Costa Rica: U.S. pineapple imports lower over peak months

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Costa Rica: U.S. pineapple imports lower over peak months

Costa Rican pineapple growers attempted to control export prices by reducing shipments during May and June's floration period when volumes normally surge, U.S. importers have revealed.

Volumes shipped to the U.S. in these two months were lower than in the previous years with freight on board (FOB) prices at US$9-10 per 27 lb box; significantly higher than the price for May and June in previous years which usually drops to US$7-8 per box.

Oppenheimer tropicals category director Steve Woodyear-Smith, said it was part of a planned strategy.

"It seems they didn't plant so much to miss the natural floration period where you get significantly more fruit. The peak was not as high as in previous seasons."

He said although Costa Rica is Oppenheimer's main pineapple supplier, the company imported more from Ecuador and Panama during these months.

Kingston & Associates Marketing international  procurement director Mark Anderson agreed that volumes were lower.

"May and June aren't good months for producers to sell pineapples so they tried to decrease volumes which has produced a slighter better market for them than previous years."

He said volumes would probably increase by the end of this month but would not fully recover until mid- to-late of September.

Fresh Del Monte's vice president for Europe and Africa confirmed pineapple import volumes were lower this season for May and June than in previous years.

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