Weather Tightens Supplies of Mexican Blackberries


Thanks largely to the weather, supplies of blackberries out of Mexico are currently proving tight.

“Supplies of blackberries are low because of the heavy rains that have been happening in Mexico. There was even a tornado,” says Jorge Mardones of OTC Produce LLC. based in McAllen, Tex. Mardones adds that supplies right now are lower than at this time last year.

Blackberries are currently coming from Michoacán, especially the centrally-located Tacámbaro, while competition is coming from Jalisco.

Symptoms of rain
Those rains are also creating additional challenges for shippers. “The serious problem that has arisen this last month with blackberries is around the quality of the berries arriving in the U.S. Many receivers have had to invest in cleaning the fruit at the destination, or in many cases, adjusting prices,” says Mardones. “All of this is due to the intense rains, which have generated the proliferation of post-harvest diseases.” He adds that this is proving to be a significant challenge in this area, to improve the situation post-harvest and to have better phytosanitary programs in the field.

As for demand, Mardones says demand is much higher than supply and it’s coming from all over the U.S., but especially California. “There are also big movements in Chicago and on the East Coast,” adds Mardones. “With greater demand than supply, consumption of blackberries will remain high which is very good for the industry.”

That said, prices remain even and Mardones doesn’t anticipate that changing any time soon, adding that prices currently are between $9-$10 FOB.

By Fresh Plaza