ITALY – The market price for limes in Italy has recovered from €5-6 (USD 5.37-6.45) to €9-10 (USD 9.67-10.75) following a reduced supply after summer.

According to a wholesaler in northern Italy, average consumption of limes has increased over the years, but prices have not always been high.

“After a summer that could have been better, the market for limes has recovered: from €5-6 to €9-10 for the Brazilian product,” he explained.

According to a report by CBI, the demand for fresh limes in Italy has been increasing due to their growing popularity in food preparation and drinks.

The report states that imports of fresh limes to Italy have grown by 33% in volume and further growth is expected. 

“Exporters from developing countries can take advantage of these developments and offer alternative sources to the dominant supply from Mexico and Brazil,” recommends the report.

Currently, the product is mainly imported from Brazil, followed by Colombia (a surprisingly good producer) and Mexico.

Fresh Plaza reports that quantities from Brazil have in recent times hit an all-time low because of the heavy rains and the Xanthomonas citri infection.

This phytopathy has led to the closure of many packing stations in Brazil, as European entry controls are very strict and containers from less careful exporters have often been rejected.

Italy has, thus, diversified its lime import locations to include Sicily whose supply to the country has improved considerably in quality compared to previous years and is on a par with Brazilian prices.

It is worth noting that prices for limes in the country is often unpredictable and easily affected by worldwide availability.

The Foodiosity website also suggests that the current drought conditions have also contributed to the high prices of limes.

“Prices for limes in Europe are often unpredictable and can be affected by various factors, including worldwide availability and weather conditions,” outlines the report.

According to Mordor Intelligence, Brazil dominates the market followed by Mexico. Imports of fresh lime into the European market have been growing, and the trend is expected to continue.

European imports of fresh limes increased from 167,000 tons in 2016 to 183,000 tons in 2017, which in turn will drive the lime market in Brazil.

“This increasing demand from other countries is driving the export from Brazil, which impact positively on the lime market,” outlines the report.

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