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. The Spanish are the largest within Europe producing around 900,000 MT - 1,000,000 MT of fresh lemons in any given good year.
There are two seasons in Spain giving them around 9 months of harvesting during the year. The 'Fino' and 'Primafiori' type runs from November to March and the 'Verna' type from April to July. Depending on the year 20-25% of all lemons are further processed.
Today we associate lemon oil production with Italy and Spain (Europe), Argentina, Bolivia and USA (Americas) and even South Africa who are small producers on the global scale.
Spain is Europe's largest producer of fresh lemons and the largest producer of oil.
Lemon oil is obtained by cold expression or steam distillation of lemon's peel.
For quality lemon oil, the link between fresh sales and processing holds the key. In the fresh fruit market, Spanish lemons are very popular for their distinctive juiciness and quality. Spain holds the number one lemon producing position in the European Union. In addition, it is the second largest processor globally, after Argentina. As such the nation continues to have a great influence on market dynamics. As Spanish farmers focus efforts to produce high quality lemons, the oil industry enjoys the advantage of processing superior quality fruit; and absorbs around 25% of the total crop production. Spain does not produce for processing, and the primary focus is the fresh fruit market. Considering that good quality fruit naturally translates into superior grade cold pressed oil, this gap has been smartly converted into a strong asset.
Spain is the only country engaged in the production of two lemon varieties, Fino lemon in winter and the Verna lemon variety in summer. Consequently, Spain enjoys an edge over other orgins – it offers quality lemon oil from fruit produced hroughout the year. However, there is trepidation that the crop may dwindle by 2.8% due to a decline in the production of these two lemon varieties as compared to previous years. On the other hand, there has been the emergence of new plantations of Fino lemon and hopes are riding on a production increase estimated at 12%. The Verna lemon forecast, meanwhile, is down by 40% as flowering in May and June got badly affected due to high temperatures. With regard to quality and quantity, the Spanish sector should continue to establish its leadership position in the European fresh market. While its produce maintains second place in the worldwide processing activity.
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