The Mexico lime market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
During the covid-19 crisis, Mexican lime exports have faced challenges due to restraints on food service industries. The increased shipping costs have led the importers to decrease the order volumes. The increased government restrictions have complicated and obstructed the importers from applying to import permits.
Mexico is one of the major countries producing and consuming citrus fruits. Both Persian and Key limes are economically important for Mexico. Key limes mostly remain in the Mexican domestic market for consumption. However, recently, there has been an increase in the exports of this variety. Key limes are grown mostly on the Southern Pacific Coast of Mexico. Lime is used as an ingredient for the production of citric acid, lime oil, lime juice, and other products that are used in household food items, as well as chores. Therefore, the growing demand for the products will eventually increase the demand for lime and as a result, the growing interest in health benefits and cleaning applications will be a major force driving the market.
Key Market Trends
Increased Production in Mexico
As per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO), Mexico and Brazil are the world’s largest producers of lime. However, because of the lack of refrigeration, Key limes are preferred in Mexico as they have a longer shelf life. Mexico accounts for 13.0% of the global lime production, where lime yields an average of 12,226.0 pounds per acre. The major regions producing almost 80.0% of limes in Mexico are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, and Oaxaca. On the other hand, Veracruz accounts for about 61.0% of the production of Persian lime and lemons, which are mostly concentrated in the Yucatán Peninsula. Lime production is also impacted by the effect of drug cartels in Mexico. When lime prices soar, the extortion of lime farmers by drug cartel members is common. There have been reports of armed cartel members robbing trucks of limes headed to the United States.
The country is the major exporter to the United States, and therefore, the market value depends on the consumption and demand from other countries to which Canada also exports lime. The consumption of lime in Mexico is expected to increase over the forecast period to reach 1,590,759.0 metric ton by the end of 2021. A majority of the demand will be fulfilled by domestic production in this region.
Export in Terms of Value Leads the Market
Mexico is by far the leading exporter of fresh limes. Approximately 20.0% of the fresh produce is exported, while over one-half of the processed product is traded. About 25.0% of Persian lime production in Mexico is under irrigation and roughly 50.0%-60.0% of Persian limes are exported to the United States from Veracruz. In total, about 30.0% of Mexico’s total Persian lime production is exported. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has worked in favor of Mexico’s lime production. A majority of limes produced in Mexico serve the domestic market. As per USDA’s FAS, Mexico, on average, consumed 59.0% of all lemons and limes produced in the country. While Mexico is the largest supplier of fresh limes in the United States, the country exported an average of 19.0% out of the total lime production. The United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan, and France are the major importers of Mexican lime. During 2016-2018, Mexico saw a revenue increase of 21.50% in exporting lime.
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