Slim supplies of peppers about to pick up again

Current volumes of imported and domestic bell peppers are fairly limited.

“We’re on the short side for bell peppers here in Florida and it sounds like out of Mexico as well,” says James Monteith of Utopia Packing, LLC. in Myakka City, Fl. “In Florida, typically for January and February, it’s generally the least amount of bell pepper that’s planted for those two months because most of the business is south of Mexico and they have the volume. So most Florida growers stay on the light side of it.”

Meanwhile in Mexico, numerous weather issues have taken its toll on the crop. “They’ve had some cold snaps and other weather when the peppers were planted. It’s been a combination of different weather fronts causing a short supply right now,” says Monteith.

Red and green balance
The short supply has hit green bells the hardest though. “But just last month, there was an overabundance of red peppers and it was selling pretty cheap,” says Monteith. “It seems like that has changed as well and the red pepper market is stronger than the green pepper market right now.”

Demand is also starting to turn around for bell peppers. “Typically at this time of year, the weather fronts slow down some business. People don’t go out of the door when it’s 50 below zero wind chill. And that affects demand slightly,” says Monteith. “But since they’ve gotten through the weather, demand has picked back up again.”

And after a month of relatively flat pricing on both green and red peppers particularly, this last week pricing has taken a dramatic shift. “A week ago, the pepper market in Florida was $14 on an extra large and today it’s quoted at $20,” says Monteith.

Looking ahead though, those prices are likely to come back down as supplies of bell peppers increase again, particularly from Mexico.

For more information:
James Monteith
Utopia Packing, LLC.
Tel: +1 (941) 322-2483

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