Argentina: Lemon exports drop by 24%

Lemon exports suffered another setback in 2017, as sales decreased by 24% in value and there was a 14% decrease in shipments. Last year exports totalled 249 million dollars, i.e. 78 million less than in 2016.

The volumes exported reached 241 thousand tons, which is 38 thousand tons below what had been exported the previous year. Since 2010 the best year in terms Argentine fruit exports was 2013, when the country exported 282,796 tons.

In 2016 sales peaked at 327 million dollars, thanks to the good international prices there were. According to the INDEC, the average price per ton last year stood at 1,169 dollars, i.e. 41% more than in 2013.

The main export destination was Russia with 18% of purchases. The top ten buyers of Argentine lemons, which, with the exception of Canada and Russia, are all from the European community, accounted for 83% of exports.

The United States announced that it would open its doors to the importation of Argentine lemons, but this still hasn't happened. Meanwhile, the closure of the biodiesel market for the domestic oil industry is a fact. This is how Donald Trump understands free trade.

According to INDEC data, the last time that Argentina exported lemons to the United States was in 2006, when the country shipped a total of 23.31 tons at an FOB value of 8,190 dollars. Another shipment that appears in the records is from 2003 with 46 tons for 15,336 dollars FOB.

After years of negotiations and of convincing the US health authorities that the lemons of Tucuman are free of canker, Argentina had managed to export citrus to the United States in July 2000.

At that time, Argentina made shipments to the US worth 30 million dollars, which quickly increased to 100 million, due to the growing demand for Argentine lemons. California producers asked the Court of that state to stop the shipment of lemons from Tucuman and the court complied based on sanitary arguments.


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