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Peru's floods cause $1 million damage in pomegranate crops

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Staff Writer | March 31, 2017
Excess rain and flash flooding has led to a drop in pomegranate supply coming from Peru this season.
LatAm   The season is still just getting started
“We’re seeing less than we’d primarily expected due to the weather in Peru,” says David Anthony of Firebaugh, Ca.’s Ruby Fresh.

“My grower, AgroVictoria in Lima, reported cold weather and a lot of rain—much more rain than is common for Peru.”

In fact, a flash flood to Agro’s crops caused a channel of water to flow through the fields and resulted in an approximate $1 million loss in product. “We think it’s about 25 percent less in volume,” adds Anthony.

While the season is still just getting started — Ruby Fresh is currently bringing in 8-10 loads per week and in about a month, should bring in about 25 loads weekly - Anthony anticipates the pomegranate season might go through to the end of April.

While the fruit from Peru is destined towards the European, Canadian and Asian markets, Ruby Fresh is still mulling over importing Peruvian pomegranates into the U.S.

“The US market opened up to Peru this year. There’s one port in Mississippi and the entry protocol is irradiation,” he says.

“We haven’t yet made the decision to import because currently the market is strong for our Wonderful variety to Europe, Canada and the Pacific Rim. And the market for the US is unknown.

“We don’t really have established pricing and we’re not sure how the trade will accept irradiated fruit coming in.

“Maybe in a few weeks we’ll do some speculative loads, but right now our demand into these established markets is so good, we don’t feel the need to step out.”