Stronger pineapple pricing this month will likely stabilize in the near future. “Supplies of pineapple right now are rebounding still. It’s taking longer than in years past which is why people have considered the pineapple market to be somewhat tight,” says Paul J. Maglio of Maglio Companies.
Following the typical low point in Mexican pineapple supplies, which runs generally from late March to the first week in May, those supplies are slowly increasing. “That coupled with some weather events in South America over the past year have hurt the imported Costa Rican crop as well so we’ve seen some higher markets,” says Maglio. He notes that two weeks ago, pineapple pricing was $11.50 on a six-count box of pineapples. This week it’s $13.50.
Left to right: Paul J. Maglio and his father Sam J. Maglio Jr. holding mango cheeks and pineapple spears.
Also helping keep those markets strong is increasing demand for pineapple. “The imports from Costa Rica have been getting larger in supply since February. The numbers are trending up which is good but the demand is also trending up,” says Maglio. “So even though you had more Costa Rican pineapples coming in March and April, people who normally buy Mexican pineapples are eating up more of that Costa Rican product.”
Increasing pineapple demand
With Mexican supply rebounding as well, demand on the retail and foodservice side is growing. “We’re seeing more whole case and fresh cut sales going into the market. It’s a good sign for the industry in general but for people who buy pineapple every day, there are higher prices than they’re used to for a typical May,” he says.
In fact, while Costa Rica has long been considered the main supplier in the pineapple industry, Mexico is making gains. “Their seeds are getting closer and closer to Costa Rican seeds,” says Maglio. “With these new seed varieties in Mexico thriving, they’re showing that Mexican product can have just as long a shelf life, the same Brix and can retail just as well as Costa Rican product. That speaks well for the pineapple industry because more users are then able to adopt pineapples into their lives, whether it’s processors, juicers or whole case sales.”
Looking ahead, the market will likely level off and stabilize, particularly given pineapple has enough of a widespread sourcing base--countries like Honduras are also shipping some product. Also, as other products come into the market, that may move into the space of pineapple sales. “If I want a sweet treat for my barbecue, I might get a whole watermelon instead because it’s on sale and there are bins all around the store,” says Maglio. “We’re going to see a bit of normalization in supply and demand and it will bring the market down to a steady level for the middle of June. Once the watermelon market hits strongly in July with local programs all over the country, demand for pineapple will continue to fall off and market pricing will level accordingly.”
For more information:
Paul J. Maglio
Tel: +1 (414) 906-8800