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Mexico border crossing delays disrupt markets for mangoes, berries, avocados and more

Delays at the Mexico-U.S. border are starting to increase prices for those along the fresh produce supply chain. What’s more, the effects will only be more widespread if no resolutions are reached.

Various commodities are being affected by this including mangoes, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), avocados, chilies, and tomatoes. As reported by La Jornada, Bosco de la Vega, Director of the National Agricultural Council, said, “We have already had several trucks returned full of berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberries) in Baja California, at a rate of one and a half truck per day, because they are fruits that are harvested in the morning and instead of taking 3 hours to cross the border they don’t cross until the next day. The cost of a truck load of strawberries comes at $34,000”.

De la Vega notes that fifteen days after the problem began due to the reassignment of US customs personnel to migratory tasks, border traffic has not been normalized, and delays of between 5 and 20 hours are still being registered, he said.

In Oaxaca, mango losses have been estimated to already be in the millions. Ruffo Eder Soriano, municipal President of San Pedro Tapanatepec, stated to Lopez-Doriga Digital that trucks are being rejected by customers under the argument that the product did not meet the quality standard because of the amount of days it spent in transit.

Soriano said the producers in Oaxaca are affected by the partial closures on the border crossings of Reynosa and Nogales, where the trailers have a waiting time of more than three hours and what is invested is between $70,000-90,000 pesos for them to arrive.

On the opposite border to the north, Canada, who imports $2 billion worth of fruits and vegetables from Mexico, is finding delays at the Mexico-US border being another reason for increased fruit and vegetable prices for Canadians.

The Globe And Mail reports that the trucks who would normally spend a few hours at the border now spend days to cross. They state that the subtle effect of this slowdown is already being seen with recent Canadian consumer price index figures showing a 15.7% increase in the price of fruit and vegetables in the past year, with logistics slowdowns being a contributing factor.

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Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services