U.S. Importers Association discuss challenging 2023 for Peruvian asparagus
Unusual weather patterns in both Peru and Mexico have had significant impacts on the production and exports of asparagus. Northern Peru was hit, after 40 years without a cyclone, by Cyclone Yaku in early March.
According to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Peru (Senamih), the climatic phenomenon caused rainfall to increase disproportionately in regions that were predominately dry. In just one day, the affected regions have received a year’s worth of rainfall.
In addition, El Niño is bringing heavy rains that have negatively affected asparagus production, harvest, and logistics in the north.
Extreme precipitation has rendered approximately 40% or more of the fields to “regrowth” and delayed the harvest. Abundant rains have destroyed roads and caused mudslides and floods making transportation impossible and causing major delays in logistics.
The combination of the cyclone with El Niño has led growing temperatures to reach between 80-95 degrees F in some areas. Average temperatures during this time of the year range from 65 to 70 degrees.
These high temperatures stress production and trigger lower-than-expected yields.
As the asparagus industry has seen a month-over-month 40% production decline, the forecast anticipated exports to the United States will continue to be lower than expected for the next two to three months.
The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association (PAIA) membership importers have their sights on a promising fourth quarter as production moves to the south, which has not been affected by the weather.