Short-term limit on imported papaya supply into U.S.
"The papaya production in Mexico has been affected by the hot weather.
"It started earlier than expected this year, and trees produced a lot more than what they were supposed to produce for the first quarter of 2017, leaving the rest of May with lower-than-expected production volumes."
That’s contrary to last year which Better describes as an "exceptional year" in papayas—a trend that motivated many other growers to jump into the papaya market.
"And so this year, it caused a surplus on papayas in the 1st quarter of the year, that ended up affecting papaya prices drastically," he says.
"We were having prices we’ve never seen before—really low prices." Low means as much as a $10/box decrease, a number that remained relatively steady, though Easter seems to have marked a turning point for pricing which has picked up since then slightly.
In addition, this past week, Veracruz had strong winds and rains that will affect production in those areas.
"We forecast uncertain weeks with lower production volumes for most of the strong growing regions on the southeast end of Mexico, but also some lower quality papayas on the other growing regions," says Better. ■