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Imported US pineapple market flooded with fruit

Supply of imported pineapples is at elevated levels right now.

“At the moment it seems the volume of pineapples is extremely high,” says Maurizio Ghelfi of Carson, Ca.-based Trucconova, LLC. “From my understanding, it’s higher than the previous year.”

Trucconova supplies pineapples from Costa Rica while competing supply comes in largely from Mexico with some additional volume arriving from Guatemala, Panama, Honduras and a bit from Colombia. “But right now, the volume from Costa Rica is so big that it’s stopping the other countries from coming in, because consumers prefer Costa Rican fruit.”

Tropical storm effect? 
Despite a recent tropical storm that hit the country in October, volume remains unaffected. “Pineapple production didn’t suffer but there were some issues because of the damaged roads,” says Ghelfi. “So the inland transportation had some problems and delays, but it didn’t affect the volume and the normal operations.”

Harvey’s impact
While pricing is low for pineapples compared to last year, Ghelfi notes that last year was a very different market for the fruit. “From my point of view, it’s not possible to compare to last year,” he says, noting last year had a steady market with steady volume coming in and decent pricing. “But this year after Hurricane Harvey in Texas, most of the fruit shipped to the Gulf of Mexico area has been diverted to the West Coast. So on top of the normal arrivals, we were flooded with a lot of fruit. And also the fruit that’s been around for weeks so the quality wasn’t the best and the market collapsed and hasn’t recovered since.”

Looking ahead, Ghelfi doesn’t see the high volume slowing down at least over the next three to four weeks. “My supplies said that starting at week 40, due to the time of the season, the crop volume increased so that put more fruit in a disastrous market,” he says.

For more information:
Maurizio Ghelfi
Trucconova, LLC
Tel: +1-(310) 952-9841

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