One of the points in the Rural Bank's Insights Update for September 2020 -released last week- focused on the fact that lime prices may not have suffered the hit expected due to food service closures during the coronavirus period. According to the report, demand for fresh citrus remained strong, driven by health-conscious consumers and a reduction in supply for some categories.
The average price for oranges in August was 10 per cent higher than year ago levels, however, it was limes that showed the highest average price growth, more than 2.5 times higher than year ago levels, according to Rural Bank.
"It was widely thought that lime prices would suffer due to a lack of food service demand, which may have initially been the case," the report said. "However, demand has strengthened as consumers find ways to include immune boosting foods into the weekly shop. A decrease in supply from Queensland due to frost damage earlier this year also contributed to the rise in August prices.”
More positive news for citrus was reported last month within Rural Bank's Australian Agriculture Trade 2019/20 report. It said mandarin exports experienced strong growth in 2019/20, with export value increasing by $49.7 million (+35.9 per cent) to a record $188.3 million. "Export volume increased by 18,441 tonnes (+31.1pc), the result of increased supply stemming from new plantings reaching full production," it said.