After rallying, cuke prices tumble

01/18/2008 12:00:00 AM
Angie Hanson

(Jan. 18, PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) Mexican cucumber prices returned to normal in mid-January, a week after jumping 50%.

Steve Yubeta, vice president of sales for Nogales, Ariz.-based Farmer’s Best International LLC, said the price for a box of super selects the week of Jan. 7 was $30.95, but on Jan. 17, the price had dropped to $16.95.

Several factors caused the high prices, Yubeta said.

“The (Jan. 3) freeze in Florida, there was good demand coming off the holidays, and there was some bad weather back East,” he said, listing the major causes.

Gonzalo Avila, general manager for Nogales-based Malena Produce Inc., also reported prices between $26-28 on boxes of super selects around the same time, which plummeted back to the $14-18 range by Jan. 17.

Avila said cucumber movement picked up after the change in pricing.

“My suspicion is they might not have been priced out correctly at the retail level,” Avila said.

Mexican cucumber volumes are light right now for Malena, because the firm is bringing in only one or two loads a day. Avila said he expects to ramp up shipments in the spring to around 10 loads per day.



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