Because of a slow start to the Mexican mango deal back in February and
March, the 2010 production figures have been chasing the 2009 numbers all
season. But in early July, total production for this season surpassed last year,
and with good supplies expected during the latter part of the season, this
could be one of the top production years in recent memory.
"We are definitely going to beat last year," said Gary Clevenger, co-owner of
Freska Produce International LLC in Oxnard, CA.
Looking at the number on July 7, he said that the 2010 import figures from
Mexico were sitting at about 34 million cartons -- 1 million more than last
year at the same time. Last season, Mexico's northernmost producing region
- Los Mochis - had its production limited because of a hurricane in late 2008.
This year, the trees are in full production and should produce many more
cartons for U.S. consumption in July, August and September.
"Last year, the total was about 43 million cartons. We will pass that this year
easily," Mr. Clevenger said.
He revealed that the peak shipping week for the 2010 season was the week
ending June 26, when almost 3 million cartons were shipped into the United
States. The following week (ending July 3), volume dropped to 2.5 million
The Freska executive said that the normal pattern is that Mexican imports will
continue to fall on a weekly basis throughout July, August, September and
until the season ends in mid-October. Weeks in excess of 1 million cartons
should continue until late August. Total Mexican imports for the next three
months could top 12 million cartons, putting 2010 Mexican imports at a very
lofty number near 46 million cartons.
Despite the good volume, Mr. Clevenger said that the market price has been
relatively strong and should strengthen in the coming weeks as the volume
In early July, he said that small fruit was being sold for $3-$3.50 per carton
while the larger fruit was as high as $4.75 for the typically nine to 10 pounds