Juicy citrus profits for Argentina and Peru in 2011
As the world's largest lemon exporter Argentina expects to squeeze out an extra 25% in production in 2011, while Peru is on track to boost exports by 20.9%, Latin American media reported.
Argentina may be suffering harvest delays this year but industry leaders from the major lemon-growing province of Tucumán predict an extra 250,000 metric tons (MT) of production, reported On24.com.ar.
The province accounts for 90% of the country's production and while only 30% is exported as fresh fruit, that amount still equates to around US$250 million worth, the story reported.
The story said industry groups could agree to forcibly slow down exports to avoid price depression, taking similar action to what was done in 2008 when 40% of shipments were cut. While Argentina is a dominant world player with the ability to affect prices, its lemons have to compete with Spanish lemons at a similar time.
While production figures are looking positive, Argentina's hope for market re-entry in the U.S. have suffered a setback due to a diplomatic row over a military aircraft delay in Buenos Aires' Ezeiza airport, reported Lagaceta.com.ar. The political row that is beyond the farmers' control has caused headaches on top of quarantine testing requirements.
In February last year APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) issued new requirements for the entry of lemons from the Argentine province of Tucuman, including plant monitoring for CVC (Citrus Variegated Chlorisis) symptoms, the story reported.
Farmers and officials from Argentina’s food safety association claim there is no record of the disease in Tucumán, according to the website.
Tucumán Citrus Association (ATC) president Roberto Sánchez Loria told La Gaceta the industry should not express anger over the requirements.
“I don’t believe it would be positive for us to get angry with a country we are trying to sell something to, such as lemons in this case,” he was quoted as saying.
“We hope to eventually separate the commercial and the sanitary from the political.”
Peru, citrus mandarins
Peru's lemon exports will likely rise 13.9% in 2011 and will be part of an expected $58.5 million worth of citrus shipments, market consultancy Maximixe told Andina.com.pe.
The forecast is a significant jump from the US$56.9 million recorded in 2010 and is mostly due to higher demand in international markets and a rise in mandarin production, the story reported.
Maximixe told Andina that mandarins would rise by almost half this year, orange exports would rise by 75.6% and limes were expected to increase by 17.2%. In terms of the breakdown of citrus exports, mandarins make up 61.9% and oranges constitute 7.1% of exports.
Peru's major mandarin markets are the U.K. (34.6%), the U.S. (21.1%), Canada (17.3%), the Netherlands (13.3%) and Ireland (3.4%), the website reported.