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Agronometrics in Charts: Citrus pricing holds relatively stable despite Covid-19

This week we're going to check out what's been happening with citrus prices in the U.S. spot market, specifically for grapefruit, lemons, oranges and limes.

Compared to previous years, overall it seems that pricing has been relatively unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, despite demand surging as consumers look to boost their intake of Vitamin C.


Let's begin with grapefruit, which has over recent weeks seen stable but much lower prices than last year. Volumes between weeks 13 and 19 were also lower year-on-year.

As of week 18, the average price of conventional grapefruit had improved slightly, coming in 3% lower than last year at US$0.98 per kilo. The origins were Mexico, California and Texas.

Prices of conventional grapefruit (USD per KG) in the U.S. market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)


Looking at lemons - which are heavily reliant on foodservice - prices over the last few weeks have been the lowest in five years. Prior to mid-March, when concerns over Covid-19 were heavily raised in the U.S., prices were already in line with 2019, which itself was much lower than previous years.

Volumes in the U.S. market have been higher than 2019, which likely contributed to the low pricing.

As can be seen in the chart below, in week 18 prices of conventional lemons were 11% down year-on-year at US$1.34 per kilo. The origins are California, Arizona and Mexico.

Prices of conventional lemons (USD per KG) in the U.S. market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)


Prices of conventional oranges in the U.S. were stable in the first part of 2020, with a small increase in recent weeks relative to 2019.

Looking at the chart below, we can see that in week, average prices were 18% higher year-on-year at US$0.96 per kilo. The origins were California, Arizona, Mexico, Texas and Chile.

Prices of conventional oranges (USD per KG) in the U.S. market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)


Lastly, prices of conventional limes have been well below 2019's levels, and the did not see the massive spike experienced in most recent years around March and April. Volumes in the U.S. have been the highest in five years, which likely contributed to the low pricing.

Prices in week 18 were 55% lower than in 2019 at US$0.68 per kilo, with Mexico the only origin.

Prices of non-organic blackberries (USD per kilo) in the U.S. market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Written by: Cristian Crespo
Original published in on May 12, 2020 (Link)


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