IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Following Mexico’s freeze-damaged production, Florida cucumber shippers say buyers should expect higher prices to carry on through early spring.
As cucumbers aren’t planted until January, production escaped December freeze damage.
Brian Arrigo, president of Southern Corporate Packers Inc., said the Mexican freezes drastically changed cucumber prices.
Florida cucumber shippers say buyers should expect higher prices to carry on through early spring after Mexico lost production to freezes. Florida cucumbers, which aren’t planted until January, escaped that state’s December freezes.
“On the import deal, we went from seeing cucumbers where we almost couldn’t give them away,” he said. “But with the Mexican freeze, prices jumped $20-30 a case overnight. All indications are prices are going to remain this way through the duration if not get stronger until the Florida crop comes in with regular supplies.”
Arrigo characterized Florida cucumbers as having excellent quality.
He said he expects the company’s production to start in mid-March.
Brian Rayfield, vice president of sales and marketing for J&J Produce Inc., Loxahatchee, characterized plantings as strong in quality.
“As they’re young and were planted not too long ago, they have a good stand and are growing well,” he said in late February. “Everything has come up.”
Though Florida bows out of cucumber production in January and February, Jeremiah Miller, a J&J salesman, said the low temperatures hurt offshore production in Honduras, and limited yields.
Rayfield said cucumbers won’t production until late March and early April, which is typical for the spring.
He said south Florida hasn’t experienced any unfavorable weather since the December freezes and said he expects strong volume and quality for the region’s cucumber deal.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 1/9-bushel cartons medium from the Central America and the Caribbean Basin in late February sold for $32-32.95 with cartons of 24s going for $12-12.85.
Last year in late February, the USDA reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons medium from Central America and the Caribbean Basin selling for $20 with cartons of 24s going for $8.
Adam Lytch, operations manager of Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., said he expects markets to remain strong as lower than normal Mexican volume continues through the spring, bringing higher prices.