Exports have surged to Europe while leading market the US has also received a slight uptick in imports of the citrus fruit.
Mexican lime shipments worldwide rose by 7% in the first four months of 2017, with major market the United States importing an extra 8,120 metric tonnes (MT) compared to the same period last year and European customers demonstrating a huge increase in demand.
Mexican statistics service SIAVI shows exports to the US were up 5% at 166,667MT, and sales to non-US markets rose 70% to 9,440MT.
The Netherlands accounted for the lion’s share of this increase, more than doubling its imports of Mexican limes year-on-year to a level of 5,808MT, while France’s imports rose 20% to 919MT and Spain’s import volume was more than 10 times higher at 352MT.
The Dominican Republic went from importing no Mexican limes for the period in 2016 to 289MT this year, but declines in imports were seen in Canada (-7.6%), Japan (-3.2%) and the UK. (-64%).
Historic lime prices in the U.S. show the usual spike around week 10 did not occur in 2017.
Opening prices for 2017 in the US were actually higher than in the previous three years and this was the case until week 10, but after that the price spike seen in previous campaigns did not take place.
The price per pound has continued to be below 2016 levels for the whole year to date, but the gap is shrinking and the level is now around the same as 2015 prices.