Asparagus in Charts: Mexico sees eight weeks of high prices

September 03 , 2019

In this installment of the ‘In Charts' series, Colin Fain of Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

Asparagus is a curious vegetable. Generally regarded to have been a part of the human diet for the last 2000 years, it seems to surface through archaeological artifacts among the Egyptian culture. Having been known to have been a part of the Roman diet and feasted upon the European nobility, it makes its way to the Americas in the mid-1800s.

Today asparagus is one of the fastest-growing categories we track, expanding 29% in the last four years from 192M Kilos to 250M Kg per year, mostly on the backs of Mexico and Peru.

The last two months, however, have seen Mexican asparagus stand out, offering a strong premium over Peru.


Non-Organic Asparagus Prices per Kilo by Origin

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


These volumes come in the low season, on the shoulders of the main part of Mexico's season. That corresponds to the production season of Guanajuato.


Historic Mexico Non-Organic Asparagus Volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


Mexico is the US' largest supplier and the main driver of a rise in volumes in the market. It held 59% of the market in 2018.

Not to say that Peru isn’t playing an important role. The Andean country accounted for 34% of the market in 2018, leaving only 7% of the market to other origins.


Non-Organic Asparagus Volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


 

Asparagus prices are some of the most volatile that we track. Below are the monthly averages reported by the USDA.

There is some semblance of a pattern here, but there are frequent price spike or dips. This keeps market observers and us analysts on our toes. The need for the industry to keep an eye on the volatility of these prices is also one of the reasons that asparagus is currently the only vegetable we track.


Historic Mexico Non-Organic Asparagus Prices per Kilo

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 20 fruits we currently track.

 

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