Mexico: SAGARPA explains key lime price spike
Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) has made a judgment call on the underlying reasons behind an "atypical" price rise in key limes since January, citing high levels of "intermediation" in the productive chain as one factor under analysis.
The government ministry said it was "unacceptable" that costs transferred to end consumers in Mexico were four times higher than what was paid to growers in the field, but key drivers for the price rise were climatic and seasonal.
SAGARPA said that every year there was a natural window of lower key lime production between December and March, while late rains in November and December had also led to consequences for flowering and fruit drop.
"The delay ripening has led to a postponing of product availability," SAGARPA said, adding that the late rains also helped cause cases of anthracnose, thus reducing yields.
On the topic of effects from citrus greening disease, otherwise known as Huanglongbing (HLB), the entity said there had been some damages to production in the state of Colima, however that on its own had "little relevance" in the composition of national supply.
There appears to be good news around the corner however, with SAGARPA, expecting a significant rebound in supply in the second half of April.
"The main key lime growing states are Colima, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Guerrero. It is predicted that at the end of March a higher volume coming from Oaxaca will start to flow into the national market, and that the annual peaks in production from the rest of the entities will slowly register, with effects of price falls."
Related story: Opinion: U.S. lime prices soar on Mexican supply issues