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Quality concerns and low volume on Mexican limes

Lime demand is expected to strengthen as is pricing. Motaz Hassan of Calgary, Alberta-based Empire Traders Inc. says demand was slow on weeks seven and eight but is anticipated to increase for Spring Break in the U.S., so weeks nine and 10. “However low availability of the fruit will increase the price,” says Hassan. 

Right now, the key supplying regions in Mexico on limes are Tabasco, Oaxaca and Veracruz though Merida is also producing and there is also some fruit out of both Jalisco and Sinaloa.

Low lime volume
“Volume is low in the producing areas. Compared to last year overall, there’s a decrease in quality and volume,” says Hassan, noting there are largely 250s, 230s and 200s available in March. There are also quality concerns around blanching and scarring though so it will also depend on the weather and rain is needed. April looks to have similar production notes to March.

As for pricing, it’s anticipated to come up to between $60-$75 FOB Texas from now until April. “The biggest challenge right now is price speculation with growers, demand in the U.S. and the weather,” says Hassan. “The growers want more prices and if prices go down, they hold the fruit until they get the prices they want. Since they leave the fruit hanging on the tree though, we are also not seeing bad quality fruit.” Other concerns he adds include USDA references not being accurate on the sales base on Texas, mixed color quality and competing product from other countries such as Colombia, Peru, Guatemala and Honduras.

For more information:
Motaz Hassan
Empire Traders Inc.
Tel: +1 ( 403) 668-0842 

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