(UPDATED COVERAGE, 12:04 p.m., May 1) Two avocado sheds in Mexico have burned down, but as of May 1, avocado shipments to the U.S. had not been affected.
Two packinghouses in Tancitaro, Michoacan, burned on April 25. The owners of one of the sheds, Pharr, Texas-based Agroexport, said authorites have not determined whether the fires were the result of arson or related to criminal gangs, as some Mexican newspapers have reported, said Doug Carrier, an Agroexport salesman.
The other shed was owned by Fine Fruits, according to news reports.
Carrier and Alfredo Rodriguez, Agroexport’s president, said their company’s volumes have not been affected by the fire.
Agroexport has established co-packing agreements at two other Michoacan sheds and also is using space at another company’s shed, Rodriguez said.
None of the company’s employees were hurt in the fire, Rodriguez said.
Volumes shipping to the U.S. the week of April 22 were actually above projections, said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board.
“It seems like there are no issues,” Escobedo said.
The Association of Michoacán State Avocado Producers and Packers (APEAM) also doesn’t expect the fires to affect movement.
“We do not expect this incident to disrupt the availability of fruit for the U.S. market,” said Eduardo Serena, APEAM’s marketing director.
In July, a fire destroyed the packinghouse of Frutas Finas de Valles de Michoacan SA de CV. That fire also didn’t affect volumes to the U.S., importers said at the time.