Lemon oil from all corners of the world is one of Ultra’s core products.
Lemon has a place in many culinary uses from soft drinks and cocktails to marmalade. However, it can also be used and found in household cleaning products since it can disinfect, deodorise, remove grease and dissolve wax and grime to name but a few uses.
Lemon is also used in aromatherapy to enhance moods and can be used for its anti-bacterial properties in other medicinal applications. In fragrances it gives a fresh uplifting and zesty note to any perfume, as it is highly volatile.
Interestingly the three top producers of fresh lemons in the world are not the countries we would associate with oil production; the top 3 being China, India and Mexico, which account for over 40% of the world production.
Today we associate lemon oil production with Italy and Spain (Europe), Argentina and USA (Americas) and even South Africa who are themselves small producers on the global scale.
Lemon oil is obtained by cold expression or steam distillation of lemon's peel.
As the 6th largest producer of lemons globally South Africa is not always considered a large contributor, especially for oil, yet it proves to be very consistent and reliable. Total production throughout the 2013/14 season reached 270,000 MT with almost 60,000 MT sent for processing. That is approximately 25% more than the previous year for oil production. South Africa can be very versatile when it comes to how many fresh fruits are sent for processing and so is capable of being in or out of the oil market as and when it is more commercially attractive to do so.
Market pundits are anticipating a 7% increase in the production of South African lemon to 460,000 MT in 2017-18. This is due to a substantial increase in planted areas with new orchards coming into full production. Since 2010 the total planted area has almost tripled and is currently estimated in 2018 at 12,100 ha. Favourable weather conditions in the main production areas of Eastern Cape and Limpopo have also helped. In fact these regions account for about 80% of lemon production.
There is a spurt in demand from Asian and Middle Eastern markets and total export of fresh lemons is estimated to go up by almost 7% to touch 320,000 MT in the 2017-18 MY. Nevertheless, lemons for processing are also anticipated to continue their upward trend rising from 56,000 MT in 2015-16 to 115,000 MT in 2016-17 to 123,000 MT in 2017-18.
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