March 26, 2020
USDBC recently traveled to Guatemala to assess the Apante or third bean harvest of the year which takes place in the Peten region, in order to develop a better sense of opportunities for market expansion. The Peten is the largest Guatemalan Department (state) with tremendous climactic growing diversity and
variable bean yield and quality.

According to the latest data available from Guatemala’s ministry of Agriculture and FAO stat, Guatemala’s average dry bean production between 2012 and 2018 was 237,000 MT, of which 27% (64,000 MT) was produced in Petén department.

Harvest in Petén started the first week of February, peaked in early March and wraps up around the first week of April. The long harvest window is due to the diverse climatic conditions and the fact that the land is farmed mainly by small farmers without access to high tech equipment.
Guatemala grows primarily black beans but many sources consulted during this assessment reported that 30% of the beans harvested this year were red beans due to increased immigration from other Central American nations that prefer this type of bean. In general, Guatemalan consumers prefer larger size black beans (4 – 5MM). Despite the fact that Guatemala is a highly price sensitive market, we believe there are still strong prospects for our exports particularly on a seasonal basis and due to the fact that US dry beans are known for their high quality. We will continue to study ways to increase our outreach and market share. Full report and recommendations are available on our members only website.

Beans after harvest on farm

Posted in: Bean Bulletin