Lime growers and shippers are reporting a good season overall, despite some weather challenges. Demand is up in all regions including the US and Europe, and with volume strained, prices are edging higher once again. USDA figures indicate prices are in the mid $20s for a 40lb carton, with prices peaking in the mid sizes.
"Demand for limes this season is higher than at this time last year," said Gabriela Garrido of Inverafrut. "Additionally, volume is down slightly which has resulted in high prices in export markets. We expect this strong market to continue until at least October."
Heat causing some quality issues
It's been noted that volume is down slightly and growers say this has mainly been caused by excessive heat in the Veracruz growing region. As it's also the rainy season, the combination of the heat and wet weather has led to humid conditions, causing a few issues with the fruit.
"Our growing region is Veracruz, and right now we are experiencing some quality issues with the fruit," Garrido observed. "It has been very hot, and although heat is not unusual, there have been days reaching 40 degrees Celsius. The rain - although present - has not presented a problem as such, but has resulted in high humidity. We are putting different practices into place in order to overcome the quality issues. We will hopefully see some results from that soon."
She noted that although this year has been hotter than previous years, the trees themselves are in excellent condition. "In general, the trees are very healthy and full of fruit. The issues the region is currently facing are not too serious."
New office opens in the UK
Inverafrut has offices all around the world where it distributes its Mexican grown limes and other products. Along with offices in Mexico, the company has a presence in the United States, the Netherlands and Korea. Recently, the company opened up an office in the UK, which has been designated to serve the UK and northern European markets.
"We just opened our UK office about a month ago," Garrido shared. "Our goal is to receive the product from Mexico and distribute it directly to all destinations in Northern Europe and neighboring countries, ensuring the best quality and service. Along with Persian Limes, we also have bananas, mangoes and avocados available."