With the winter conditions in the southern hemisphere, lime volumes are falling, and this, together with a high market demand, is causing prices to increase. In some countries, this is leading to strong price fluctuations. In Mexico, people are now removing all the fruit from the trees in order to start a new cycle; consequently, there is a huge supply of class 2 fruit and a limited supply of class 1. Rainfall in the main production region of Veracruz could result in a market gap for several days. Prices in the North American market are currently stable due to the high demand.
Netherlands: Lime market recovered after some bad months
"After a few bad months, the lime market has considerably recovered," said a Dutch importer. "There is good demand right now across Europe and volumes have declined. For example, there is currently a great demand for limes on the local Brazilian market and the supply is also shrinking, because the season is ending. Last week, more was loaded from Brazil once again, and if that trend continues, there will be sufficient limes available again within 2-3 weeks. Mexico has been loading very limited volumes for a number of months."
Germany: Difficult market due to restrictions in the hospitality industry
The German supply has been dominated for some time by the goods from Mexico and Brazil. Normally, lime sales are very strong during the summer months, but the picture has changed completely in recent times. "The demand for limes has fallen sharply compared to normal summer sales. This is of course a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic; after all, the hospitality industry has been closed for a while and despite the reopening that took place before the holidays, the turnover is still not at its normal level. Lime buyers - mainly cocktail and lounge bars - have been hit especially hard," reports a supplier from Hamburg.
France: Strong price fluctuations
Strong price fluctuations have been recorded in the lime market in a short period of time. Three weeks ago, limes were sold for 3-4 Euro per package. At the end of last week, that price had risen to 10-12 Euro. This is partly due to the slight shortage of limes, which is partly a result of the conditions during the winter period in the southern hemisphere. Despite the high prices and the summer holidays, there is still demand for limes in France. French people who are on holiday in their own country and who have become more health-conscious due to the coronavirus crisis have helped give lime consumption a boost.
Italy: Strong fluctuation of lime prices and consumption down by 70%
An Italian wholesaler says that lime prices have been fluctuating strongly. In August 2019, the price stood at 3-4 € / kg. In July 2020, it fell to 2 Euro, and at the end of July, it dropped to just 1 Euro per kilo. There are currently fewer limes coming from South America than usual, mainly due to the coronavirus and the logistical delays caused by it. Prices are therefore fluctuating. Compared to July 2019, the demand has fallen by 70%, and consumption is low. The wholesaler says that at the European level, the Netherlands is the most important lime trader.
United States: High price on the US market
At the moment, there are plenty of limes in stock in the US, mainly from Mexico. The wholesalers are currently receiving more limes than usual. Despite the peak in the season, many limes are also affected by the heat, which has had an impact on the fruit's quality and commercial shelf life. What is also noticeable compared to 2019 is that imports from Colombia, Peru and Guatemala have been delayed.
In combination with the strong demand from the retail sector, which has proven to be fairly stable over the past 3-4 months, and the challenges associated with the coronavirus crisis during the harvest in Mexico, the situation is resulting in high prices in the US market. Traders expect prices to remain strong. Prices should fall when there are more limes suitable for the fresh market, but that is not the case for the time being.
Mexico: Rainfall could cause a market gap for several days
The main growing region for limes in Mexico is Veracruz. At the moment, growers are preparing the next planting and removing all the fruit from the trees in preparation for it. This has resulted in an increase in the supply of second-class limes and consequently lower prices and a small shortage of first-class limes, which have become more expensive. Over the past week, rainfall in Veracruz has brought the harvest to a halt and this situation is expected to continue in the coming week. This could cause a market gap for several days, as the harvest has been delayed by 2-3 weeks and current stocks on the market cannot fill this gap until the next batch is available. When the next harvest arrives, prices will likely stabilize again.
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