Mexico is the 5th largest cucumber producer in the world, accounting for 1.1% of total world production. The United States, on the other hand, is in the 8th position, contributing 0.7%, and there is a close trade relationship between both countries for this product.
Prices of Cucumber Imported by the United States
The commercialization of cucumber to the United States is mainly through 1 1/9 bushel cartons, which presents peak prices at two times of the year. The first, usually occurring in March and April, and the second in September.
This is because in March and April, the peak imports of Mexican cucumber begin to decrease, so prices increase. Likewise, in September, which is precisely the lowest import period, prices show a peak.
Volume of Cucumber Imported by the United States
In 2022, the U.S. market imported 1,066,709 tons of fresh cucumber, a decrease of just 0.7% with respect to 2021, but an increase of 20.6% over 2020.
Cucumbers from Mexico are imported throughout the year, but the highest volumes are seen between November and May, and the low season is between June and October. In the case of Canadian cucumbers, the peak is in August because the country benefits from Mexico’s low season, even though in June, July and September there are also good volumes.
Top Cucumber Suppliers to the United States
Mexico is the main supplier to the US, with 76.4% of the volume imported in 2022, although this implies a slight decrease, as in 2020 and 2021 it represented almost 80% of total imports.
Canada has significantly increased its exports to the United States, going from 127,946 tons in 2020 to 216,756 tons in 2022, while Honduras has been declining in recent years.
Cucumber Production and Exports in Mexico
In 2021, Mexico produced 1,037,960 tons of cucumber, with the main producing states being Sinaloa, Sonora and Michoacán with 314,150, 194,010 and 82,489 tons, respectively.
From the total volume produced, 869,555 tons, or 84%, were exported, mainly to the United States. The high season for these exports coincides precisely with the period of highest production, which runs from February to May, with a peak in February.
Cucumber Prices in Mexico
In 2022, the average annual price of premium cucumber marketed in Mexico was 034 dollars per pound, an increase of 7.9% from 0.31 dollars per pound in 2021.
The months with the highest percentage increase with respect to 2021 were December, November and June, reaching and exceeding a 20% increase. This is due to production decreasing considerably during the second half of the year, causing problems to meet domestic demand, thus increasing prices.
Top Producers in Central and South America
According to FAOSTAT data, Peru, Honduras and Chile are the countries that produce the most cucumber in Central and South America, and in recent years production in Peru has increased slightly.
It is interesting that Peru, being the main producer in the region, does not export to the United States, but instead its target market is Europe, which gives Guatemala a greater opportunity to export to the U.S. market, as we saw above.
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Sources: USDA-AMS, FAO-FAOSTAT, SADER-SIAP & SE-SNIIM