Pricing could strengthen on Mexican limes

From Fresh Plaza | 9 December 2021

Overview of limes from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 08, 2021. 

Supplies of limes from Mexico are ample right now.

Steven Leal with S&J Distributing in Edinburg, TX says supplies are coming in from multiple regions in Mexico. “The mindset for a lot of people is that limes come from one specific area–Veracruz. That’s far from the case right now because at least four to five areas in Veracruz are producing as well as states in the south and on the west coast. There are at least 10 regions in producing fruit right now,” he says.
In turn, USDA crossings from Mexico indicate there’s a surplus of fruit coming in. “Last week this year there were 420 crossings. This week it’s 630 crossings so we’ve seen an increase,” adds Leal.

Volumes (in Kg) of limes from Mexico in the US Market
chart 94

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

Sizing however is fairly even. Some areas are coming in with big fruit and others with smaller fruit. “The strength of the market right now is in the middle, the 175-200 sizes. The weakness is on the ends, but more so on the larger fruit–110s, 150 counts. They’re on the lower side of the price spectrum,” he says.

Holiday demand
At the same time, demand is weak currently as it tends to be post-holiday, whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. “I would say from here demand would have to improve. There’s too much historical data there showing that Thanksgiving is slow but then it takes off again. Not aggressively, but it’s better,” Leal says.

He adds though that there is a price disconnect between Mexico and the U.S. currently. “Mexico is stating that the price point on average is hovering around $20 between all sizes. Right now the market is about $2-$4 off from that. Large fruit right now is close to $15-$16 despite reports saying it’s $18-$20. There’s a disconnect between reporting actual sales and Mexican requests. That’s not helping demand either,” says Leal.

He does note that likely as demand picks up towards Christmas, there should be an incremental price increase of a few dollars a week over the next two to three weeks.

Reported prices (in USD) of limes from Mexico in the US Market
chart 96

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

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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