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Limes: a bizarre moment when it comes to commercialization

"The consumption of limes is almost always linked with the weather in both the production and final consumption areas. The current general instability is therefore affecting the market a lot, causing problems when it comes to incoming volumes, product quality as well as demand," reports Giorgio Mancuso from Viento Tropical, an Italian company based in the Marche and specializing in imports and international distribution.

Giorgio Mancuso.

"The commercial sector in Europe and, most of all, in Italy, prefers the produce from Brazil. Our suppliers are having to deal with particularly difficult weather, with heavy rain followed by forty days of total drought. Temperatures currently go from 30°C (it is winter in South America) to 12/15°C within the space of a single day, without a logic to help producers plan harvesting operations or manage the grades required by the market."

"In Italy, the weather has been summery only over the past few days and the situation seems to finally have stabilized, with the usual differences between north and south. Just think about the dramatic situations occurred in some northern regions affected by floods. This instability and difference prevented a homogeneous demand, leading to fluctuating market trends. Arrivals to Italy have not been regular, causing abnormal dynamics with sudden lively demand simultaneous with a lack of availability, followed by sudden drops in demand. There have been periods when a lot of medium-low quality produce has been available, affected by mold or rot. As a consequence, we have had to deal with irrational moments and prices that varied uncontrollably between €4 and €10 (4.5 kg package)."

"The preference of the European market for produce from Brazil is due to its more consistent quality and constant supplies. In addition, almost all big retail chains are used to this origin and are reluctant to change, I believe more out of laziness than anything else. Volumes from Peru have been higher this year, but quality and grade uniformity has not always favored a good commercialization. Volumes are also coming in from Colombia at the moment, with a rather satisfactory quality. There are also some quantities from Mexico, which boast a green color though are not much in demand due to their scarce juiciness."

"Italian and Spanish productions have not started yet save for a few rare exception in Spain, and we will have to wait for August and September for the first fruits suitable for commercialization. There are a few batches imported by air from Brazil that boast excellent quality and manage to obtain prices that are impossible for us. Another factor is that the H&R sector often prefers ready-juice and uses the fresh produce mostly to garnish."

"The presence of Xanthomonas citri from Brazil continues to be a problem both for the production areas, as a lot of warehouses are remaining closed, and in Europe, where containers are often blocked and sent back."

For more information:
Giorgio Mancuso
Viento Tropical srl
Tel: +39 389 1659450
Email: [email protected]

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