The intense drought recorded during the first half of 2019 in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas has hurt the production of Italian limes. Prices have plummeted and it's been difficult to export this citrus to the United States. “There is demand for the product so far, but this year the price per ton has fallen; the price for the industry is 2,000 pesos, for the market it ranges between 4,000 and 5,000 pesos, well below the price it had last year, which ranged between 8,000 and 12,000 pesos,” stated Javier Ibarra Echartea, representative of the citrus growers.
The drought also affected the size of the fruit. There is little availability of the calibers requested in the United States as most of the calibers are medium, even though producers used irrigation systems, he said.
According to Ibarra, even though most of Tamaulipas' lime production is sent to the United States, the people engaged in this activity were already looking for new alternatives, which include some countries in Asia.