Mexican Pimento crop 2021
Crop failure, disaster, complete chaos are just a few words that are used by our shippers for Pimento/Allspice from Mexico to describe the current situation.
The 2021 hurricane season hit Mexico hard, extreme strong winds as well as flooding and landslides have caused a lot of damage in the growing area of Pimento trees. In Mexico most Pimento trees are wildly grown or in so-called walks, therefore the full impact is hard to calculate yet. Some farmers have reported to have lost their full crop this year.
The effects will probably not be for the short term only. Even when new plantings are done today, it will take some 5 years before a Pimento tree (Pimento dioica) starts producing, it is only full bearing after 20 years. Some spice traders will remember what happened to the nutmeg production from Grenada some 17 years ago and where we are today.
Allspice/Pimento is the only spice that is grown exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. This leaves us with only a few alternatives. Honduras might be a good alternative to the Mexican produce, but the exports are small compared to the amounts Mexico usually exports. The same for exports from Guatemala, these are also limited; an additional disadvantage is that Guatemalan material can hardly be imported by European buyers. Due to the machine drying process in Guatemala most of the times PAH-levels (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) are too high to comply to EU legislation. The last option is material from Jamaica. This material is considered as a premium variety and historically always sold at premium levels.
Clear reports on the current situation and the outlook for this season are still hard to find. We at Van der Does will be monitoring the situation a daily basis. Please contact our brokers if you need further information.