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40 percent more lemons expected in the market this year

There’s an abundance of conventional lemons right now. “Overall supply is very strong due to the heavy rain in California this season,” says George Uribe of McDaniel & Chirico Worldwide. “We are also seeing more fruit in Mexico with the crop presently peaking between 200 and 140sz. ” He adds that quality is good which means that currently, there’s approximately 60 percent choice and 40 percent fancy available.  

Compared to last year at this time, 2023 has seen more rain which means there’s also more fruit. “We also have about 25 percent more trees that have come into production so overall we’re expecting 35/40 percent more fruit this year over last,” says Uribe, which has lemon production 12 months a year out of Mexico.   

Last year’s summer crop was also delayed due to drought and in turn, production lasted longer into the winter. “This resulted in a relatively easy transition into our winter/spring crop that looks like it will take us right into our summer crop again in June/July,” he says. “Organic lemons are expected to begin in early May and run concurrently with conventional harvests thereafter.”

George Uribe.

Two growing regions
Right now, McDaniel & Chirico Worldwide is sourcing lemons from Tamaulipas, Mexico. At the same time, California’s D1-2 are in full production too.

Meanwhile, demand has been very good for lemons given foodservice seems to be back fully and a high-priced lime market has helped indirectly as well. To help meet demand, the shipper offers seasonal and yearly contracts available for bulk and value-added packs as well as private labeling.   

Steady consumption is also rising nominally with the population increase and demographic changes taking place in the U.S. Uribe also anticipates demand to increase for organic lemons given the continued growth seen on all organic items year after year.  

The team from McDaniel & Chirico Worldwide.

Overproduction concerns
That said, there is a pressing issue facing the lemon category. “Overproduction is the single biggest challenge even in the presence of historic, adverse weather patterns. It will require that every grower be as efficient as possible to remain profitable,” says Uribe.

Indeed, given the ample supplies, pricing is slightly weaker this year than last year at this time. “Strong supply is impacting price levels and it seems like these conditions will remain for the near future. California growers seem to have plenty of supply leading into the summer. Mexico will be strong in production throughout,” says Uribe. On top of that, South American lemons will begin arriving in mid-May which could further complicate the market.   

For more information:
Michael Chirico
McDaniel & Chirico Worldwide
Tel: +1 (716) 570-0025   

George Uribe
Tel: +1 (201) 560-2932   

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