Growing volumes of Mexican limes could bring down pricing

From Fresh Plaza | 17 March 2022

Overview of limes from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 17, 2022. 

Supplies of limes out of Mexico are light currently.

lime volumes by history 4

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“This is due to the time of the season. Year after year, supplies are always limited during the months of January through March due to the cold temperatures in Veracruz. They don’t help the trees produce as many limes,” says Tony Campos of International Citrus & Produce based in Burlingame, CA.

International Citrus & Produce imports its limes from Martinez De La Torre, Veracruz. “Most of the competition we get are limes coming from the Southern Mexican states but they don’t compare in quality,” adds Campos.

As for demand, Campos says a lot of it is coming from chain store business. “Wholesalers have cut back on orders due to the high prices,” he says. “Hopefully we’ll start seeing better weather in the U.S in the coming months. That will improve consumption and the already lifted mask mandate in California will help bring more business to local restaurants and bars.”

Prices up currently

As for pricing it’s higher than this time last year. “This year, just in the last three months, we have seen prices in Texas from the low $60’s to mid-$70’s. Last year during the same time period we saw prices only get to $48-$50 a box,” says Campos.

lime prices by history a 4

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

However growing volumes will influence that pricing. “Since last week, we are already seeing a little more volume, but it’s mainly size 230s and 250s. We expect pricing to come off on those sizes as the weeks go by,” says Campos. “A lot of the growers are trying to take advantage of the high cost and harvesting everything on the trees, therefore not letting the fruit size up.” He adds that pricing on 200s and larger will remain strong unless the fruit is allowed to size up on the trees and more volume comes in.

Factoring into that pricing is a key issue–transportation. “Trucks are hard to come by. Prices have skyrocketed compared to what we were used to paying last year and the increase in fuel prices don’t help the situation,” he says.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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