Supply of papaya have been very limited in recent months but they are now becoming more available. Lance Peterson of Super Starr International says supply has been limited for at least four months now and part of the issue could be a lack of sunlight impacting the fruit set. At the same time, economics could also be a factor--like virtually all commodities, input costs for papaya growers have increased and in turn, they are adjusting.
Papaya supply is coming from Mexico right now.
As for demand for the tropical fruit, it’s fair to steady. “Demand isn’t the best but it’s not the worst--it’s just kind of there,” says Peterson. “It’s fairly normal though for this time of year.”
Papaya and the New Year
While papaya may not necessarily see a bump in holiday demand, it’s likely to see increased demand come the new year when healthy eating New Year’s resolutions kick in. At the same time, Peterson says generally consumption is growing for papaya and it may have more room to grow than more mature commodities in the U.S. market given it’s still seen as a fairly new item.
Meanwhile, pricing looks similar to last year at this time. “Pricing had gone up a little bit a few weeks ago because there was so little papaya available but now it’s comparable to last year,” Peterson says.