Supplies of pineapple are plentiful right now.
Juan Hernandez of McAllen, TX. -based Sunrise Produce LLC. (Chula Brand) notes that pineapple shipments are currently coming from multiple countries including Costa Rica—the predominant shipper of the tropical fruit—but also Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador and Guatemala. “Because of the weather, everybody has fruit. We have more than we can move,” says Hernandez.
Good weather in multiple regions means plenty of pineapple is being shipped.
It's a different scene than last year at this time, where Costa Rica and Mexico were both shipping significantly less fruit. Of course, the pandemic hadn’t truly hit the North American market yet as well. “So right now, we have maybe more fruit and less sales,” says Hernandez, adding that last November’s Hurricane Iota and Eta haven’t affected the volume of supplies but it has raised some quality issues in a few fields.
Pineapple demand down
As Hernandez noted, demand is low for pineapples. “Two weeks ago, there was a little less pineapple and demand went very high. Then many growers from Mexico and Costa Rica shipped a lot and the demand went back down,” he says. “I think next week the demand will continue to be lower unless there are good promotions to move all of that volume.”
Not surprisingly, the pricing is also low and Hernandez notes that growers are losing money. “It’s definitely lower than last year at this time,” he says.
Pricing is low on pineapples and likely to stay there.
Pricing is also likely to stay there. “This week and next week are probably the same for supplies. But the week after that, there are going to be a lot of pineapples in Mexico so if we don’t do some ads, we’re going to have a lot of fruit here and the price will stay there,” says Hernandez. “I don’t think the price will lower—that can’t happen.”
He also adds that consumers may see larger sizes on the way as well. “Usually, Mexico takes the big fruit. But growers tell me because of the economy, they are changing over to buying smaller fruit because in Mexico, pineapples sell by the lb.”