For MY 2020/21, industry experts have revised their estimate for fresh lemon production to 1.15 million tons (MT), up 12 percent from prior estimates, as summer rains offset some drought impacts. For fresh sweet citrus production, the production estimate is lowered to 670,000 MT for oranges with a stable production forecast for tangerines at 360,000 MT.
Lemon and orange exports are forecast to decrease to 180,000 MT and 70,000 MT, respectively, a decrease of 10,000 MT for each fruit, while tangerine exports are expected to remain flat at 35,000 MT. The COVID-19 pandemic has not had a major impact on the activity of the citrus industry.
For MY 2020/21, fresh lemons for processing are forecast to increase to 831 MT, up by 13.5 percent from USDA Official, due to an increase in production and decline in exports. For MY 2019/20, Post’s estimate is revised up slightly to 1.07 MMT due to the production increase. Processors had large stocks of processed lemon products because of the oversupply of fruit in the previous season which reduced prices for both fresh fruit and processed lemon products.
Lemons – consumption
Although fresh lemon domestic consumption tends to be inelastic, for MY 2020/21, it is forecast at 140,000 MT, up 30,000 MT from official estimates, as a result of larger production, smaller exports, and significant interest in consumers in strengthening their immune systems to face the COVID-19 pandemic through the consumption of vitamin C. For MY 2019/20, Post’s estimate for lemon consumption is increased to 160,000 MT, up 10,000 MT from USDA estimates, as a result of larger production.
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