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Rambutan shipments from Guatemala to the US have resumed

“This time of year, we import a large amount of rambutans from Guatemala,” says Enrique Garcia with It’s Montse Fruits. Although the rambutan growing areas are not directly hit by the eruption of the Fuego volcano, the growers encounter logistical issues. “Ash forced the airport to shutdown for over 24 hours, but shipments have resumed as of yesterday. The impact on shipments only lasted for a day or two,” Garcia mentioned.

7-month supply

US imports of rambutan from Guatemala started at the beginning of May and the season continues through August. During this time frame, rambutan is sourced from the country’s Pacific Coast. Guatemala’s second season runs from mid-September until November and during that time frame, Honduras ships rambutan as well. Additionally, Mexico ships rambutan from late May until the end of August and Costa Rica is in the market in July and August.

Garcia notes that rambutan consumption in the US continues to grow. Asian communities on the East Coast, as well as the West Coast and the Midwest have discovered rambutan and add it to their fruit intake. “Rambutan is a great tasting fruit and I predict that most communities will continue to embrace it.” It’s Montse’s is shipping increased volumes, but because there is also more rambutan available on the market, prices are similar to last year. “At the moment, they are about $10 - $12 for a 5 lb. box, but that may go down to $9 - $10 during the peak season in July and August,” Garcia said.

Garcia was in Guatemala visiting rambutan grower Prime Tropics when the Fuego volcano erupted. “The country has been greatly affected by the eruption: lives were lost, roads and houses were destroyed,” Garcia said. “I really admire the perseverance of the Guatemalan people who all came together helping the ones in need.”


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