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Argentina: Lemon harvest delayed 15 days
Fruit exports are delayed to countries of Eastern Europe, especially Russia. Because of the moisture, it was impossible to perform tasks with citrus. A year with non-encouraging prices is expected.
First, there was a long drought, and now, persistent rain. The weather seems to go counterwise to the needs of the agricultural sector in Tucuman. This makes it difficult for the soybean thresh and does not allow the start of cane and lemon campaigns. In this last case, problems are becoming evident, due to the stopping of the citrus harvest, the first shipments of fruit to the markets of Eastern Europe, primarily Russia are delayed. This was stated to LA GACETA by the President of the Tucuman Citrus Association (ATC Spanish abbreviation), Roberto Sanchez Loria.
"Undoubtedly, the rain is affecting and delaying the start of the campaign. We talked about a quite unusual month of April, because there was rain during most of the period ", said the leader. He highlighted in this line, that all activity in the citrus sector in the province "is paralyzed."
Half way through this month, the Tucumán citrus sector starts its export season to the countries of Eastern Europe, but this time the first exports could not be delivered. "The first movements begin from April 15th, but this time those tasks were impossible to execute due to the rains. That is, we should be working, but surely this paralysis will last until after the first week of May," said Sanchez Loria.
He stressed that lemon producers and exporters have already received fruit orders from countries, particularly from Russia.The ATC holder revealed that the current citrus season in our province will be less in terms of productivity than previous years because of the drought, which affected Tucuman crops between October and March. "There will be a decrease in volume, although it is not clear to what extent," he said. He commented that this contraction is not likely to generate better prices in the lemon world market, as usually happens when exports from Argentina are reduced.
"There is a Europe with its 'head down', very careful in prices," said Sanchez Loria, referring to the economic crisis affecting some of the countries on the continent. "The adverse economic situation in Europe is serious and some countries are more committed than others. In Spain it is particularly serious," he said. "It is not convenient to think that the fall of our production can be helped by prices," concluded Sanchez Loria.
The citrus sector exported lemons as fresh fruit and as industrial derivatives (dehydrated skin, essential oils and concentrated juice) worth about USD 520 million annually, according to a report by the Ministry of Productive Development. From the total revenues, European Union countries provided USD 152 million.
Publication date: 5/2/2012
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