Higher prices could be on the way for Mexican limes

From Fresh Plaza | 7 June 2022

Overview of limes from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 6, 2022. 

A lack of rain and higher temperatures continues to affect supplies of Mexican limes.

Alex Landin of Limonik Produce/Limones Monica based in McAllen, Texas notes that the fruit that is hanging on the trees right now and is ready to harvest has undergone a lot of stress due to that combination of little rain and high temperatures.

“This means there are small sizes of smooth skinned, light green limes with low shelf life and some yellowing, depending on how the limes are handled,” he says.

Currently, limes in Mexico are coming from Veracruz. “This will get worse weekly until we get to the point where the only limes available will be #1.5 quality. The number #1 quality will be very short, almost none,” he adds.

lime volumes by history 5

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

Later harvest anticipated

Landin does note that the growing regions with irrigation outside of Veracruz generally begin harvesting in June or July. (He says farms with irrigation are mostly in the Pacific side of Mexico such as Sinaloa and Jalisco.) However this year that harvest will be pushed back to August and produce low volumes.

What does this mean for pricing? “Prices will start to increase on all sizes for Fancy/#1 quality limes,” says Landin.

And what is the overall picture for summer production? “Most of the growing regions had a lack of rain for three months. If we don’t have rain, we don’t have bloom. And if we do have a bloom, but we don’t have enough rain, the bloom doesn’t set. This means we have no limes hanging on the trees,” he says.

This leaves volumes for this period very short and questions around pricing. “Pricing is difficult to know at the moment because the demand factor is unclear,” says Landin. “But we estimate that all sizes will be expensive in comparison to prior years, going from $20 to $40 FOB Texas.”

lime prices by history a 5

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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