Mexican Border Blockade Threatens To Leave US Supermarkets Without Produce Ahead Of Easter

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Apr 14, 2022 - 08:40 PM

More than a hundred million dollars worth of Mexican produce is stuck at the U.S.-Mexico border due to a trucker blockade on the Mexican side over Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's new border search policy, according to Bloomberg. The disruption could leave some US supermarkets without produce ahead of Easter weekend. 

Abbott's controversial truck-inspection program ignited discontent with Mexican truckers who shut down the Reynosa International Bridge, one of the busiest trade crossings in the Rio Grande Valley and handles a large volume of fresh produce, four days ago. The Washington Examiner reports the bridge was forced to reopen Thursday after drug cartel members torched several trucks. 

Still, the port of entry into the US appears to be gridlocked. 

Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) said about $150 million worth of fruit and vegetables inbound to the US has been halted at the bridge and could delay deliveries for fruit and vegetables, such as avocados, broccoli, peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes, to US supermarkets. 

"Going into this Easter weekend, consumers will see store shelves devoid of certain items," Dante L. Galeazzi, CEO of the TIPA, warned. 

Last week, Abbott ordered commercial trucks from Mexico to undergo a second layer of inspections by state troopers to search for drugs. Truckers were furious with the governor because transit time through the port of entry was dramatically slowed. So, they ultimately blocked traffic to the bridge on the Mexican side earlier this week which halted flows on both sides. 

Impending food shortages are so concerning that Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller warned avocados prices could soar to $5 apiece. There's also the risk the produce section of some supermarkets could have empty shelves. 

For some context, the US imports about 50% of vegetables and 40% of the fruit from Mexico. The US is reliant on Mexico's produce supply. So disruptions at the border could outline the fragility of US food supply chains.