According to data from the National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa), so far in the 2021 season, the country has exported 72,981 tons of fresh lemons to the US, i.e. more than twice the volume that it shipped to that destination last year (33,536 tons).
“The campaign is still coming to an end and we still don't have the final numbers of derivatives exports. However, our projections indicate that the exported volume reaches approximately 70 million dollars. Last year it stood at approximately 30 million dollars,” stated Pablo Padilla, the president of the Citrus Growers Association of the Argentine Northwest (Acnoa).
According to the sector, this year Argentine lemon was able to gain ground in the US market thanks to the confluence of several factors. “There was a shortage of fruit in California, some delays in loading from Chile, and a decrease in production in Mexico due to a strong frost; all of which gave more space for the Argentine lemon,” the leader stated.
This is the third year that Argentina has exported lemons to the United States after the reopening of that market. Argentina exported lemons to the United States until 2001, when a court ruling left the product out of that market amid pressure from California producers who questioned it. The market was reopened in December 2016, but it was only operational in August 2017 after successive delays by the Donald Trump government
Exports to China also grow
Argentina's first shipment of lemons to China arrived in that country in August of last year. According to Senasa sources, the country has placed 5,064 tons of lemons so far this year, well above the 420 tons it shipped there in 2020.
Expansion of the lemon area in the country
"It wouldn't be prudent to continue expanding Argentina's surface with plantations, beyond the ones that have already been made in Tucuman, Salta, and Jujuy," Padilla said about the internal production. According to projections, for the next 10 years, the sector will already grow at a big enough rate to serve the foreign markets, he said.
"We've heard that there are some projects in the province of Corrientes, which we wouldn't recommend carrying out because we would start having an oversupply that would affect the overall profitability of the sector," he said.