Prices of Central American pineapples in the U.S. market this year have been considerably lower than the average of the previous three years, although in June they began to even out.
A standard box of class 1 fruit was fetching an average of US$8.5 in January, which was 9% lower than the average for the same month between 2015-17, according to USDA data, which referenced prices for importers in Philadelphia.
Then, whereas prices have tended to increase after January in previous years to around US$11, from February to May this year they remained flat. This meant that over the four-month period, prices were between 20% and 26% down on the three-year average.
In June, however, the registered average price of US$7.1 was just 3% lower than the three-year average.
Pineapples from Mexico also failed to fetch the higher prices that have typically characterized the February to May period. Over those four months this year they were registered at between 15% and 28% lower than the three-year average.
The majority of the volumes between January and April (the last month that has data available) were supplied by Costa Rica, which exported 328,000 metric tons (MT) to the market, putting volumes 17% higher year-on-year.
Meanwhile, Mexican pineapple exports decreased by 36% to 29,000MT, while Honduras and Guatemala saw slight increases to 21,000MT and 9,000MT respectively.