Lemon Oil Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F. Harvest: May - July
2017 saw the first season for a few years in which the number of fresh fruit and those fruits sent for processing declined. The official number wouldn’t suggest a huge impact but global demand growth and perhaps expectations that Argentina would do better than it did, put huge pressure on the market.
In their bi-annual report the USDA stated in July 2017 the following:
‘For MY 2016/2017, Post revised fresh lemon production down from 1.37 MMT to 1.27 MMT. This decline is due to frost that affected the main lemon growing region in early September 2016 during the fruit set, extremely high temperatures in the summer time, and excess rain in March, which delayed the harvest and marginally affected the fruit quality.’ These figures looked to have been very accurate and have been later supported again by the USDA and Federcitrus.
Processing figures followed the trend of the fresh fruit market as 80% of all lemon fruit go to the processing market in Argentina, unlike in other countries where the fresh market is more dominant.
With global oil demand up around 5% the net affect of any decline in production puts pressure on the market as little carry over was reported from 2016. We can confidently say that with the market active in the final quarter of 2017, we are again in a situation where there will be no carry over of oil supplies into 2018 so we will wait with some caution the forecasts for the 2018 Argentinian season. There is also a close eye being kept on fresh fruit export opportunities with both the USA and Brazilian doors recently opening for future fruit supplies, which could reduce the amount of fruit heading for the processing market.