Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F.
Harvest: November - July
AILIMPO’s lemon harvest estimate (forecast) for the 2017/2018 season confirms a harvest of 1,115,000 tonnes in Spain, a decrease of 3.7% compared with the production figure for the 2016/2017 season, which ended on 31 August, with 1,157,800 tonnes.
Regarding the varieties of lemon, an increase of 12% is expected for FINO lemon, with a total expected harvest of 907,000 tonnes. The increase in FINO lemon is due to new plantations entering into production. The VERNA variety, however, has an estimated decrease of 40%, due to high temperatures that affected flowering in May and June, with an expected production of 208,000 tonnes. Nevertheless, there has been significant flowering in September in late-blossoming crops, and the volume available for harvest in the summer months should be quantified sometime in the New Year.
The second part of the Fino season started in mid-December with Spanish producers having the luxury of being able to adjust the pace of the harvest to market demand, as they have the great advantage that the fruit can be left on the tree for a long time without issues. With this, we avoid any over supply situation in the local market with the price of fresh fruit maintaining its strong average of €0.36 /kilo.
The market for the processors in Spain seems well balanced for the moment. The fruit qualities are generally consistent and the amount sent for processing is stable compared with previous levels. Generally this is good news but it can become difficult when the oil market gets hungry and the processors wish to buy more fresh fruits, as they are generally unavailable. If they try and secure extra material the fruit costs can be as much as 20% higher, which would have a direct impact on oil prices. With export sales growing globally (Spain covers 80% of the EU fresh fruit market), only a general increase in fruit production will increase availability for processors, something we will not see this season. In fact, it may well be that the total amount of fruit available for processing will be lower this year than last, adding more pressure to the global market with the only other major producing country, Argentina, lowering its output in 2017. Overall despite the smaller output forecast this year (3.7%) Spain continues to invest in lemon acreage and optimise yields. The average of the last 10 seasons production is 906,000 MT with this year’s expected output in the region of 1,115,000 MT
Market prices Euro 33.00 /kilo