Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F.
Harvest: May - July
Argentina lemon production is forecast at 1.770 million metric tonnes (MMT), down 130,000 MT from the prior year as a result of drought. The drought is expected to continue through the Southern Hemisphere summer of 2023 due in part to the third La Niña weather pattern in a row.
Lemon production takes place principally in Tucuman, Salta and Jujuy, with some minor production in northeast Argentina. Over the past few years, lemon growers in northwest Argentina have expanded planted area. Tree removal and replanting have been increasing the plant-per-hectare ratio and improving production efficiency and yields. For 2022/2023, the lemon planted area is forecast at 52,000 hectares, up 1,000 hectares from the prior year.
Lower available supplies reduce consumption, exports, and fruit for processing, which is projected to decrease to 1.4 MMT, compared to 1.49 MMT in 2021/2022.
Argentina’s fresh lemon exports are forecast at 235,000 MT in 2022/2023, down 25,000 MT from the previous season. Argentine lemon exports continue to face strong competition from Turkey and South Africa, which offer the European Union (EU) market higher-quality fresh fruit. During January–September 2022, the EU remained the largest export destination for Argentine fresh lemons with a 45% share, followed by the United States with a 21% share and Russia with an 18% share.
Argentina experienced a crop shortage during its 2013/2014 lemon season, leading to a huge reduction in global supply for essential oil markets. This crop shortage created a market gap that was quickly filled by other nations looking to expand and promote their own lemon production. With Argentina’s lemon production fully recovered, the new harvests from other origins have resulted in a global oversupply of lemon material.
Recent above average crop sizes in Argentina have left high inventory levels of lemon oil. In addition, processors are using a more efficient processing method with higher yield to produce lemon oil resulting in more supply.
Because of the higher crop sizes and the more efficient processing methods, the price of lemon oil has remained soft for the past couple of years and the current price for lemon oil is not sustainable for processors.
Due to current socio-economic conditions in Argentina (increased production costs, currency inflation, rising interest rates, labour issues among others) many farmers have switched away from lemon production, converting their fields to more profitable crops such as sugarcane. However, this will result in less supply in the future and the price of lemon oil will increase.
Market price : USD 9.00 /kilo