"Most lime importers had a tough 2021. Prices were (too) low for almost the entire year. The [European] hospitality industry closed in early 2021. So, demand was low and supply high, resulting in low prices. When the eateries finally reopened, there was suddenly a desperate demand for limes. And that led to sky-high prices. Then, exports rose to extremely high levels. And prices dropped dramatically until a week before Christmas," says Joey Deen of Denimpex in the Netherlands, in retrospect.
"If one were to believe export statistics, in 2021, Mexico and Brazil exported about 20% more limes to Europe. Around 6,800 containers came to Europe. In 2020, that was roughly 5,600. These export statistics don't include other exporting countries like Peru, Colombia, and Guatemala. So, the real container numbers are higher."
"Brazil accounts for ± 90% of the volume and Mexico only approximately ten percent," Joey continues. "That's vastly different from six years ago. Then, Mexico was at about 40% and Brazil, 60%. Brazil has almost doubled in exports since then. Only a quarter of the market is left for Mexico."
"Limes are a product that's highly dependent on the European hospitality industry. As long as export volumes stay high and eateries remain partially closed, the market will continue to be difficult. I think I speak for all importers when I say we hope for better market conditions in 2022," Joey concludes.