It's recently been an enormous struggle on the lime market. "We've been through an exceptionally long, bad time. The market has been dismal for 11, 12 weeks," says Efrain Saucedo Nuñez of Fruta del Huerto, in the Netherlands.
"We sell a lot of limes to the hospitality sector, which has been hard hit. August was a good month for us. The beginning of September was still good too. But then, Brazilian exporters started shipping high volumes. That certainly didn't benefit the market."
"The market only started recovering this week," says Efrain. "That's thanks to Christmas sales. But, considering the already-planned supply, I'm concerned this will be a short-lived upturn. The current €5 to €6 price level isn't even that high. But, at least, we're moving away from the very low prices. The market for organic and untreated limes is much better balanced. Both these have remained unaffected."
"Fortunately, we supply very stable retailer programs. And we anticipated things well in advance. So, we didn't order too many limes." Efrain also supplies exotics such as mangos and pineapple and ripens bananas. But limes will always remain his core business. "Specialisation is the future, and limes are our specialty. It makes up 80 - 90% of our turnover," he concludes.