Slow start for Peru asparagus season

The Peruvian asparagus season is starting slowly, halted by cool weather in the growing regions. The typical volumes that normally make their way to markets at this time of year have not yet been realized, and suppliers are simply waiting for warmer weather so that volume will improve.

Fabian Sojos of Farm Direct Supply in Fort Lauderdale, said asparagus is currently transitioning out of central Mexico. "We are supposed to be starting out of Peru now, out of the southern Ica region," he said. "Normally, this region produces heavy volumes at this time of year, but a spell of cold weather has resulted in a slow start. We are waiting for more volume as the current supply is insufficient to meet demand."

Prices are high
The current market is tight and prices have been high ever since the central Mexico summer season began to wind down. Prices are expected to remain high until more volume enters the market. This shouldn't take too long however, with Peru predicted to receive increasingly warmer weather over the next couple of weeks.

"The short supply is the reason why prices are so high right now," Sojos observed. "The expectation is that when the weather improves - which it will as the season transitions - we will start receiving more volume and prices should normalize. This is very hard to predict accurately, however, because asparagus is very sensitive to temperature and a little variation can have a big effect."

Sojos added that overall volume should not be affected, however the season may shift back a couple of weeks. "Peru generally has good volume until late December, before supplies transition back to the northwest Mexico region. Despite the slow start, we still expect Peru to have similar volume to last year. It will just be a matter of timing."

Bagged asparagus in demand
Retailers and other customers seem to be starting to show a preference to bagged asparagus and moving away from loose and bunched product. According to Sojos, Farm Direct Supply has increased it distribution of bagged asparagus in response to customer demand.

"We are doing more bagged asparagus and it seems to be gaining momentum," he shared. "Many retailers have made the switch from bunches to bags, and there are also some that have both on offer."

For more information:
Fabian Sojos
Farm Direct Supply, LLC.
Ph: +1 (561) 910-4341

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