Spain lowers lemon production forecast

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Spain lowers lemon production forecast

Spain's Interprofessional Lemon and Grapefruit Association (ALIMPO) has revised downward its lemon production forecast for the 2o17-18 season. 

It now expects the crop to drop 8% year-on-year to 1,068,000 metric tons (MT). The initial forecast released in September 2017 had pegged volumes down 4% at 1,115,000MT.

Fino lemon production is expected to end up at 862,000MT, which would be 5% down on the initial forecast but 6% up on the previous season.

The Verna lemon forecast, meanwhile, is down only slightly on the September estimate but remains a huge 41% lower year-on-year.

"Rains, water availability as well as general weather conditions are some of the key facts conditioning the size of the fruit with predominance of average and central sizes fruit," the organization said in a release.

"The activity rate during the first part of the season going from September to December 2017 has been higher, with exports in the fresh market going up by 13%. In the case of processing activity, a reduction of 11% was achieved due to lower availability of lemons for this purpose and higher demand from the fresh market."

The Fino lemon season is expected to wrap up at the end of April, following with Verna for around seven to eight weeks.

"The fulfilment of field notebooks by growers, accreditation by the GlobalGAP and GRASP certificates, the involvement of the sector in sustainability programmes, and the use of standardised contracts from the Ministry of Agriculture that fulfil Act 12/2013, on measures for improving the operation of the food supply chain, will be some of the essential elements of this season," it said.

It added that the Spanish sector would continue consolidating its leadership position in the European fresh market in terms of quantity, quality, food safety and excellent service while keeping its second place in the processing activity worldwide.

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