In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Valeria Concha studies the state of the US asparagus market. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.
Supplies of asparagus coming into the U.S. are good right now. Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, says that supplies out of Peru are slightly lower than they were this time last year. At the same time, Mexico is also starting to ship asparagus–slightly earlier this year in Baja due to plentiful rain brought on by Hurricane Kay, which hit the region in early September. According to seasonality by calendar year, asparagus production in Mexico begins to increase in November; however, the largest productions are concentrated between December and April.
Through week 41, the supply of Peruvian asparagus in the U.S. market has been 5% lower than the same period last year, while the Mexican supply is 15% lower.
As for demand, it’s normal for asparagus, the Vice president said that Asparagus consumption is continuing to grow overall. He also indicated that the increased supplies will create additional opportunities for consumers to enjoy fresh asparagus.
Prices are currently lower than this time last year due to those earlier arrivals of asparagus from Mexico. However, inflation is a concerning factor, logistics, fertilizer, and packaging costs continue to stress profitability.
Cruz Carrera, who is the director of sales and business development for Los Angeles-based Five Crowns Marketing asparagus division, says that there should be promotable Peruvian asparagus from October through the middle of December, which is the peak of the season for the South American product. While the company is not anticipating any logistics problems this fall, Carrera said it is always a challenge to secure freight space from Peru as demand increases in the October-through-December period.
Peruvian imports of asparagus through South Florida ports of entry 2022 are expected to remain about the same this week and increase slightly next week. Trading remains moderate. The market is showing more interest between shippers and retail accounts as well . Supplies are shorter than expected, due to a major storm that came through about 4 weeks ago. During week 41, of the top 10 vegetables represented in Vegetable Ads (Including Onions and Potatoes), asparagus represented 5%, according to the latest National Retail Report.