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Asparagus in Charts: Mexico sees eight weeks of high prices

Asparagus is a curious vegetable. Generally regarded to have been a part of the human diet for the last 2000 years, it seems to surface through archaeological artifacts among the Egyptian culture. Having been known to have been a part of the Roman diet and feasted upon the European nobility, it makes its way to the Americas in the mid-1800s.

Today asparagus is one of the fastest-growing categories we track, expanding 29% in the last four years from 192M Kilos to 250M Kg per year, mostly on the backs of Mexico and Peru.

The last two months, however, have seen Mexican asparagus stand out, offering a strong premium over Peru.

Non-Organic Asparagus Prices per Kilo by Origin

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

These volumes come in the low season, on the shoulders of the main part of Mexico's season. That corresponds to the production season of Guanajuato.

Historic Mexico Non-Organic Asparagus Volumes

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Mexico is the US' largest supplier and the main driver of a rise in volumes in the market. It held 59% of the market in 2018.

Not to say that Peru isn’t playing an important role. The Andean country accounted for 34% of the market in 2018, leaving only 7% of the market to other origins.

Non-Organic Asparagus Volumes

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Asparagus prices are some of the most volatile that we track. Below are the monthly averages reported by the USDA.

There is some semblance of a pattern here, but there are frequent price spike or dips. This keeps market observers and us analysts on our toes. The need for the industry to keep an eye on the volatility of these prices is also one of the reasons that asparagus is currently the only vegetable we track.

Historic Mexico Non-Organic Asparagus Prices per Kilo

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in on September 03, 2019 (Link)


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