While the supply of lemons out of California is consistent right now, sizing is not. “So supply is inconsistent though just with sizing. The crop is peaking more towards smaller fruit coming out of District Three currently, but that should change once District One ramps up,” says Joshua Schwartz of Four Seasons Produce Inc. Once that district comes on, supply is anticipated to be more plentiful and peak more towards large fruit making for a more balanced market.
A few creative lemon displays from Four Seasons' senior merchandiser Brian Dey.
The two regions are slightly overlapping out of the state--District One will ramp up in about seven days. “District One is a bit late just due to the rough spring that California had with the rains,” Schwartz says. “The crop is down versus last year as well so that plays a role in these regions and start dates.”
As for demand, it’s steady for this time of year. For Four Seasons Produce, lemon demand is strongest in the summertime and for the holidays as well.
Stronger lemon pricing
Meanwhile, on pricing, the market is high. “That’s just because there is limited fruit right now. With District One coming on, that market will level out but it’s definitely elevated right now,” says Schwartz. “District Three will strengthen and District One will ramp up and then the market will be more balanced. About two months ago we were pushing imported fruit from Argentina at a very promotable price. So it’s a huge spread from two months ago to now.”
Along with California, Mexico also has lemons available and that will continue into January. “That market is similar. It might present a bit of value but it’s pretty similar in price.”
In all, Schwartz believes that there will be tighter markets for lemons overall this year. “There won’t be any gaps or anything of that sort,” he adds.
For more information:
Four Seasons Produce
Tel: +1 (717) 721-2800