Argentine lemon volumes down slightly from 2019
As Argentina prepares for its lemon season this upcoming March, the industry says it expects a normal season. President of the Argentine citrus federation, Federcitrus, Jose Carbonell told FreshFruitPortal.com about what the season has in store.
For the moment, the industry anticipates that Argentina's lemons will have slightly lower volumes than last year's season. This is because "it has rained a lot less in our productive zones and that, like always, impacts the quantity and improves the quality," said Carbonell.
But he added that there is still some time to go before the harvests begin, and so the situation could change.
"The main thing that I would say is that we'll see a season similar to last year and, even today, we see a little bit less in quantity and a little better in terms of quality," he added.
Dynamics that Argentina has its eye on
When asked about global market conditions, Carbonell said that in general, there have been fewer volumes coming out of the Northern Hemisphere.
"Production in general in the Northern Hemisphere is a bit less than last year and that's not just for the U.S. but also for Spain and Turkey," he said. "This, naturally, creates more favorable conditions for fresh fruit exports coming out of the Southern Hemisphere."
Currently, the season for Northern Hemisphere countries is in full swing but it looks like there has been a decrease in Spain, Turkey and California, he said.
This means that prices could be favorable for exported lemons. However, Carbonell went on to emphasize that "these are the kinds of things that need to be confirmed later, this is only what we know up to this point".
With these things in mind, Carbonell said that this year exports could return to normal for the lemon industry, with a proportion of 70% exported to 30% remaining in the domestic market.
Regarding the situation of Argentina's supplies, Carbonell explained that the industry is currently in the process of making a big effort to refresh its trees.
"We have been planting a lot in recent years. We've changed a lot of the regions and planted in areas that will produce better quality fruit," he said.
Markets for Argentine lemons
In the market, the most important change that the industry is seeing is that China recently opened its doors to fresh lemons. As long as they are cold-treated, Argentine lemons can now enter the Asian market.
He explained that, like in all new markets, the goal is to allow it to grow with time. This is because "no market has a significant volume of fruit in the first year so that's good news for us".
More markets are also in development stages for Argentina. Markets like the U.S, Brazil and Mexico are "trusted cases" where the industry is confident of significant growth in the short term.