In the first fortnight of April, prices of the tahiti lime ("lemon") delivered in plants reached 9.50 reals or 5.65 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos, the highest value registered by the Cepea (since January 1996). In April last year, lime values were at 4.67 reals or 2.30 dollars per box, in average. This Tuesday, April 15th, the average of tahiti was 8.36 reals or 4.97 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos.
The increase is linked to the lower lemon juice supply in the international market, especially due to the reduction of the Argentine crop, which corresponds to 40 percent of the global market, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Besides that, the higher demand of lemon juice contributed to boost the prices.
In the fresh tahiti lime market, the average was of 5.08 reals or 3.02 dollars per box of 27 kilos (harvested) on April 15th, dropping 17.6 percent in Real over March 31st. The decrease is related to the larger supply in this month - the volume is forecasted to reduce again in June.
For the orange, the supply is slightly higher, especially of the early hamlin variety. Even though, few citrus plants have already started to crush. From March 31st to April 15th, the hamlin delivered in citrus plant (spot market) decreased 7.7 percent in Real, averaging 11.05 reals or 5.56 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos.
The blooming from the 2008/09 Florida's citrus crop, which starts to be harvested in October, was considered very positive. According to the professor Gene Albrigo, from University of Florida, the volume produced in that state should be higher than the current season (2007/08), forecasted at 167 million boxes by the USDA. The maximum productivity in Florida, however, will not be reached due to the damage of 5 percent of trees to disease and urban development. Even higher, the production in Florida should not be enough to offset the decrease of 10 to 20 percent in the Brazilian crop. (Cepea - Brazil)