Catania Worldwide's Matt Catania Sheds Light on Current Lime Market
CANADA - Warm weather is beginning to creep in here in the Northern Hemisphere, inspiring consumers to seek out bright, uplifting flavors for spring and summer dishes. Among the ingredients on their lists are limes, so I got in touch with Matt Catania, Vice President of Sales Southern United States at Catania Worldwide, to get a read on the current market and its lime program.
“Mexican lime season runs year-round, and we are specifically importing from the lime hub of Mexico, Martinez de La Torre,” Matt says. “As an organization, Catania Worldwide also works with offshore fruit from Colombia, which provides limes year-round. Recently, we have seen some decreases in the volume out of Colombia as they were shipping in larger volumes early in 2022 because of the increased pricing on Mexican limes, but they are now running into production problems themselves.”
As Matt tells me, the lime market is currently hitting some of the highest prices it has experienced in over a decade. This is partly due to bloom damage on trees from storms in 2021, drought due to lack of rain making it harder for trees to produce fruit, and the rising cost of freight and gas.
“We may see larger fruit of 110, 150, and 175 sizes hit the U.S. at the $100.00 FOB mark,” Matt explains. “While we currently project 70 percent of what is coming off the trees and across the border is 230 and 250 size, with the overall low volume of crossings, specifically on USDA #1 fruit, we are still nowhere near promotional volumes on those sizes.”
Despite challenges with lime volume, there is a silver lining that Matt and Catania Worldwide are experiencing.
“Typically, when a market is this high, it can coincide with poor quality. However, this is not an issue we are seeing right now as our lime quality remains strong,” he adds.
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