While in January 2020, when lemons were in abundance on the Tajik market and the low demand caused prices to drop rapidly, one year later, the situation is the exact opposite. The prices for lemons in January 2021, are now three times higher y-o-y.
The cause of this drastic change is the pandemic. The population of Tajikistan believes that vitamin C helps prevent, cure, or at least alleviate the course of coronavirus so they are willing to pay almost any amount for these citrus fruits despite the fact that the Tajik consumer is known to be relatively poor. This fact is successfully leveraged by local intermediaries or resellers who have not previously sold lemons.
The lemons consumed in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan differ from the lemons familiar to people in Europe and the Caucasus. Lemons from Tajikistan are a fragrant fruit with a thin skin that is more orange than yellow in colour with a special pleasant taste. Among the local lemon varieties that are especially appreciated: Meyer, Vakhsh, Lunaria, and Villafranca. These fruits have recently begun to appear on the markets of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
Although there is a surplus of speculative capital in the market, growers are happy with the season. After all, demand for lemons remains high and even those who sold lemons in October were able to make good money. Thus, due to the high demand for lemons, the number of lemon producing greenhouses in Tajikistan also continues to grow.
As reported on east-fruit.com, Tajikistan exports part of the lemons grown. Traditionally, Tajik lemons are purchased by Kazakhstan and Russia.