Argentine lemons off to "normal" start

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Argentine lemons off to "normal" start

The Argentine lemon season has kicked off on schedule in the province of Tucuman with the first fruit sent to Russia and the European Union. lemons_78126631 small

Tucuman Citrus Association (ATC) president Roberto Sánchez Loria told a summer drought impacted lemon size, but was unable to give an estimated crop value.

"We must see ultimately how these sizes evolve toward the end of the harvest. If these sizes do not evolve toward the end of the harvest, the volume will be lower. If they evolve a little bit more, we'll see a better harvest," he said.

Loria Sanchez explained the severe drought - felt throughout northern Argentina - led to a lower water supply for all crops. The good news though is that there have not been any frosts registered in the fall.

He said that so far shipments had been as planned to meet demand in the European Union and non-European Union countries.

"I would say that the European situation (economic crisis) has not deepened in a negative sense. We can say there is a stable situation, not euphoric, but stable.

"We hope this doesn't change because obviously that would impact our business."

As the season progresses there will be shipments to Asia, where the volume of Argentine lemons has been rising year-on-year in non-traditional markets. While volume is small, Sánchez Loria emphasized the greater presence was what mattered.

"We have a space gained on the basis of good work developed over many years, with a product that is acceptable and of very good quality. In this sense we have a strength - we are offering and accepted and well classified product."

When asked about possible entry for Argentine lemons in the United States, he said the situation was on standby.

"We have had a change of diplomatic representation and that means a whole process of accomodating new management and we'll see from there.

"We continue to work with what we have left pending, which is to secure the issue of non-transferability by seed against a disease CVC that is questioned by the U.S."





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