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Mexico says “Bah, humbug!” to US Christmas trees

AP Photo/Heribert Proepper
Homegrown trees in Mexico are starting to replace imported ones.
Chase Purdy
By Chase Purdy

Food Reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

Fewer US Christmas trees than usual made it across the Mexican border this year.

Some were stopped because of pests, but most of them got caught by higher US tree prices and a peso that has weakened by 18% in a year, according to a US Department of Agriculture report (pdf). Importers estimate that prices have increased by between 200 pesos ($11.57) and 400 pesos per tree. Once they hit the market, some imported trees can cost over 1,000 pesos. Mexico City’s largest tree importer said the company was bringing in only 40% as many trees as in 2014, according to the USDA.

Mexico is the largest market for US Christmas trees after the Netherlands, Belgium and Canada. Sales from exports to the US’s southern neighbor have gradually increased over the last five years, but with domestic production on the rise in Mexico, those numbers could be about to flatten or even decrease. Last year the total number of imported trees in fact dropped slightly, though the overall value of imports went up.

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