The Government will investigate the intermediation margins in the marketing of citrus

Will the price of lemons stop increasing in Mexico?

The price of lemons hasn't stopped growing in Mexico. The Federal Consumer Attorney's Office (Profeco) reported that in Mexico City the Colima variety was being sold at 89.90 pesos per kilo (10 pesos more than the previous week); while the Persian variety reached 79.90 pesos per kilo in some establishments (11 pesos more than seven days ago). These are very high prices, especially when compared to the prices they had a year ago when the average price of the Colima lemon stood at 16.58 pesos per kilo.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) will initiate an investigation to analyze the rise in the price of lemons because it considers that the rise is disproportionate and unjustified.

The Ministry acknowledged in a statement that in recent weeks different production and meteorological factors have influenced costs, but none of them explain the increase this citrus is undergoing.

It's common for prices to increase between January and April because production decreases, which is known as the 'seasonal effect'. Fewer tons of lemon are being harvested and prices increase.

In addition, farmers have had to face other difficulties in recent weeks, such as the increase in fertilizer prices or climatic contingencies. Michoacan, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Colima, and Tamaulipas -the states that supply Mexico and abroad in the first months of the year-, were affected by storms and frosts that complicated the work and delayed the processes.

Lemon prices also increased due to the high demand for this item. Despite these factors, lemon prices have risen much more than they should.

According to the state agency, intermediaries taking a very wide margin of benefits are responsible for this disproportionate increase in prices.

"The intermediary factor must be reviewed to ensure that the consumer is not unjustifiably affected and also to avoid breaches of contracts that affect foreign trade," the Ministry stated. "Given the important differences in the price paid to producers in the field and the prices paid by consumers, SADER is working in coordination with the competent authorities to review the intermediation margins in the commercialization of citrus."

SADER will investigate intermediaries to try to find out why prices are growing so much. Prices are not expected to decrease in the short term, the good news however is that it seems that the production volume of 2021 will exceed the production volume of 2020 by 4%, so the supply is guaranteed.



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