The price of imported limes in the United States has increased throughout 2021 and 2022, this year reaching a maximum of $76.33 per package, the highest price in the last three years.
The United States imports more than 97% of its lime from Mexico, so it is not unusual for prices to increase dramatically when Mexico sends the least amount of this product, in other words, when it has the lowest availability in the market.
Although this differs from year to year, Mexican lime exports usually begin the year with the lowest volumes and grow as the year moves forward, sending the highest volumes between June and October; this is mainly because of the high production season that runs from June to December.
In this sense, the maximum price of lime in 2022, at crossing point, was $76.33 per 40-pound package during week 11, the highest price recorded in the last three years. This price represented an increase of 70.9% and 167.1% over the maximums obtained in 2021 ($44.67) and 2020 ($28.58).
Additionally, the average annual lime price so far in 2022 (considering up to week 44) is $35.73, considerably higher than the $22.33 in 2021 and $14.11 in 2020.
However, since week 17 this year, prices started to decrease drastically, so that in week 22 the minimum price of the year was reached at $12.81. These low prices are expected to continue during December and January, increasing again until mid-February.
It is worth mentioning that U.S. lemon imports have seen slight decreases since the beginning of 2021, with the volume imported in 2021 being 1.3% lower than in 2020. Similarly, so far in 2022, imports have been lower compared to 2021; so, this may also have influenced the overall increase in prices.
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