Spanish lemons are currently in a pre-Christmas takeoff situation. The start of the Primofiori campaign has not brought great surprises and has been marked by a mild spring-like weather, as well as by the need to manage the lack of proper calibers and, partially, by competition from Turkey.
Maite González, head for Business Development of the Murcian company Frugarva, says that "our lemon sales are mainly intended for central-European destinations. Since we started the campaign in September, the sales volume has remained stable compared to the previous year, in line with our estimates. At the beginning, we observed, on the one hand, that the last overseas shipments took longer than expected to be absorbed by the market, and on the other, that the size of Spanish lemons in the last weeks of September was still small, so the fruit was simply not ready to be harvested. This year, the temperatures have helped very little. In our case, we addressed the overall shortage of quality fruit with the management of our own productions. This allows us to maintain strong sales in a, let's say, peculiar context."
According to the specialist in lemon production and marketing, when the fruit in the fields is suffering delays in the ripening and growth, you need experience and productive capacity to supply the large European distribution sector, which starts earlier with the purchase of Spanish production. "It is our job as specialists in citrus production to tell European retailers when the time is right to harvest the lemons, depending on the circumstances of each campaign. For our part, and given that the year-round supply of organic and conventional lemons is part of the company's identity, we are fully aligned with the customer. In any case, it is very important to inform the market in order to add value to the entire chain."
While lemon prices started the campaign at normal levels, these weeks are decisive, according to Maite González. "The demand takes a breather before December. Although the destinations for Turkish lemons account for a small share of our sales, their production is significantly larger this year and they compete with aggressive prices. A few weeks with stable sales before the official arrival of the cold should do good ahead of the rest of the campaign and no one should be in a hurry to sell, as this does not generate value."