The lime market crashed hard after the record 827 loads came in 2 weeks ago. Since then we saw volume drop to 450 loads the following week due to both market collapse and rain restraining the volume. Volumes came back up this past week to 577 loads and could end up a little higher as the last days volumes were not reported at the California crossing point when the data was published. We expect this market to hold around this level for the next two weeks as this crop finishes. We expect demand to slow down post-Superbowl and extra inventory to keep the market in check for these next two weeks. Then, in mid-February, we expect volumes to start dropping and the market prices to start going up in preparation for a shortage of supply in March. This is typical of this time of year. When nights get cold there is less bloom and therefore less fruit 90 days later, and nights started getting colder about 75 days ago in lime regions of Mexico. The lime market is a constant struggle of buy price in Mexico and selling price in the states. The growers know the shortage will start to be felt in a couple of weeks so they will try to raise the field price as early as possible in anticipation of the higher market to come.
The number of stores on ad on limes rose from 1,641 this past week to 6,912 stores for the week ending Feb, 6th at an average retail price of $0.34 per unit. The large spike is due to Superbowl demand where limes are popular for mixed drinks and as an ingredient in guacamole. There were also 131 stores on ad by the pound at an average price of $0.63 per pound. There were 39 stores on an organic lime ads at an average retail of $0.69 per piece according to the USDA specialty crop market news survey of more than 400 retailers.
Mango Crop Update
Week 5 just ended and we are now in week 6. This is the absolute peak of arrivals of Peru Kents right now and the market is overloaded with fruit. It has been a while since we saw a market like this in the offshore mango deal across all sizes. Breakeven pricing is irrelevant at this point for non-programmed spot market business because there is more fruit needing to be sold than the market can absorb. It is a bidding war to move fruit right now. This is especially true of fruit with give. Now is a great time to run quick in-store promos if print ads are not already set. The Peru Kents are beautiful, clean, and the flavor is fantastic. This oversupply will continue another two or three weeks, then round mango volumes will get tight again as we get into March. See the Arrival Volume Chart below. We expect round mango volumes to bottom out around the first and second week of March as Peru drops volume fast and Mexican round fruit is just not going to be ready in maturity to pick in volume until mid-March in Oaxaca and Michoacán.
Peru Kent sizing made a significant shift to larger fruit. See the Peru Kent Mango Sizing chart below. 7s and 8s are now in excellent supply. This always happens as the main Piura region hits the late part of the season. More smaller fruit will start packing now as Motupe and Olmos regions hit their peak. See the number of containers arriving to the USA by port of entry in the Ocean Container Arrivals by Port chart below. The west coast is seeing a significantly higher volume now than prior to week 5. I mentioned the backlog of containers packed but not shipped in my last crop update but did not prepare the chart this week. The backlog has not started to fall and is around 300 containers packed but not yet on a vessel from Peru. This means arrival volume will continue heavy for now out of Peru. Market is improving in Europe and news of our poor market price is now being considered by Peru exporters so we expect a shift of volume toward Europe now.
We expect the market to be tight enough in March that we are going to bring back Brazilian mangos for the entire month. Pay attention to the far right columns of the Arrival Volume Chart. While the overall volume stays relatively flat over March, the volume of rounds goes down drastically and the volume of yellows rises rapidly. They are two very different markets that do not act in concert with each other. Honey mangoes (Ataulfos) should be the focus for retailers in March as they will be in great supplies when the rounds are short. Initial Honey (Ataulfo) mango sizing out of Mexico is shown in the sizing chart below.
Mexican and Central American Tommy mangos will be highly promotable again by mid-April when volumes return and pass the 2.5 million box per week level. By mid-April we will have mangos in heavy volumes on both round and yellow all the way through spring and summer. We see no gaps or low points in supply developing and expect very strong supplies and good quality throughout the peak Mexican mango season.
Stores on ad on conventional mangos fell from 9,226 stores to 6,132 stores on ad for the week ending Feb. 6th. Weighted average retail price was $1.08 per piece. Stores on organic mango ads fell from 1,390 this past week to 588 stores week ending Feb. 6th at an average retail price of $1.44 each. See the USDA Data on Retail Mango Ads chart below for detailed data by geographic region of the country.
Please see pics of our product below including mango, limes, papayas, and ginger.