Volumes have been falling when you look at the 21-day look back in the Mexican Lime Crossings chart below. We are under 500 loads for the past 7 days. The market has started creeping up but there is an imbalance in the US selling price and the field prices in Mexico. The market here is not rising fast enough to keep up with the rising field prices due to inventories at the border. In other words it is costing more to buy the limes in Mexico than the general spot market is willing to pay in the USA. We expect this to drive volumes down as importers and packers have to stop losing and get the market up in order to keep going. There has been and still is a lot of larger sizes available but this is about to change when this last flush of fruit cleans up. The fruit that will be picked going forward will start to shift toward smaller sizes. We expect by the end of February large sizes will see a large premium over smaller sizes. There were 5,359 stores on ad on limes for the week ending yesterday at an average retail price of $0.37 per unit. This was very high due to the Superbowl. There were only 97 stores on organic ads at an average retail of $0.85/ea. Please continue to run promo opportunities by us. It will be easier to quote close in dates versus a few weeks out.
Mango Crop Update
We are ending week 6 today. The strength of the mango market during the peak arrivals of Peru has taken us all a little by surprise. We received Peru's peak arrival volume this week and the market has been rising regardless on the east coast. Due to all the delay problems on the west coast, the market out there is suddenly receiving a lot of overdue containers so the pricing is lower on the west coast. Back east it seems many importers are sold out (at $7.50-8.00) waiting on the next arrival which is concerning because the volume of arrivals is going to drop fast as you can see in the Arrival Volume Chart below. Volume leaving Peru dropped 33% from week 6 to 7 arrivals and should continue to fall rapidly. Mexico's ramp up has been well below the 5 year average projection we have been using, so for the next 2 weeks (in yellow below) I am going with lower numbers but I still expect the 5 year average to be a reasonable estimate going forward.
The early quality on Mexican Ataulfos has not been great with a lot of sap staining. After the Feb. 15th there will be fruit to harvest that was not rained on during the flowering and the quality and volume should be more normal. Our strong suggestion remains to not promote round mangoes for loading from week 8 through 12 at a minimum and concentrate on building Honey (Ataulfo) business. April and May will have abundant round and yellow mangos for promotion.
We believe this year will not be the extended availability disaster we saw in 2016 where the total round volume from Mexico actually went backwards after an early start. This year should build volume every week. We are not aware of any large flowering gaps that would indicate otherwise in the southern regions.
Stores on ad on conventional mangos decreased from 6,354 stores to 3,613 stores on ad for the week ending yesterday. Weighted average retail price is $1.10 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 increased from 505 stores to 656 stores at an average price of $1.88 per piece.
Please check out the pictures of our first Mexican Ataulfos and our Peru Kents below.
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