Argentine lemon export profitability lower this year amid weakened euro

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Argentine lemon export profitability lower this year amid weakened euro

Argentine company SA Veracruz has said that returns from the European market were less than ideal for the closing season. The Tucumán-based producer is part of Argentina’s biggest growers and processes 80,000 tons of lemons a year.

SA Veracruz exports to 45 countries around the world since 2003. The EU is currently the company’s main destination, receiving 250,000 tons of lemons. This represents 50% of the company’s total production. 

Carolina Seleme, commercial director for SA Veracruz, explains that "it was a campaign that developed normally in terms of harvest, quality and shipments, despite the logistical difficulties we had. In terms of results, euro and dollar variations affected the business. Also logistic transports increased freight rates, which affected profitability".

Consequently, the returns from Europe were not satisfactory for the firm. However, SA Veracruz points out that, for this fruit, no year is the same. The company is confident that supply can be organized so that all countries can have stability.

As for the volumes of the season, Seleme explains that there is still no clarity regarding the results, even predicting that they could be reduced. This is because their shipments are strongly linked to the production of Spanish lemons. 

With 45,000 hectares, Argentina is one of the world's leading lemon producers globally. The 2022 campaign ended just last month and faced several challenges such as the aforementioned logistic crisis and higher maritime tariffs.

Seleme told Fresh Fruit Portal that SA Veracruz will be converting part of its growing hectares into organic, both for fresh and industrial use. The process began last year for industrial fruit and in 2023 it will start for fresh lemons, which would allow the first exports of organic lemons to Europe in 2024.

"We want to increase the production of fruit without post-harvest treatment, we think organic is the future as people are looking for healthier products. Lemon is not only consumed in juice, but also the peel for everything that is pastry, so it is important to give the new generations products that are healthy," says Seleme.

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