Competition sours Argentina's lemon export volumes

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Competition sours Argentina's lemon export volumes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecast Argentina's lemon exports will rise only 3.84% this year, with higher competition and cost concerns.

The Argentina Citrus Semi-annual forecast a production increase of 50,000 metric tons (MT) this year to 1.3 million MT, but only 10,000MT of extra production will go towards exports.

Sources close to the USDA have claimed cost rises of between 40% and 50% this year, partly due to a high inflation rate which has led to difficulties.

The report said lemon planting areas have grown from 43,575 hectares to 44,000 hectares in the past year, with more plantations expected in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy.

The report highlighted increased crop competition with sugar cane for ethanol and soybeans in the main lemon-growing province of Tucumán.

A similar trend is occuring in Argentina's graperfruit industry, which is becoming 'increasingly unprofitable' and should gradually decrease in the 'near future'.

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Southern Hemisphere citrus exports to fall 2.64% in 2011

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