The lime market has been a bit of a roller coaster for the past couple of weeks. Low inbounds from Mexico two weeks ago resulted in a rising market. Week 33 and, thus far, week 34 have given us a different look. Heavy inbounds, coupled with a drop in business has yielded an unstable market, specifically on 230s and smaller. Many importers are reporting extra small sizes coming through as 250s (275s/300s). The US market is trending towards moving away from 250s as consumer mindsets change. Many retailers have discouraged even the bagging of 250s, which has been the customary utilization for that size. Even with a very aggressive small lime market, there is still a fairly strong pull on 175s and larger. Concerning news from Mexico is indicating a continued tight market into September on 175s and larger due to rapid maturity on the current crop. In short, the limes are maturing before sizing. This is due to continuous hot weather and off/on rains in all growing regions. With heavier inbounds, we are seeing an uptick in Lime Ads for the current week. The Southwest region is up from 27 to 113 stores on ad, we believe specifically due to more aggressive prices on small limes. The overall number of stores on ad in the country, this week is 1346, up from 936 the week prior, with an average retail price of $0.30. Weather in Veracruz is predicted to be off and on showers for the remainder of the week. Harvest should not be affected as the rains have not been an issue in all growing regions of the state at the same time, however, pack outs will be affected. Issues that we are seeing are styler, some oil spotting, and lighter color due to early maturing. Organic limes are seeing a bit of a supply gap that will continue for the next couple of weeks. This is a natural occurrence every year and is not a long term concern.
Mango Crop Update
We are in week 34 now. Volume of Mexican mangoes entering the US last week dropped about 38% from the previous week. This is due to both Southern Sinaloa hot water treatment plants slowing down as they reach the end of the season and the Northern Sinaloa Zona Libre slowing as they both transitioned from Kent to Keitt and also were waiting for the rains and the market to clean up. There is a lot of fruit on the trees in the Northern Sinaloa region but the remaining Keitts will be of primarily extra large sizing. We see the peak sizing of these late Keitts as currently 6s and 7s with the sizing likely to grow to a 5s/6s peak. See the Arrival Volume Chart below for a weekly projection of volumes from all growing regions. We do not have real time sizing data from Northern Sinaloa, but the data through week 32 is shown in the Northern Sinaloa Volume Shipped by Count chart below. The Kents were peaking on 7/8/9 and the early Keitts packed were all reported as 4s and 5s. I am not fully confident in this data but I am sure the sizing on the Keitts will be very large.
This is a time for buyers to beware of cheap quotes. There have been several instances of heavy rain and very hot weather in Northern Sinaloa over the last couple of weeks. The Kents can turn quickly and develop anthracnose. Growers who do an excellent job of spraying after the rain will have good fruit, but fields that are not very well maintained will likely become problematic. “Deal” shopping can get you in trouble on quality. It would be best to stay with a shipper known for quality.
Brazilian Air Shipped Ataulfos are starting to pack today. Our first availability should be Wednesday next week. See the pictures below of what will be the first arrival.
Amazon Produce Network’s California operation will be moving to a new warehouse just off the LA market by Thursday next week. The new warehouse address is 1700 Bay St., Los Angeles, CA 90021. Mailing address for invoices, checks, etc. is still our New Jersey headquarters address.
Stores on ad on conventional mangoes fell from 5,758 stores to 4,625 stores on ad for the week ending 8/24/18. Weighted average retail price is $0.97 per piece. . . 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 fell from 1,446 stores to 477 stores this week. Average Organic price was at $1.39 per piece.