Chilean lemon export value down a third in H1

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Chilean lemon export value down a third in H1

The value of Chilean lemon exports in the first half of this year was significantly lower, with U.S. market prices only having rising above last year's levels in recent weeks.

Odepa data shows that from January through June Chilean lemon export volumes were 13% down on 2017 at 17,200 metric tons (MT), but the total FOB value of the period was US$20.9 million - a whole 36% lower.

The equates to an average per kilo value this year of US$1.2 compared to US$1.7 achieved over the period last year. 

While U.S. market conditions have been very strong this year over the summer - on the back of rising demand, low California volumes and limited imports from Chile and Mexico - last year prices were higher between March and June.

Chilean lemon prices in the U.S. this year only began to surpass last year's levels in week 28, when a 17-kilogram box of fruit was selling at US$40.80, compared to US$38.20 last year. The following week this year prices rose to US$43.50 whereas last year they had fallen to US$33.80. 

Chile also focused more on the Japanese market than the U.S. in the first half of this year. Despite the 13% drop in exports to all markets, to Japan they actually rose by 24% to 8,900MT, while to the U.S. they fell by 27% to 6,800MT.

Exports also fell dramatically to the number-three and four markets - South Korea and the Netherlands respectively - although these countries receive far leThe U.S. market may have seen a strong uptick in prices over the last couple of months, but the value of Chilean lemon exports in the first half of 2018 was significantly lower volume than Japan and the U.S., with a little over 600MT each this year.

Photo: Shutterstock

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