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UK: Mexican limes should stabilise market within two weeks

The lime season has so far been difficult in the UK. Commercial Manager Robert Cullum explains that, “even if prices at source are cheap, consumption and market prices tend also to be low; thus, the margin is very small, and this is what tends to happen in the first months of the year.”

He said that, as of the last two weeks, there has also been a decline in the quality of the Brazilian production, typical for this time of the year. “This has coincided with a price increase in the market which is untenable. The price now stands at 14 Euro a box, which means low quality at a high price. Big players (especially those with retail contracts) consequently lose a lot of money at this time.”

The main problem with limes, unlike other citrus fruits, is that it cannot be stored. “With all other citrus, you can put the brakes on; store it in the fridge, slow down your shipments, etc., but limes are a time bomb, and that creates the fluctuations in the market. Mexico, however, is about to start, and that will help,” states Robert.

Mexican limes will hit the market within two weeks and until then market conditions will remain difficult. Consumption levels also depend on the weather, which is also a reason why the lime market is so volatile.

As for grapefruit, Robert explains that “the Northern Hemisphere season is more or less finished and prices are very high, so everyone’s waiting for South Africa to arrive. The market has been good for the past two months, but it is also a small item for us.”

Pacific Produce started importing satsumas from the company’s own farms in Peru about a month ago, they have good internal quality and flavour this year. "Volumes have been low in Peru compared to last year, and South Africa has been pushing high volumes at lower prices than normal. We, as late Satsuma specialists, will however supply more fruit towards the end of the season.”

Meanwhile, Clementines have started already with small volumes, which will increase shortly, and later Pacific Produce will also have Nadorcott and Minneola from mid-July onwards.

For more information:
Robert Cullum
Pacific Produce
+44 (0) 1865877801

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