Argentine lemon production to fall in 2012

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Argentine lemon production to fall in 2012

The Argentine Citrus Federation (Federcitrus) is forecasting a 10.7% fall in lemon production this year to 1.25 million metric tons (MT), but exports are only expected to fall slightly.

Federcitrus manager Jorge Amigo tells the expectation is still an appreciable volume with the fruit in good condition to date, but the peak harvesting period is still around three months away.

"We have higher costs though compared to recent years; with inflation and the situation with the U.S. dollar it means everything costs more, from labor to equipment, but prices in markets are not increasing like that," he says.

"There's also the economic situation in Europe and they might have very significant stocks, so we will have to see what happens there.

"Yes, there's markets in Russia and Asia and those are options, but they don't have the importance in volume that Europe has."

As for negotiations for U.S. market entry, Amigo says the industry still hasn't had any updates from its North American counterparts in two months.

Lemon exports are likely to only fall by around 1% to 220,000MT, with Amigo highlighting that a significant amount of the total production will go to processing.

He adds the lower production is mainly due to a dry period, while growers will still have to wait and see what happens with their crops as the weather is very hot at the moment.

Other citrus forecasts

Argentine mandarin production is set to rise by 10.5% to 420,000MT but exports of mandarins and tangelos are estimated to fall by 10.7% to 100,000MT.

It is a similar cases with oranges, with the crop expected to rise by 14.2% to 800,000MT but shipments forecast to fall by 6.5% to 100,00MT.

Grapefruit production and exports are forecast to remain the same this year at 100,000MT and 10,000MT respectively.

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