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“We now see 160 containers of limes leaving Brazil for Europe every week”

Lime exports from Brazil are continuing, despite it being the winter low harvest season. The country also has some logistical problems with shipping lines skipping some ports, but this is not stopping Brazilian lime producers from exporting fruit. "The geographical spread of lime growing areas with different climates, allows supply from Brazil to continue," says Cassiano Berol, from the Brazilian exporter Agricola Plantar.

"During July to September in Brazil it is winter, with low temperatures and some rain, especially in the south of Brazil, where São Paulo is located. On the other hand, in the north of Brazil it does not rain on the same level, allowing the limes plantations to have more sun, water - irrigation or rains – that have a different peak of the season for limes production," states Berol.

The problem of shipping lines skipping ports in Brazil creates complications for growers and exporters. "In the Northeast of Brazil, as well as Rio de Janeiro and other ports, they have logistical problems with shipping lines. It is not new for us Brazilians. The Port of Santos in São Paulo is the main port of Brazil, it is responsible for 75% of the Brazilian trade, meaning less omitting of vessels. It might be a coincidence or not, but lime production in São Paulo State is around 70% of Brazil's volume. We now see 160 containers of limes leaving Brazil to Europe per week! Most of these containers are from São Paulo's production. So this lack of lime loading in the North is secondary considering the current scenario," explains Berol.

He says their current limes supplier is in São Paulo. "They work with fewer quantities. He also has fewer customers, as they care a lot about the quality, with a deep green colour, bigger sizes with certifications that are in place etc. Apart from that, we are dealing well with the lack of rain in São Paulo as we have irrigation in most of the plantations," states Berol.

Traditionally, summer in Europe means greater demand for limes, with prices trending higher. "Summer in Europe is a very important moment for us to participate. But as always we are committed to loading fine products, not just flooding Europe with weak quality limes," Berol points out.

Europe has introduced additional phytosanitary checks on arrivals from Brazil. "Phyto issues in Brazil are the same phyto issues faced by any other fruit supplier located in a Tropical Country. In a Tropical country it rains more, there is warmer weather, it is impossible to not have any phyto issue. They see 'greening' on Mexican limes and oranges, and see the high level of pesticides on Vietnamese limes too. We are working to decrease phyto issues in Brazil and it is already happening," concludes Berol.

For more information:
Cassiano Berol
Agricola Plantar
Tel: +55 11 9 9676-8378
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]