First assessment of southern hemisphere lemon exports this season

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By TopInfo


By week 23, a total of over 289,000 metric tonnes (MT) had been shipped to destinations. Globally, this is 37,000 tonnes less year-on-year, a drop of 11%. However, not all countries in the southern hemisphere have acted in the same way.

Argentina: More lemons in the United States

Argentina started their season in mid-March, but with a slower starting shipping rate than last year. To date, the country has shipped 69,000 tonnes less year over year. But the most notable thing this season is the change of its destinations. Last year, Western Europe took the top spot with 60% of shipments and the United States, 6%. This season, Europe occupies 21 percent, while the United States has 40 percent.

Chile: More Japan and less Korea

Chile started their season in the second week of May, which is the usual date for the country. Her initial shipping rate was pretty normal for three weeks and then increased dramatically. At present, it has shipped almost 4,000 tonnes more year over year. It should be noted that a higher initial volume goes to Japan and China while a lower volume goes to the United States and South Korea.

South Africa: Less lemon in the Middle East and more in Russia

South Africa started its campaign at the end of January, which is normal, but it was not until mid-April that it significantly increased its shipping rate. To date, it has shipped around 27,000 tonnes more year over year. The changes in the proportion of its destinations do not appear to be significant. Compared to last year, the Middle East decreased slightly, and Eastern Europe (Russia) increased almost proportionately.

Uruguay: More lemons in Europe

Uruguay usually start their season from late May to early June and this year there have been no exceptions. More volume has been exported year by year and the proportion of its shipments to Western Europe has increased, to the detriment of the United States as a destination.

Markets and prices

United States: There is a large supply of lemons from the southern hemisphere, however, there is less lemon locally and from Mexico. In addition, there is a boom in demand due to the reopening of the restaurant business which was closed last year and favors medium and small sizes. In general, prices remain high and rising.

Europe: The situation is complicated due to the increase in the production of Spanish lemon which has a large supply of good size and good quality. Normally, the Spanish lemon does not see the quality and sizes demanded by the market. For now, however, there is growing interest in southern lemons to cater to the most discerning customers.

Russia: The season started with low prices due to large arrivals from South Africa, which this year is more present than others. Thanks to the drop in Argentinian shipments, the market has recovered slightly and prices are currently average compared to the last two years.

Avoid market saturation

The last word, however, will be the weekly rate of shipments and arrivals. Any optimistic forecasts or estimates are useless if the weekly rhythm of arrivals is excessively altered, saturating the markets. Particular attention should be paid to arrivals planned for July in the USA


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