Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F.
Harvest: November - July
Spain is Europe’s largest lemon producer and the largest producer of oil, each year processing between 20%-25% of output. There are approximately 48,000 hectares of lemon with an estimated 14 million trees. Despite wide annual fluctuations, lemon production over recent decades has shown an upward trend. Over the past decade production of organic lemons has been increasing quickly and is estimated to account for 15% of current hectarage.
The AILIMPO lemon crop estimate for the 2021-2022 season forecasts production in Spain of 1,035,000 MT, which represents an overall decrease of 24% compared to the 2020/2021 season that closed with a record production of 1,370,000 MT.
The decline is due to adverse weather conditions in 2021 with episodes of cold, wind and excessive rain that affected flowering and fruit set in some production areas. The production of the Fino variety, which is predominantly used in the processing industry, is expected to decrease by 16%, while the Verna variety, which is mostly sold as fresh, is expected to be 40% less compared to the last crop.
A greater use of lemons for the fresh market is expected, with a consequent decrease in volumes for processing.
SPAIN: LEMON PRODUCTION BY VARIETY (TONNES)
SPAIN: lEmON PRODUCTION UTIlISATION 2020/2021 (TONNES)
Increasingly initiatives are being undertaken in the Spanish lemon sector facilitating greater sustainability and helping combat climate change. Spain has been undertaking a range of sustainability initiatives overing environmental, social and economic aspects. In 2021 AILIMPO provided carbon footprint data for the lemon sector showing that it annually captures more than 300,000 MT of CO2.
Measurements of CO2 emissions were taken along the value chain from growing, transportation, packaging, and processing. Lemon groves have a high capacity to capture CO2 through carbon fixation, and AILIMPO estimated the crop captures the equivalent of 360,550 MT each year. The high CO2 fixation figures are due to the implementation of increasingly sustainable practices by producers (e.g. low soil tillage, use of residues and localised irrigation systems leading to reduced water consumption, growth of organic cultivation, use of renewable energy and electric vehicles). Currently, the sector emits an estimated 49,300 MT of CO2 a year – 18,122 MT in transportation, 19,705 MT at packhouse level and 11,472 MT in processing plants. This gives a net CO2 saving of 311,250 MT a year.
Market price EURO 14.00 /kilo