Movement is good on limes out of Mexico though some tightness in volume may be imminent.
“The supplies of limes are good. But our concern is the rain from the last three weeks. The quality is starting to decrease a little bit,” says Alex Landin of Limonik Produce/Limones Monica based in McAllen, TX. “We’re harvesting a lot of fruit but about 20 percent of it are not true #1. Because of that, if we have five loads for instance, one load is not going to be good so we’re having to repack and sort it.”
Supplies right now are largely coming from Veracruz in Mexico, where Limonik’s fields and packing house are now all organic certified. This allows the company for the first time to harvest, pack and ship organics from its own fields and packing house. At the same time out of Mexico, Sinaloa and Nayarit also have fruit as well as does Brazil (shipping to Canada). And on the East Coast, Colombia and the Dominican Republic are also shipping minimum quantities of fruit to Florida, though the state largely gets its limes from Mexico as well.
At the same time demand right now for limes is stable. “It has been better than in most years. But we sell to a lot of retail and as the prices start dropping, the chain stores have better promotions and we tend to move more volume,” says Landin. “The movement gets better in the summer because the prices are cheaper. Although with the quality situation that’s about to take place, we’re not going to have that much volume for ads out there.”
This follows May, a month when demand for limes is strong thanks to the number of holidays in the month—from Cinco de Mayo to Mother’s Day to Memorial Weekend. “Usually after Memorial Weekend, the demand kind of drops until the next big holiday which is July 4th. But that demand hasn’t dropped much.”
All of this leaves pricing at slightly stronger than normal at this time. Landin notes generally pricing around this time is $6-$7 FOB and right now it’s sitting in the $9-$10 range.
Looking ahead, Landin says this is the week where the quality issues from the rain in Mexico will start to be seen. “And there’s a lot of demand coming up. But companies might be short because with the quality issues, I’m not sure we’ll be able to keep up with the demand.”