Mexico is one of the leading lime producers globally. This signature crop abounds along the Pacific coast of Michoacán, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. Michoacán leads in total Key lime production with Colima coming in a close second. The fruit enjoys all-year production with no lull in activity. The crop from Michoacán is the first crop to be available in the market during December to February. May to September demand is fulfilled by the production from Colima. The rest of the year is adequately covered by the fruit from Oaxaca and other states.
The area under plantation has been increased to touch 96,672 hectares in 2020/21. Concerted efforts have been taken to improve irrigation systems and implement agronomic best practices. These seem to have brought results since total Mexican crop production forecast stands at 2.87 MMT, an improvement of 6% compared to the previous year. While consumption has also increased this has been fulfilled by increased supplies. Exports too look good at 852,000 MT, a 6% increase from last year’s figures.
Spread across 28 states, Mexico’s lime production is stable and gives good output, especially since the trees are younger and can give up to 12 blooms a year. Lime oil is produced primarily in Mexico and Peru. This is why lime oil movements are relatively stable in the market. This year, in addition to the citrus greening problem, there is a sharp rise in domestic fresh fruit consumption. This combined with the growth of exports has meant that the percentage of fruit earmarked for processing has plummeted by 15% to as much as 40%. Naturally, volumes of lime oil too have fallen drastically by almost 35%. Demand is high and there is not enough supply to plug the gap. Prices have firmed up but at 20% higher average cost compared to 2019. In fact, lime oil prices would have soared but were arrested by the weakening of the Mexican currency against the US dollar. Considering that lime oil distillation will commence in June and then in the following January, we advise placing orders for a shorter (3-6months) term to cover immediate requirements.
Mexico : Lemon /Lime Production and Distribution (‘000 MT)
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