Argentina: Frosts could affect next year's citrus quality - FreshFruitPortal.com

Argentina: Frosts could affect next year's citrus quality

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Argentina: Frosts could affect next year's citrus quality

Frosts in the Argentine province of Tucuman have not only cut 20% off this season's expected production, but the flow-on effects could result in a lack of export quality fruit next year as well.

Mercofrut head Ricardo Cecilia says the world's biggest lemon-producing region is unlikely to have fruit in good condition in 2012, website Eldiario24.com reported.

"The frosts meant that mandarins, oranges, grapefruit and lemons are falling, and this fruit can't be commercialized. If this continues next year we won't have citrus," Cecilia was quoted as saying.

"New plants of four to five years are of no use, while the oldest will have to be pruned, which will delay the growth process."

Cecilia said his company had lost 80% of production this year in the worst frosts registered since 2007, leading to supply shortages and price rises for many fruits.

"There are many zones in which there are not any horticultural crops left, and others where very little is left."

The problematic outlook comes as Argentina continues to work towards lemon market entry in the U.S. and China.

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