Prices strengthening on Mexican raspberries

From Fresh Plaza | 2 February 2023

Overview of raspberries from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on February 2, 2023. 

Volume of raspberries and blackberries out of Mexico will increase come early spring. “For both berries, typically, due to the cultural management techniques used in Mexico in January and February, there is lower volume right now,” says Jose Saca of Wish Farms. He notes though that blackberries are more available currently than raspberries. “Compared to last year, blackberries have had good volumes crossing the border pretty much all season. For raspberries, earlier in the season had a large volume available but now the supply has tightened.”

Both types of berries are coming from Mexico, a significant supplier of berries though Guatemala exports some at more minimal volumes. Generally, the blackberry season starts in late September and goes through May and into June while raspberry production usually starts in November and also goes through May/June. “This year, blackberries started on time but raspberries were about two to three weeks later than usual,” says Saca. He notes that challenges on production include the weather and its unpredictability along with the higher cost of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides and the lack of available labor.

Demand trends

As for demand, on blackberries, it’s light while it’s stronger on raspberries–a more volume-dependent berry. “For both berries, consumption is growing, especially as prices become more affordable and especially in the case of raspberries,” says Saca. “To help with consumption, the industry is always looking to deliver a better experience to the consumer. Wish Farms is investing in finding new and better tasting varieties.”

raspberry volumes by his

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

This means that while pricing on blackberries was good at the beginning of the season, pricing has lowered and is still in that lower range. Raspberry pricing though was low at the beginning of the season and is now moving upwards.

So what lies ahead? “There will be more volume for both raspberries and blackberries, probably starting week 6-8 and all the way to May,” adds Saca.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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