In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas studies the state of the Mexican raspberry 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.
Jalisco holds a preeminent position in the production of raspberries, often referred to as “Mexican red gold.” An example of raspberry cultivation’s flourishing trajectory can be witnessed in Jocotepec which accounts for a substantial portion of the state’s production, with a remarkable yield of 22,382 tons, according to an official report.
“We are going to continue growing in these crops, especially in raspberries and blackberries. I think the blueberry production will go down because there is more and more production and the market continues to be the same size,” explained Roberto de Alba, president of the Jalisco Agricultural Council.
“The national production of berries is destined mainly for export, this is due to the price that these fruits currently have abroad, which is generally not within the reach of the purchasing power of a large part of the population in Mexico, for which they are considered as luxury goods”, says María Blanca Martínez Barajas, professor-researcher at the Higher Technological Institute of Ciudad Serdán.
Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Center of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), who has been analyzing global food markets and forecasting prices for more than 25 years, explained that the prices of almost all goods in the agricultural sector are characterized by a cyclicality.
“Pricing cycles depend on the features of the products. In the case of raspberries, the full price cycle usually takes about 4-5 years, unless it is affected by some unusual factors, such as severe weather disasters, wars, global recessions, etc, says the FAO expert. Prices climbed to a record high this season, at $27.40 per package. Week 22 saw prices at $17.50 per package, a 35 percent increase compared to 2022.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently released a report concerning the fruit consumption trends in the US over the past decade. In accordance with the report’s findings, raspberries have superseded all other fruits and berries, exhibiting the highest rate of consumption growth across the United States. Raspberry consumption in the US went from 0.3 pounds per person in 2011 to 2.3 pounds per person in 2021, an impressive 192% increase over the ten-year period. The onset of raspberry’s ascent can be traced back to 2016 when the US market witnessed a substantial influx of frozen raspberries originating from Ukraine and Poland. However, since 2020, raspberry consumption has seen an exponential increase in the US after COVID-19 due to its health benefits. Fresh raspberry imports have increased rapidly, with a 39% growth in quantity between 2018-2022, 98% of which are from Mexico.
Mexico has 7,500ha of raspberry plantings, including 6,500ha of plastic tunnels, producing around 128,000 tonnes annually, the vast majority of which is exported. The country accounts for around 15 percent of the global supply of this product. “In the last 10 years the national production of berries has multiplied 2.7 times,” says Maria. She added that in Mexico, berries are one of the most profitable crops for producers, since they generate a return of profits from the second year, even when they require intensive use of labor (900 workers per hectare). According to data provided by the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), red berries emerged as the top selling Mexican food product between January and February 2023, surpassing other highly sought-after products with prominent global recognition, including beer, tequila, and avocado. This achievement highlights the remarkable success and rising prominence of red berries in the market.
In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.
All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.
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Written by: Sarah Ilyas