The lime market has not done what we expected at all the last two weeks. I have to admit I bought into the false theory that the summer drought created a giant hole in production for November and that just has not been the case. That may have been true in certain areas in Veracruz but the limes keep coming from other regions. The 21 day Mexican Lime Crossings Chart below shows volumes actually spiked up to 737 loads in 7 days just when we thought they would dry up, and have fallen back to a normal 545 and 540 the last two 7 day cycles. The market pricing is fairly stable across sizes. Demand is slow. Frequent rains recently have brought bigger sizing but also brought down the overall quality. The low yield seen by quality packers translates into a higher price needed versus packers not grading out hard, so the market price range is very wide. The pricing above is for the top quality product but much lower prices can be had for #2s and “1-1/2s” on quality.
The number of stores on ad on limes rose from 699 last week to 1,418 stores for the week ending 11/14 at an average retail price of $0.38 per unit. There were also 75 stores on ad by the pound at an average price of $0.77 per pound. There were zero stores on an organic lime ads according to the USDA specialty crop market news survey of more than 400 retailers.
Mango Crop Update
We are ending week 46 now. The market has gotten very tight on size 9s and larger and is softening on 10s and smaller. Brazil arrivals will continue for a few more weeks because we keep pushing for more large sized fruit as long as their volume can justify keeping a USDA inspector on site for hot water treatment. Only 2 Brazil pack houses remain open. Quality is still coming in excellent. Ecuador is entering the peak packing weeks now after a packing slowdown in week 45 due to all of the premature cutting finally catching up to a couple of the big growers down there. Please see the Arrival Volume Chart below. There is less volume next week before the arrival volume explodes week 48. Next week, big fruit (9s and larger) will be tight, but importers are already carrying inventory on 10s and 12s and see big volume coming on future manifests, so we do not believe the market will feel the lower volume. We are pushing hard for ads in-store weeks 49, 50, 51, and 52 on 10s and 12s to carry us through the peak of Ecuador. Sizing from Ecuador is just small peaking on 12s and then 10s. See the Ecuador sizing charts below.
Ataulfos (Honey Mangos) are extremely tight. The volume of production in Ecuador is just not keeping up with the growing demand for this variety. We are past the peak on Ecuador Ataulfos and Hadens. We have just started Keitts and the Kents will start packing next week.
Peru has had some early Keitts but not shipped to the USA because the sizing has been small and the market much higher in Europe. Ataulfos are packing this week for the USA and Kents will start soon but there will not be volume to switch any major programs over from Ecuador until the last days of December.
Stores on ad on conventional mangos fell from 3,275 stores to 2,866 stores on ad for the week ending 11/14. Weighted average retail price was $1.16 per piece. Stores on organic mango ads fell from 144 last week to 72 stores this week with an average retail price of $3.21 each. . See the USDA Data on Retail Mango Ads chart below for detailed data by geographic region of the country.