European lime market starts recovery after price decline
The European lime market is starting to pick itself back up after a sharp decline largely resulting from heavy import volumes, according to a representative of German fresh produce company Don Limón.
Sales manager Jorge Reyes told Fresh Fruit Portal prices had been at good levels of around €12 (US$13.50) per 4 kilogram box until several weeks ago.
However, the price point was then slashed and has been considerably lower than at the same time during the previous three years.
"A few weeks ago the market went really bad, but before that it was really high prices," Reyes said at last week's London Produce Show.
""You were able to sell for around 12 euros but now it's €5 or €6 and a little before that we were selling at €4. It's really dynamic."
Reyes noted that Don Limón's efforts to position itself in the market and boost brand awareness had helped to lessen the blow somewhat.
He explained the European lime market tended to be volatile, and this recent dynamism was the result of many factors.
Nonetheless, he said increased volumes from two of the world's top exporting countries - Brazil and Mexico - seemed to have been an important factor.
"The market was good at first because there was a shortage of production in Brazil. But then prices dropped because there was a lot of production and everybody sending to here," he said.
The market now appeared to be slowly recovering to more adequate levels.
"I think for a couple of weeks it’s going to be like this - maybe €6 or €7 then €8, then I guess it will come back down again," he said.
Don Limón only imports limes to Europe from Mexico and Brazil - with higher volumes from the former - and frequently supports smallholder farmers to improve fruit quality.
Reyes also commented interest was rising in importing limes from Peru and Colombia too.
Having recently begun importing sweet potatoes from Central America directly into the U.K. - as opposed to transporting them over from Dutch port of Rotterdam - Reyes said the company was now planning to ship limes straight from Mexico to the British market as well.
He said the reason behind this was to save transport costs involved with shipping the fruit from the Netherlands. Don Limon may later look at shipping other fruits like table grapes and citrus to the U.K. as well.