“A couple of weeks ago, according to the USDA crossing reports, there were almost 350 loads that came in in one week,” says Lance Peterson of Super Starr International of Pharr, Tex. “That’s way above normal. Normal crossings are anywhere from 180-200 and three weeks ago, it was almost 350 loads. The following weeks it’d been just under 250 and then this past week, it was 205. So we’re starting to normalize a little bit.”
Peterson notes there are likely two reasons why papaya supplies are so heavy right now. “Over the past few years, we have had strong markets during the months of January through to April in papayas. People start doing well and start targeting these months,” he says. In addition, there wasn’t any bad weather in Mexico where most of the supply comes from around this time of year to thin out the production.
Demand is flat
So not surprisingly, pricing is low right now. “It’s lower than where it’s been in the last five or six years,” says Peterson. “Price on average is $15-$16 FOB and the average has been around $11-$12 FOB.” Even if the market normalizes somewhat, Peterson anticipates that price may only go up by $1 or so.
That said, Peterson looks ahead with some optimism for the market. “The Mexican national market is strengthening a little bit and there seems to be a bit more demand. That’ll help keep some of it from coming into the US,” he says. “I just hope it’ll normalize and that the markets will clear out from all this heavy volume that we’ve had.”
For more information:
Super Starr International