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Abstract

Mexican producers sharply expanded exports of fresh winter tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and strawberries to U.S. markets during 1968-73. Comparatively low labor costs and climatic advantages stimulated this expansion. A hard freeze in Florida during the 1969/70 season added further stimulus to Mexico's expansion. But data for the 1974/75 season indicate a possible reversal of this trend, because Mexican exports were significantly reduced and Florida's shipments substantially increased. Factors affecting this possible trend reversal are sharply higher farm labor costs in Mexico and a growing awareness on the part of growers of the need for supply control to prevent market surpluses. Florida producers seem likely to retain or improve their share of the market because of improved cultural practices, substantial tariff protection, and closer proximity with eastern U.S. markets. Their Mexican competitors face the prospect of still higher farm wage costs.

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