Limited availability of lemons due to California rains

Volumes on lemon supplies are proving limited. “Supplies of lemons are very short,” says Hugo Barajas of Los Angeles, Ca.-based Progressive Produce. 

Barajas points to two factors that helped create the shortage. Of the three different growing districts in California—D1 (Central Valley Region), D2 (Coastal Region) and D3 (Desert Region)—D1 and D2 started four to five weeks earlier than normal, overlapping into D3 which is the start of the lemon crop season in September. “D1 and D2 usually start in late November-early December and this year they started in early October,” says Barajas. “The warm weather pushed the lemons in those districts to be harvested earlier in the season.” 

The rain effect
At the same time, the California rains helped push the size of the lemons to larger size sooner than normal and that pushed the pressure on the smaller-sized fruit and subsequently, pushed an increase in prices.

Meanwhile prices vary. On the Fancy grade of fruit, pricing is stable. On 140s to 200s, prices are up around the $40s FOB and tomorrow it can be $42. It’s rapidly increasing on the fancy side.” On the Choice grade, the 140s through to the 200 count is also proving unpredictable. “The Choice demand on the 115s through 75s are steady due to the rains, but as soon as those big sizes are consumed, you’ll see big demand and prices go up.”

For more information:
Hugo Barajas
Progressive Produce
Tel: +1 323-890-8100

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