Mexican citrus production and trade should increase this year, a new report predicts.
According to the report, growers in the northern states of Mexico have said that fresh fruit exports to the U.S. for processing purposes have increased due to the decrease in Florida orange production.
The report forecasts that Mexican fresh orange exports will increase slightly to 78,000 metric tons in marketing year 2018-19.
Nearly all fresh orange exports go to the U.S., and most oranges exported to the U.S. are navel oranges grown in Sonora, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the report said Mexican Persian and key lime exports for 2018-19 are expected to be strong and are pegged at 725,000 metric tons.
The spring Persian lime harvest begins in early April, the report said. Depending on prices, the Persian limes are typically shipped to European markets before being shipped to the U.S.
Lime exporters continue to expand into the European and Japanese markets, but still supply about 40% of the U.S. and Canadian markets.
International prices for Persian limes began at U.S. $16 to $18 per 40-pound box in October and November; prices during April and May 2018 were as high as $63 per box, the report said.
Mexican grapefruit exports are projected at 20,000 metric tons, with strong European prices pulling volume there over the U.S. market.