Lime volumes dropped from 569 loads two weeks ago to 477 loads last week, down from the 600+ level we have been running previously. This has allowed the market to get up off the floor and start to rise. It is very hard to predict if there will be a short term surge in supply that will kill the market again but in general terms we should run at lower volume levels this time of year. There have been quite a few rains last week and this past weekend. This means we have to watch out for quality issues. If limes do not dry out on the tree before picking, the skin cells rupture with contact and there will be oil spotting. Weather is expected to be nice with no rain for the next several days. Please run ad opportunities by us. There is good spread of sizing in general on manifests from 110s to 250s. Stores on ad on limes dropped from 2,995 last week to 1,904 stores on as this week with an average retail of $0.26 /ea. when sold by the piece and $0.61/lb. when sold by the pound.
Mango Crop Update
We are in week 51 now. Mangoes are moving well due to a healthy level of retail promotion and low prices at the moment. As you can see in the Arrival Volume Chart below, the total volume of mangoes entering the country dropped this week nearly 600,000 boxes from approximately 1.6 million boxes in week 50 to approximately 1 million boxes this week. The sizing has also shifted larger as you can see in the Ecuador Round Mango Sizing chart. Size 10s are still clearly the peak size but 9s and larger are now near 50% of the crop. There are some jumbo size 6/7 size available as well. There are many varieties available at the moment. See the Ecuador Mango Variety Breakdown chart below to see the volumes packed of each variety. Ataulfo (Honey) mangos are very few and far between but we are starting to have good availability on Kents and Keitts. With Kents from Peru starting, Kents will be the primary variety in January.
Ecuador's mango quality has remained solid through this week's arrivals. There have been several rains the past week in Ecuador which means it is time to shut down the packing. Three of the four pack houses in Ecuador are scheduled to close by this Sunday but arrivals to the US will continue for another 3 weeks after they close. We can now turn our focus to Peru. We should have volume numbers that left Peru week 50 to arrive week 52 late today but we expect it to be around 50 containers. Peru volumes are difficult to predict. There is no reliable central source of volume predictions because the industry is extremely fragmented with 15 US pack houses, tens of thousands of small farms contributing product and a high degree of speculation among exporters shifting product between markets such as the Europe, the US, Canada, Middle East, Asia, and the IQF frozen industry. We believe exports to the US will ramp up quickly now with the biggest unknown being the volume that gets packed and shipped between Christmas and New Year's due to labor availability. That leaves week 3 arrival volume a little uncertain. For sure the season will be in full peak packing mode after the New year's break is over meaning peak departures from Peru start week 2 with peak arrivals to the US in weeks 4,5,6,7. Please put major mango ads in place for the peak of the Peru crop loading FOB from January 23rd to Feb. 16th.
Reports of unseasonal rains continue to come in from the early growing regions of Mexico. We are expecting a tricky start to the season. It is likely some growers may start very early with Ataulfos as has been a trend the last several years. The season could appear to start ramping up and then be followed by a serious lull in volume growth and a lot of quality problems due to the rains that have affected the region during the flowering. We will work on a state by state update for the next report. Beware of immature fruit at the start of the season, especially Ataulfos. It is not worth putting a sour mango into the hands of consumers to capture a few early sales but turn the consumer off for an indefinite amount of time.
Stores on ad on conventional mangoes rose fell from 6,733 stores to 5,126 stores on ad for the week ending 12/20/18. Weighted average retail price is $0.91 per piece. 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 fell from 1,513 stores to 574 stored at an average price of $1.32 per piece.