has reduced their shelf life. In addition, there have been panic purchases of avocado in the United States, which increased prices there, said Hector Uraga Peralta, the director of the Agricultural Council of Baja California (CABC), and Juan Carlos Anaya, the director of the Agricultural Markets Consultative Group (GCMA).

Meanwhile, Enrique Gonzalez Muñoz, the leader of the National Chamber of Road Cargo Transportation (Canacar), said that in Ciudad Juarez alone, where there is the greatest delay to cross, costs for products from all sectors (not just food) together amount to 12 million dollars per hour, because waiting times increased fivefold, going from 2 to 10 hours.

"We are currently in the berry season and we have had affectations. They are very sensitive products, and the more they stay in the trailers the shorter their shelf life will be in the stores of the United States. Two out every 10 trailers, on average, have been returned because their load is almost spoiled. That is 20 percent of of the cargo that's been affected," said Hector Uraga Peralta, the president of CABC, which brings together 123 agricultural companies.

The importance of these fruits in the trade balance has grown so much in recent years that during the first two months of 2019 they displaced tequila from the fifth place of the main agricultural food export products, as exports amounted to 640 million dollars while tequila amounted to 447.5 million dollars.

The director of the GCMA said that the border issue had unleashed panic purchases of avocado in the United States, where 80 percent of the Mexican production is destined, which led to a 20 to 25 percent increase in the fruit's price in that country.

So far, that is the only problem that the agricultural food exports have had because of the border problem. He also said that, even though 50 percent of the vegetables and 45 percent of the fruits that are consumed in the United States come from Mexico, there wasn't a red alert in the sector. Even if the load of some trucks is spoiled, it is not significant for the volume of exports.

Fuente: La Jornada

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