Article by: Hari Yellina
Mojitos and gin and tonics are typical summertime beverages in the northern hemisphere, but what else do these two drinks have in common? Lime, obviously! The exotic citrus is currently in high demand in Europe, but the supply is fewer than usual due to tight phytosanitary regulations in Brazil, the main origin country. This isn’t necessarily bad news however; lower supplies and high demand means attractive prices, and this is set to continue for some time. The market is more balanced in North America, but sales of a unique lime type, the Tahitian lime, have increased dramatically in Colombia.
The last few weeks have seen great lime market growth. In Europe, there are hardly any stocks, and the weekly arrivals are sold immediately”, says a Dutch importer. It is anticipated that the amounts would only decline in the upcoming weeks as a result of Brazil’s tight phytosanitary regulations, which will increase sales costs.
France’s lime market has been stable for a while. Prices per box are higher than 11 euros, ranging from 12 to 15 euros. Generally speaking, it has been a few years since the exotic fruit gained popularity in France, especially as a result of the mojito, a popular summer beverage. On the French market, demand is strong despite the high prices. Brazil is currently the major origin country on the French market, with products of rather high quality.
For a few weeks, there has been a significant demand for limes across the European market, but especially in the Spanish market. However, there is a lot of instability, uncertainty, and irregularity in the arrivals of limes to European ports, not only because of the weather, serious logistical issues, significant cost increases resulting from ongoing increases in freight rates, transportation at destination, dollar/euro parity, etc., but also because of a new factor, canker, which is significantly reducing the amount of limes leaving Brazil. Canker is a disease that has just been discovered in limes, and it is destroying fruit in European ports as well as recently in Brazilian ports, where severe sanitary regulations and limits are being put in place. As a direct consequence, lime costs have skyrocketed at origin and in the coming weeks will really show to what extent the market and prices are affected.