Spain will continue to be the leading exporter of fresh lemon and the second processor of lemon juice, essential oil, and dehydrated peel worldwide in the 2021/2022 campaign. However, after a record harvest year, Spanish lemon production is expected to decline by 23% due to adverse weather conditions in 2021.
This, according to Ailimpo's first forecast of the lemon harvest for next season, that estimates production will total 1,035,000 tons. This figure represents a considerable reduction compared to the record 1,340,000-ton production expected for the 2020/2021 campaign, according to the provisional balance.
The production of the Fino lemon variety is expected to decrease by 16% and stand at 820,000 tons. The Verna lemon is expected to yield 215,000 tons in 2022, i.e. 40% less volume than in the current 2021 campaign.
The production is expected to drop due to adverse weather conditions in 2021 with episodes of cold, wind, and excess rain that affected flowering and fruit set in some production areas.
Ailimpo also took into consideration the effect of the progressive entry into production of the new farms in its forecast, with 5.4 million lemon trees planted in the last six years, which, will be reflected in the harvest of the next years.
Ailimpo expects that, with this drop in production, there will be a recovery in prices paid to producers that will have to be transferred to the rest of the links in the chain to achieve a correct price balance.
"The beginning of the season in September could be marked by the end of the lemon from the southern hemisphere and the lemon season from Turkey, which may return to normal harvest volumes," sources from Ailimpo stated.
"A greater amount of lemon will be directed to the fresh market and there will be a decrease in shipments to the industry, which achieved a record volume in the 2020-2021 campaign, returning to values close to 25% of average processed fruit in recent years, in a scenario of very active international supply of juice and oil where the Spanish industry will have to try to remain competitive," the forecast states.
"GlobalGAP and GRASP certifications will be key elements next season, within the interprofessional's strategy to differentiate Spanish lemon and promote sustainable production under the triple approach: economic, environmental, and social," Ailimpo added.