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Rising volumes should cool off hot asparagus market

Imported asparagus prices should come down as volume from Peru and Mexico rises.

F.o.b. prices have been as high as $40 per carton from both regions for more than a month, but the market should soften as Mexican production moves to Baja California, and winter turns to spring in Peru, and the warmer nights improve production.

Jeff Friedman, sales manager for Carb/Americas, Inc. BB #:149375 Pompano Beach, FL, said Sept. 5 he’s seeing prices soften already.

“As of now, the market is coming off as more production comes from Peru,” he said.

He said prices should continue to fall through September and settle into a more normal high teens, low $20s range.

“The high prices led retail to raise prices,” Friedman said. “People are not too fond of paying $4.99 or $5.99 a pound.”

According to USDA’s weekly shipping point trends report Sept. 4, asparagus prices are lower from Mexico at $36.75-40.75 for 11-pound cartons of bunched green jumbo; large $30.75-32.75; and standard $30.75-32.75.

Foodservice cooperative Markon BB #:123315 reported in its weekly crop report that asparagus “prices are elevated; supplies are scarce in both production areas. Erratic weather has reduced overall quality throughout the industry.”


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services