The volume of carrots looks ample right now in North America.
“Supplies of carrots out of Mexico look really good and there are also plenty of supplies out of Canada,” says Tony Martinez of Primo Trading Services LLC in McAllen, Tex. “ I think there’s going to be an abundance overall.”
Out of Canada, Martinez notes that as Canada swiftly approaches its first frost, harvest is rapidly underway to get supplies of carrots out of the ground and into storage. “So for the next couple of months, Canada will be shipping storage carrots. And by the time they’ll be shipping storage carrots, they’re no longer fresh so they’ll move them at whatever price to just get them moving,” he says. “That really disrupts the fresh market on the other carrots coming out of Mexico.”
Meanwhile Michigan is also wrapping up supplies. “Whatever they have leftover is also in storage and they’re just trying to wrap up the season. But Canada has a lot more in storage and they’ll continue to do this for the next few months,” says Martinez.
As for Mexico, which is a year-round producer of carrots, it’s recovering from a summer drought. “In the summer we saw a lot of supply gaps and then between July and September, we started seeing a lot of undersized carrots because of that drought,” says Martinez.
However, the remnants of Hurricane Lorena changed things in September. While the hurricane didn’t directly hit the region, it touched the Pacific Coast of Mexico and left behind welcome effects. “It didn’t make any impact because they needed the water—it may have helped with the size and availability of the carrots,” says Martinez. “The crop is late and that hurricane slowed them down a little bit but again it also helped them.”
All of these factors are adding up to a slower than usual month for carrots which is challenging since October isn’t the best month for the vegetable. “We should be at a $13 market but right now we’re at a $9-$10,” says Martinez. “The Mexican domestic market is holding. So a lot of the product is going to stay in Mexico. But there’s going to be a certain price point where Mexico will start to push back and say that it needs to be exported.”
While October sees virtually no impulse buying on carrots, says Martinez, he notes that November is when carrot consumption starts to get better as things push towards the holiday season.