The quarantine of Mexican papayas because of salmonella fears this fall had a bigger effect on large papayas than smaller fruit, said Homero Levy de Barros, president of Plantation, Fla.-based HLB Tropical Food.
Markets for smaller papayas stayed relatively steady, Barros said, but some large fruit doubled in price.
“It was a big disruption in Mexico, which is responsible for more than 70% of papayas that come here,” he said.
By early December, though, higher volumes of big fruit from Belize and Guatemala were restoring order to markets, Levy de Barros said.
“They had gotten $28, now it’s back to $18,” he said. “With higher production, prices will come back to normal.”
Levy de Barros reported good quality on the papayas HLB was importing in December.
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