The municipality of Oxkutzcab, the State’s biggest citrus producer, usually sells to the highest bidder.
Given the fluctuation in the price of citrus products, Wal-Mart could stop buying limes from local farmers in the State of Yucatan.
Walmart had committed to buy premium lemons at $55 pesos a box, but foreign buyers were offering up to $80 pesos a box.
Nevertheless, during the first week of February growers agreed to sell Wal-Mart of Mexico part of their produce.
Santos Norberto Baas Tec, who was appointed to coordinate operations with the multinational company, confirmed that there was an agreement to deliver 18 tons of premium grade lemons to Walmart. “But these transactions will no longer be possible due to the variation of prices of citrus in the Yucatán market. The price of limes fell last week to $30 pesos per box; Walmart proposed to pay $45 pesos, when they had earlier agreed to pay $55 pesos per box.
The producers said that the agreements were not respected and therefore the deal broke. The Company had been paying up to $39 per box for poor quality limes.
The sale of agricultural products in the city is governed according to the supply and demand of crops. For example, two weeks ago lemons started at $80 pesos for a 20 kilo box and farmers no longer wanted to sell to Wal-Mart for $55 pesos.
The growers and buyers are aware of the overproduction of lemons in parts of the country, and that prices will not reach last year’s levels. In 2014 the weather affected citrus production in states like Tabasco, Veracruz and Oaxaca.
This time buyers from the center and north of the country prefer to buy citrus from Tabasco to save on freight”.
Santos Norberto Baas Tec said that from Oxkutzcab to Mexico City, a trailer can consume about $8,000 pesos in fuel and can only transport about 20 tons of produce, so it is a lot more convenient for the Yucatecan farmers to sell their crops onsite to the highest bidder.
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