Production and marketing of asparagus in Mexico

According to data on international trade from the United Nations, between 2019 and 2020, Mexican asparagus exports grew 54.4%, going from 110,000 to 170,000 tons. In 2020, Mexico stood out as the main asparagus exporter worldwide.

With information from FAOSTAT, in 2019 the world production of asparagus was 9.4 million tons. The foregoing as a result of a harvested area of ​​1.6 million hectares, with an average yield of 5.8 tons per hectare.

The main producers are: China (88%), Peru (4.1%), Mexico (2.9%), Germany (1.4%) and Spain (0.7%). Mexico has increased its participation in world production from 2.3 to 2.9%, from 198 to 272 thousand tons.

In the agricultural year 2020, the value of the production of this vegetable in Mexico was 11,940 million pesos, which placed it in the sixteenth position in economic importance for the generation of value among cyclical and perennial crops. This figure represented 1.7% of the value of national agricultural production, the result of a harvested area that represented 0.2% of the national total, which is equivalent to 31,940 hectares.

In recent years, asparagus production in the country has increased notably.

Between 2006 and 2020, production registered an average annual growth of 8.5 percent. In 2020, 301 thousand tons were produced, which meant an increase of 11% compared to 2019, mainly due to the 4.3% increase in the harvested area, going from 30.6 to 31.9 thousand hectares; and the annual increase in yields, which went from 8.84 to 9.41 tons per hectare.

By 2021, it is estimated that production will increase to 326 thousand tons, which would mean an increase of 8.5% at the annual rate. In Baja California Sur the estimated increase is 15,254 tons, in Sonora 5,244 tons, in Baja California 1,811 tons and in Guanajuato 1,687 tons.

These entities represented 95.5% of production in 2020, among which Sonora stands out, which concentrated around 60% of the national total.

As of August 2021, the progress of asparagus production in the country was 85.2% compared to that estimated for 2021, that is, a production of 278 thousand tons, a volume that represents an increase of 6.8% in its annual comparison.

In the last five years, Mexican asparagus exports have represented more than 35% of the volume traded in the international market.

The main destination has been the US market. With figures from the Tariff Information System of the Ministry of the Economy (SIAVI), in 2020 173 thousand tons of this vegetable were exported, of which 99.9% went to the United States.

The United States stands out as the main importer of this vegetable, it is estimated that its demand in the international market represents 60% of the total volume.

In 2020, data from the USDA Global Agricultural Trade System indicate that fresh asparagus imports by the United States were 266,000l tons, representing an annual increase of 2. percent. However, as of July the volume imported by said country is 194,000 tons, representing an increase of 15.2% in its annual comparison.

Of the volume imported by the United States, Mexico participated with 64% (170 thousand tons) in 2020. Volume that registers an annual growth of 2.6%. As of July 2021, US imports from Mexico increased by 13.2%, a volume that amounted to 145,000 tons.

* The author is a specialist in the Economic Research subdirectorate at FIRA. The opinion is of the author and does not necessarily coincide with the official point of view of FIRA.

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