The fall production on green bell peppers is beginning to build.
“We’re starting green bells this week and we’re getting some from Puebla farther south in Mexico and we’re getting some from near the Monterrey area,” says Ken Meyer of Hudsonville, Mi.-based Superior Sales.
He notes that there’s slightly lower supplies right now compared to around this time last year. “There’s been some bad weather in Mexico all over the place. It looks like it’s going to keep up for awhile. Especially in the center of the country, they’re just getting a lot more rain than normal and it’s more humid,” says Meyer. “It’s causing a lot of quality issues.”
More bell peppers
At the same time, production hasn’t begun in Nogales, Ariz. and won’t for another six to eight weeks. “And I’m hearing that a lot of people are planting more green bells this year,” he says. “They’ve backed off a lot of Roma tomatoes because that market got saturated. So they’re bringing down the volume of Romas and doing more green bell peppers and cucumbers.”
At the same time, demand on green bell peppers has been solid. “Everybody is calling and asking for them so I think demand is a little better this year than last,” says Meyer.
Not surprisingly, that has pushed prices up slightly. “We’re a little above average where we normally are this time of year. Probably an average of $2 higher,” says Meyer. “We had fluctuation about a month ago and I don’t know what happened. I think we were counting on another area of Mexico to start but then they got hit with a storm so everything backed off.”
Looking ahead, Meyer believes for now pricing will maintain. “I don’t think we’ll go into the $20s or anything. I think it’ll be a steady market with good demand,” he says. “And I don’t think prices are going to drop for at least another six weeks. By the end of November, beginning of December, that’s when I see things starting to change.”