Guide

Mexican Cucumber Guide

Published Oct 1, 2021

Market Penetration Strategy

What is the Supply Network Structure for Cucumbers in Mexico?

1. While there are major players, they do not dominate the market as they do in other markets. Since there needs to be investment going into purchasing the soil, plastic for growing, fertilizer, pesticides, and labor costs, it could be more advantageous for distributors who could invest.

2. Companies like Farmer Best, Agrico, and Tricar are the biggest actors in cucumber markets. These companies have their own US companies where to sell the product.  

Production Supply Chain

What Is the Production Value Chain for Mexican Cucumber?

Producer 1 (Greenhouse (Nursery)) --- Producer 2 (Grow in the soil) --- (Domestic / US) Distributor/ Exporter --- End Buyer

Baby cucumbers grow in the nursery and are replanted and matured in soil, taking around 90 days from planting to harvest.


The Chronological process for Cucumber is the following;

1- Seeding process: Set the seed into the tray and wait 2-3 days to germinate.

2- When the Seed is germinated: Trays go into the nursery greenhouse and rest in beds. Plant spent 13-15 days approx, depending on weather conditions (Temperature and Relative humidity).

3- When the plant is physiologically ready (Strong root and two mature leaves) goes to be transplanted into the soil.

4- The time spent until transplant and the harvest will be 45-50 days depending on weather conditions (if the temperature is cold, the growth of the plant turns slow, and if it is hot, the plant grows will be fast).




Trade Overview

Who Are the Main Importers of Mexican Cucumber?

Top Importers of Mexican Cucumber 

1. The United States

USD 674.32 million (98.9%)

840 million MT (98.9%)


2. Canada

USD 46.06 million (1.1%)

485 thousand MT(1.1%)




Seasonality of Main Producing Regions

What is the Mexican Cucumber Seasonality?

In Sinaloa, one of the main producing regions, the season runs from October to the end of May. Still, supply is available year-round as cucumbers are also available in regions such as the south from April to September. Generally, October - May is considered to be the high season, and June - November is the low season.


The high season is marked by the export peak season window, when most Mexican imports enter the US from November through May, when domestic production is not readily available in the US, with the exemption from Florida.




What Are the Main Varieties of Mexican Cucumber?

Cucumbers are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, and are usually divided into two groups: slicing and pickling.

Slicing varieties can grow up to 12 inches long, and are best enjoyed fresh, on sandwiches or salads. 

Pickling types are typically much shorter, up to six inches long.


Mexican cucumber production is dominated by American cucumber variety, and the Pickle variety, with 550 thousand mt and 291 thousand mt, respectively. 


Varieties:

1. American or Garden cucumbers: Are the most common cucumbers in North America. They are relatively smooth-skinned and dark green. Cucumbers sold at grocery stores tend to be waxed to help them retain moisture.

2. European (English) (Or Seedless) Cucumbers: Longer, goes mostly to the US and Canada: This variety is long and thin with dark green skin. Despite their alias, these cucumbers do not require a hot-house or plastic wrap to grow. This cucumber has a mild, almost non-existent flavor. It is prized for its thin skin and minimal seeds. Like Armenian cucumbers, English cucumbers are best sliced and raw and are not suitable for pickling.

3. Pickle: Cucumbers for pickling refer to cucumbers that are used for processing or making pickles. This doesn’t mean they can’t be eaten fresh, but their thinner skins, crunchy texture, and smaller seeds make them ideal for pickling. That and their small size which means there is little prep work involved.

4. Persian: Persian cucumbers are very similar to English cucumbers. So similar, in fact, that they are pretty much visually indistinguishable from fresh, not-wrapped-in-plastic English cukes. A big difference, however, is that Persians come in a greater range of lengths—some shorter, some longer, and sometimes with slightly bumpy skin


*All varieties go to the US, but Mexico and Central American markets prefer the Slicer variety.


What Are the Production Trends for Mexican Cucumber?

In 2020, cucumber production in Mexico was 1,16 million mt (+40.3% compared to 2019), which were obtained from 15,742 harvested hectares (-2.3%), so the national average yield was 73.7 tons per hectare ( +43.7%).


According to the latest Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera (SIAP) data, in 2021, the Mexican Cucumber production was 1.04 million mt. This would represent a 10.3% YoY decrease in production.


Regulations in Exporting Country

What Is the Grading for Mexican Cucumbers to the US?

USDA Cucumbers Grades and Standards:


1. U.S. Fancy consists of cucumbers that are well colored, well-formed, not overgrown, and which are fresh, firm, and free from decay, sunscald, and injury caused by scars and damage caused by yellowing, sunburn, dirt, or other foreign material, freezing, mosaic or other disease, insects, cuts, bruises, mechanical or other means.

a. The maximum diameter of each cucumber shall be not more than 2-3/8 inches, and the length of each cucumber shall be not less than 6 inches.


2. U.S. Extra No. 1 consists of a combination of U.S. Fancy and U.S. No. 1 cucumbers: Provided, That at least 50 percent of the cucumbers in the lot shall meet the requirements of the U.S. Fancy grade and the remainder shall meet the requirements of the U.S. No. 1 grade.

a. The maximum diameter of each cucumber shall be not more than 2-3/8 inches, and the length of each cucumber shall be not less than 6 inches.


3. U.S. No. 1 consists of cucumbers that are fairly well colored, fairly well formed, not overgrown, and which are fresh, firm, and free from decay, sunscald, and damage caused by scars, yellowing, sunburn, dirt, or other foreign materials, freezing, mosaic or other disease, insects, cuts, bruises, mechanical or other means.

a. Unless otherwise specified, the maximum diameter of each cucumber shall be not more than 2- 3/8 inches, and the length of each cucumber shall be not less than 6 inches.


4. U.S. No. 1 Small consists of cucumbers that meet all requirements for the U.S. No. 1 grade except for size. 

a. The diameter of each cucumber shall be not less than 1-1/2 inches or more than 2 inches. There are no requirements for length.


5. U.S. No. 1 Large consists of cucumbers that meet all requirements for the U.S. No. 1 grade except for size.

a. The minimum diameter of each cucumber shall be not less than 2-1/4 inches, and, unless otherwise specified, the length of each cucumber shall be not less than 6 inches. There are no maximum diameter and length requirements.


6. U.S. No. 2 consists of cucumbers that are moderately colored, not badly deformed, not overgrown, and which are fresh, firm, free from decay, and free from damage caused by freezing, sunscald cuts, and serious damage caused by scars, yellowing, sunburn, dirt, or other foreign material, mosaic or other disease, insects, bruises, mechanical or other means.

a. Unless otherwise specified, the maximum diameter of each cucumber shall be not more than 2-3/8 inches, and the length of each cucumber shall be not less than 5 inches.

By clicking “Accept Cookies,” I agree to provide cookies for statistical and personalized preference purposes. To learn more about our cookies, please read our Privacy Policy.