The lime market is difficult to predict. Weeks ago everyone believed there was a massive amount of limes on the trees and the market was bound to collapse soon. We are still waiting. The new crop is coming off now with mostly very small sizing so the price is much lower on small limes than large. The Mexican market has been pulling strong due to the coming Easter Holiday which has reduced exports to the USA. We know there will be a packing slow down starting Thursday through Easter Sunday due to Easter. When picking and packing resumes after Easter we feel like the collapse will come but first with small sizes. See below the massive volume dip the market took one week ago when volume dropped 201 loads from one week to the next. This was unexpected and to a large degree a speculative market created by growers not picking and holding out for the price they wanted. We expect the shoe to be on the other foot by week 18 with growers needing to move product.
The number of stores on ad on limes fell from 583 last week to 467 stores for the week ending 4/18 at an average retail price of $0.32 per unit. There were also 81 stores on ad at an average of $1.20 per pound. There were zero stores on organic lime ads.
Mango Crop Update
We are in week 16 now. We have not seen mango volumes rise as much as expected in Mexico. The temperatures have been cool causing fruit not to develop as fast as expected. The fruit is also not sizing up as we hoped. This is true for Guatemala as well. With the market oversupplied and selling very cheap on sizes 12s and 14s, and the spot market very strong on sizes 10s and larger, there is a large imbalance in the market. It is difficult for a packer or importer to get enough large size fruit without getting overloaded on 12s and 14s. We need promotions on 12s/14s Tommy and to switch some demand from large fruit to small. We see this situation persisting with an overload of small sizes and a tight market on large fruit until either some major ads on small fruit clean up the market or the fruit sizing shifts larger.
Guatemala seems to have come off the peak very fast and will end with much lower volume than last year. They are saying the main reason is simply that the fruit will not size up and they can’t send 12s/14s to the market without losing money. The state of Oaxaca is the main supply of larger fruit in Mexico and they are passing the peak now. It is concerning that the large fruit supply will go down from where we are today when Oaxaca fades away in May. In summary, the big opportunity for promotions is on size 12s/14s in the next few weeks. Please push those sizes if you can now through May. The true peak of the Mexican mango season on round mangos will come when Nayarit and Sinaloa are both in full swing from mid-June through mid-August. Please plan to take advantage of that window which also brings the premium eating varieties like Kents and Kietts.
Honey Mangos (Ataulfos) are in good supply with excellent quality and flavor. We see strong overall volumes on Honeys for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to promote up through June. The availability falls quickly on Honeys as we get into July.
Stores on ad on conventional mangos increased from 5,664 stores to 8,984 stores on ad for the week ending 4/18. Weighted average retail price is $0.85per piece. This average retail price is a mix of Round and Honey Mangoes which tend to have smaller sizing. The USDA unfortunately does not separate round and yellow mangoes in the retail ad data. See the USDA Data on Retail Mango Ads chart below for detailed data by geographic region of the country. Stores on ad on organic mangoes increased from 390 stores to 437 stores at an average price of $1.69 per piece.
Come see us at Booth #50 at Viva Fresh in San Antonio on Saturday April 27th.
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