Argentina: Tucuman's lemon production will increase by up to 8%

The production of fresh lemons during 2017 amounted to 1.4 million tons, a level below the market expectation. "We should be producing 1.65 million tons. The decrease in production didn't allow us to have enough fresh product to export," stated Jose "Yayo" Carbonell, the President of the Argentine Federation of Citrus (Federcitrus), who also stated that they expected production would grow by 7% to 8% in 2018.
Carbonell also stated that exports would grow, and that one of the opening of markets, such as the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, or Indonesia, was one of the best steps taken by the Government in its management for the industry. "The export will grow but it is difficult to calculate how much. We have to win the markets," he added.

Tucumán, for example, will send 20,000 tons of lemons this year to the United States, even more so as a recent measure by President Donald Trump included fruits and citrus fruit to enter tariff free (through the General System of Preferences).

In any case, in the sector they are alarmed by the problems of fruit growing in general - issues such as high tax pressure, logistical costs and lack of access to credit. "In the case of lemons, international prices are indicative of the lack of competitiveness of the sector," said the producer from Tucumán.

While in the case of access to markets, he claims that even with the Chile tariff conditions, Argentine producers could improve their turnover (net of fees) by 3.4% to export to the European Union, with respect to their current situation. "Greater trade integration, supported by an EU-Mercosur agreement, would be perhaps the most powerful of the reforms for the sector", said the study.


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