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Mexico takes larger share of U.S. bell pepper market in 2020

Despite the turbulence in the economy this year, the bell pepper continues to be a strong crop in multiple regions.

However, as a side effect of the pandemic, this year the market share changed dramatically, and two regions specifically felt this effect.

California central and Florida reduced their market share, while Mexico and Canada had significant increases. This last region jumped from almost nothing in 2019 to an important market share of 7 percent+ to mid-October 2020.

Regardless of the dominance from Mexico many regions continue to grow this product, developing new colors and varieties.

Blue Book has teamed with Agtools Inc., BB #:355102 the data analytic service for the produce industry, to look how a fruit or vegetable fared in 2020 and what it should expect next year.

MARKET SHARE BY REGION AND VARIATION FROM 2019

If there is a product that can be supplied from multiple regions, it is the bell pepper.

In 2020 this market has been supplied from up to 20 regions including the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Bell peppers are also grown in a variety of environments from traditional fields to hi-tech greenhouses.

Many regions are looking for a niche in a market that is dominated primarily by 4 regions, Mexico, Central California, Florida, and Canada. These 4 regions supply almost 83 percent of the total volume.

Regardless of the pandemic and all its effects on the world, this market has grown more than 7 percent to mid-October. This growth could be related to the high content of vitamin C, that has been strongly recommended against the COVID-19.

3-YEAR COMPARISION OF WEEKLY VOLUME OF CONVENTIONAL BELL PEPPER

September is the lowest point of the market demand. We will see an increase week to week going forward and will peak in January as in previous years.

WEEKLY VOLUME BY THE 4 MAIN SUPPLYING REGIONS IN 2020

When reviewing the four main regions, we can observe that during the summer, three main regions supply almost in the same proportions. It is important to highlight that Canada has grown drastically this year and its seasonality is very long.

F.O.B. PRICE FOR CENTRAL CALIFORNIA CONVENTIONAL GREEN BELL PEPPER SIZE XL

In the last 90 days, the price for green XL size, went down to $14 in August and started recovering in September. Today, even though the price declined a little bit, it is still better than in the 2 previous years. With the increase in volume and small but positive increase in prices, this is very good momentum for the bell pepper market.

Since the market already started an upward trend in supply, quality and pricing, we expect that the closing of the year will bring very positive numbers to this industry, but there is still almost a full quarter to write the final chapter for the year.

EXCHANGE RATE BETWEEN U.S. DOLLAR AND MEXICAN PESO IN 2020

Regarding the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mexican peso, through 2020, it looks like a roller coaster, with peaks and valleys. We observed a dramatic increase at the beginning of the pandemic because of the instability of the demand for goods.

After the lockdown ended, there was a recovery of the value of the peso to approximately $2243 MXP per dollar. This instability adds more complexity to our industry that has to be addressed when making commercial decisions. That’s why we need to be alert of this volatility.

Raul Lopez is an agronomist and Mexico Director for the Agtools team and is a Member of the PMA Council in Mexico.