While supplies of imported limes look ample, sizing may take a hit for now.
“We have plenty of supply on small fruit but we have limited supply on the larger fruit which is 175s, 150s and 110s,” says Alex Landin with Limonik Produce Inc. in McAllen, Tex. “We have plenty of volume on the small ones—250s, 230s and 200s. That’s because of lack of rain.” Overall volume matches last year’s levels.
The limes, which Limonik is currently bringing in from Veracruz, Mexico, are also seeing higher pricing than normal—normally from July-September, pricing ranges from $6-$7 FOB for Texas. “But because of the hurricane that hit last year, it took a toll on us this year and that’s why our prices are higher than normal,” says Landin.
Hoping for rain
Limonik is a week into limes from Veracruz and supplies the citrus fruit year-round. “Right now, we’re in new crop and also because we’re in new crop fruit, we have this smaller fruit,” says Landin, who notes that limes take roughly 90 days until they move on to the next field. “The older the crop gets, the larger the fruit gets because it’s sitting on the trees longer. But it won’t size up if there isn’t any rain because the fruit isn’t getting any water.”
At the same time, demand is up for limes. “Limes are generally more popular as the years go along. It’s always been popular but I see it now in things like chips and shampoos even,” says Landin. “But I think demand is better right now than previous years because of lemons too. They’re a bit more expensive right now so I think consumers are moving to limes because they’re somewhat cheaper.”
Demand for organic too
He also sees a continual push for organic limes, though it isn’t matching conventional levels. “I don’t think the movement would match conventional because of the price difference,” he says. “But it’s growing and customers are asking for it. If they ask for a load of limes, they ask for a pallet of organic too.”
Looking ahead this season, Landin hopes for rain to hit. “Otherwise we’re going to be really limited on the big sizes,” he says. “We’ll still have the volume on the smaller fruit. We should also see a pretty significant price difference between the 100s and the 200s.”
For more information:
Limonik Produce, INC.
Tel: +1 (909) 456-1493