The lime market has been increasing and getting stronger for the past week. Last week, large limes were trading between $9-$10 and as we rapidly transitioned into more of the new crop limes, the prices became the same across the board. There are fewer 110/150/175 limes available, so far, this week. Quality has improved, with the peak sizes being 230s. Weather in Veracruz has been hot and dry, but the forecast for the weekend and through next week appears to be hot and rainy. Growers/Packers are making a big push in the field to get as many limes in as possible before the predicted week of rain. This is making the price in the fields higher and more competitive. Inbounds, dropped by almost 30% from the week before. We attribute this to the switch into new crop as well as the packers holding limes in Mexico until the US market can catch up with their domestic prices. Looking at retail ad data, there has been a drastic reduction of limes on ad over the past three weeks in key areas such as the Southwest and Northeast due to rising prices. But interestingly enough, the Southeast area is one to watch for an increase in consumption of limes. As lemons continue to be extremely expensive, we are seeing the stores focus switch to the lime alternative. Stores recognize that there has to be a citrus option and are expanding the lime shelf space to make up for the lack of lemons. The industry continues to see the tight market through the next couple of weeks. The impending rain will make harvest a bit difficult and we could see even higher prices next week. We are still predicting end of August, into Labor Day, as a target for more aggressive lime ads. Stores on ad on conventional limes increased from 1,859 stores to 2,245 stores on ad for the week ending 8/3/18. Weighted average retail price is $0.26 per piece.
Mango Crop Update
We are in week 31 now. Total “Round” mango volume is at the peak of the season now and will continue near 3 million boxes per week through next week. Volumes are currently projected to stay fairly heavy up until the week of Labor Day. The retail chain market is active with a lot of ad requests on mangoes. The Terminal market segment of the market is more challenging with a lot of competition and a range of quality and maturity on offer in most major markets. Field prices in Southern Sinaloa make it necessary to push for prices in the $4.00+ range in order to keep a profitable margin for the exporter/packer, but as Northern Sinaloa growers, who have lower total costs, push more product into the market you can expect cheap spot deals to be available as importers find themselves long on certain sizes depending on which sizes they have on ad or not. Honey Mangoes (Ataulfos) are winding down but continue to trickle across. This week is the transition week from primarily Kents to primarily Keitts in Southern Sinaloa. Northern Sinaloa is going to start this transition next week and be primarily Keitts by week 34.
We expect the sizing on the late Keitts from the Zona Libre in Northern Sinaloa to be very large peaking on 6s/7s in late August and September. Please consider trying an ad on Jumbo Keitts, PLU code 3114 in late August and September. Quality remains excellent in general on all the Kent and Keitt from Mexico.
Sizing is reported below up to the current week from the hot water treatment plants. Sizing is very well split from size 6s all the way to 12s. See the Mexican Mango Sizing Chart (HWT Only) chart below. We do not have up to date info on Northern Sinaloa but through week 29 sizing on Kents was peaking on 10s/9s/8s. We expect the sizing to continuously increase on Kents and Keitts as we get later in the season.
Stores on ad on conventional mangoes fell from 10,763 stores to 7,033 stores on ad for the week ending 8/3/18. Weighted average retail price is $0.84 per piece. Mangoes dropped out of the top 10 most promoted fruits this week. All the eastern regions of the US fell in stores on ad, especially the southeast with a massive decrease from 4,137 to 894 stores on ad. All western regions saw an increase in stores on ad. See the USDA Data on Retail Mango Ads chart below for detailed data by geographic region of the country. Stores on ad with Organic mangoes increased from 782 stores to 1,504 stores this week. Average Organic price was at $1.10 per piece.