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Shorter supplies of Mexican organic bananas continues

It’s been a strange year in organic bananas from Mexico. “We usually have a lot of production during the summer months and that has not been the case. Production has slowed down quite a bit, at least in Mexico,” says Mayra Velazquez de León, president and CEO of Organics Unlimited.

The significant slowdown in production from Mexico this year is unheard of. “The weather has much to do with it. It could also be a few diseases that were not controlled but weather-wise, it’s very different,” she says. She notes that 2023’s production started off normally. Supply of bananas from Mexico usually goes down from mid-January to the middle of June and that was the case this year. “Then, during the last few months, it slowed down quite a bit and that’s when we have a lot of production,” she says.

While demand for organic bananas is similar to last year at this time, prices have increased due to shorter supplies. “This is even though retail stores don’t usually want as many bananas at this time of year because there are a lot of other fruits in the market,” says Velazquez de León, noting that the winter months are the strongest months for banana sales.

Supplies improve slightly
So what lies ahead? “It’s getting a little better but we’re hitting fall and the winter months are coming up. I don’t know how the plants are going to react to that,” she says, noting that this time of year when kids are getting back to school is also when demand picks up slightly.

Price could also change ahead. She says that price-wise, banana importers and produce importers are not doing well because of the exchange rate and the greater production costs that have been seen industry-wide this year. However bananas are largely under contract pricing. “So we do see an increased price at origin but consumers don’t see that. Growers are suffering,” says Velazquez de León.

Yet, it could impact contract negotiations for 2024. “It has to. There’s no way people can keep going at this rate,” says Velazquez de León. “Bananas are a loss leader. We can’t keep it that way. When it comes to small growers, it’s very difficult and pricing must be sustainable at all levels. I do think that pricing is going to be an issue both for multinationals and growers across the board.”

For more information:
Mayra Velazquez de León
Organics Unlimited
Tel: (+1) 619-710-0658