Veracruz is the main pineapple growing region in Mexico, and this year’s drought has heavily impacted the yield. La Minita Fresh is an import company located in Texas who work with independent growers in the Veracruz region. Gustavo Dominguez, sales assistant manager at the company, says: “Our company receives and distributes the fruit. Our main product is limes, but we usually do good volumes of pineapples too. The pineapples have a year-round season, but it has been a slow year because of the droughts in the area. This week we haven’t received any loads, which definitely isn’t usual.”
The low supplies and the drought have been ongoing all year. Dominguez says: “In a good year, growers will ship up to 2000 loads of pineapples a year, at 45,000 lbs a load, to the different importers they work with. This year we will receive about 400 loads which means that our volumes are down 50%.”
The issues with the supply have naturally affected the prices. “The prices in the market are very unsteady and right now the big sizes are expensive. The prices depends directly on the retailers, however, and they change them every week. This is also due to the fact that we aren’t getting regular shipments, so the supply is unsteady and the price reflects that,” Dominguez says.
Despite all of this, the demand has remained high. “People are always looking for Mexican pineapples because they are of good quality. The Puerto Rican pineapples have a lower price, but the Mexican pineapples are still in demand because consumers care about the origin. The Mexican pineapple is also sweeter than the Costa Rican variety. Even though the Mexican season has been difficult, and the volumes are down, the quality still remains and this has allowed us to see very good demand,” explains Dominguez.
“We are still consistently selling out of our pineapples, even though the supply has been unsteady. Sometimes we sell out before the load even arrives, when all we have is the manifest. We are expected to return to at least four loads per week in the next few weeks, but it is hard to predict what the weather will do – our limes, which are our main product, have had issues this week too. Too much rain has damaged their quality. This is unusual for the limes though, because we supply them year-round and they have great quality,” Dominguez concludes.