Cepea, March 2, 2021 – The harvesting of tahiti lime was in full swing in February in the major citrus-producing regions from São Paulo State (SP). Supply, which has been increasing since December, hit its peak during the month and, according to Cepea collaborators, should continue high until the end of March, when it should start to slow down. However, with production lower than that in previous years, quotes have been at higher levels.
In February, the average price for tahiti lime was 30.68 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested. The hot and dry weather during flowers’ development (in the second semester of 2020) hampered the settlement of fruitlets, constraining supply in early 2021.
In the industrial segment, crushing of tahiti lime is helping to control supply in the in natura market of SP, where demand has been low. In February, three plants were operating, paying from 14 to 16 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered to processors.
Cepea collaborators believe that the harvesting of the fruits from the second flowering will step up only in March, since the current maturation stage allows them to stay longer on tree (size is still small, and fruits are very greenish). However, in February, farmers preferred to sell the fruits ready to be harvested, to take advantage of the high price levels.
EXPORTS – Higher supply of tahiti lime in early 2021 favored exports in January, due to the higher demand from Europe and lower prices in the Brazilian market. Despite positive, shipments were not as high as they are used to be because of the lower quality and volume available in that period.
In February, on the other hand, exports were slower, according to exporters. Besides the unattractive prices in the international market, demand was weaker, and the fruits harvested were smaller-sized and had not reached the ideal maturation stage yet. Thus, farmers opted for selling them in the Brazilian market, where quotes were attractive for this time of the year.
PONKAN TANGERINE – The harvesting of ponkan tangerine began in February in the state of Minas Gerais (MG), however, sales and the supply of higher-quality fruits should step up only in March, when this variety reaches the ideal maturation stage.
Last month, higher volumes were being harvested in southern MG, where fruits development is usually faster. In São Paulo State (SP), the harvesting is forecast to begin in mid-April, when ponkan tangerine is supposed the be larger – however, some fruits may be made available still in March.
Although ponkan tangerine was not in the ideal maturation stage, some citrus farmers from MG harvested some fruits at the beginning of the current season, aiming to take advantage of the attractive prices and low orange supply.
In São Paulo, prices are expected to be positive this season. However, production may be lower this year, since, as other citrus fruits, ponkan tangerine was affected by the dry and hot weather in the second semester of 2020, majorly between September and October, when fruits were developing. On the other hand, quality should be high, since rainfall was more frequent in early 2021, and temperatures were mild.
The area sown with ponkan tangerine in the citrus belt (São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro) was estimated by Fundecitrus at 5,286 hectares in 2020, and southern SP (Limeira and surroundings) should account for 20% of the total area sown with the fruit.