Rambutan from Mexico is getting a somewhat delayed start to the season.
“It’s behind about two weeks. We should have started two weeks ago with low supplies and by this week, already getting a lot more volume,” says Yasmani Garcia of Sweet Seasons in Hidalgo, TX, adding that the quality of the rambutan is strong. “I think it’s because of the weather--many things are behind this year because the weather is just slowing things down.”
Rambutan from Mexico goes generally until November. “The only difference this year is there’s probably going to be a few weeks with more intense volume. Peak supplies are during the month of August and September,” says Garcia.
Demand looks high
As for demand, it’s strong, particularly in light of that delayed start. “About 70 percent of our phone calls right now are asking about rambutan. There’s a lot of demand and so far we’ve only had a handful of pallets come in,” says Garcia. “Since there’s not a lot of supply, people are willing to pay more for them. When the peak season comes up, then we’ll need to drop the price to cope with the volume that the growers are sending us. Right now people are paying premium.”
To ship the fruit at a time where reports are constant about high freight prices, Garcia notes Sweet Seasons is using the same strategy it has for the past few years. “It can take a long time to fill up a truck so we’re not taking more than three to four days to do that,” he says. “Sometimes we have to ship a short truck which raises our prices in freight. But we can defend our fruit at a good price because it’s fresh. Our strategy is to move it fast even if we have to pay a higher freight.”