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AILIMPO: Evolution of the 2020/2021 lemon campaign

Spanish lemon export volume remains stable

The 2020/2021 campaign began in September with a volume of nearly 1,300,000 tons, similar to the volumes achieved in the 2018/2019 campaign. The ban on Argentine imports in August and the orderly completion of the South African campaign (which started very early due to the demand for COVID) have allowed for a clean transition between the southern and northern hemispheres. In addition, the reduction in the Interdonato lemon harvest in Turkey enabled Spain to have a good start, even though the fruit -in general- showed a slight delay in sizes.

According to estimates, 510,000 tons were harvested by February 1, which means that, based on the initial forecast for the Fino lemon (947,000 tons), producers still have to harvest 46% of the production, i.e. about 437,000 tons.

The exported volume remains stable (290,000 tons), thanks to the increase in consumption in supermarkets -although the wholesale and retail channel suffered significantly due to the COVID measures-, and the volume destined for the industry increased (125,000 tons), favored by the high percentage of expropriation, currently higher than 50%, and the lack of a commercial outlet for the latter.

The second and third cuts are conditioned by the percentage of citrus, which in many cases exceeds 50%, and by the net harvesting cost after discounting the price of the industry, which has been working since December at full capacity with record processing figures.

The end of the Fino lemon campaign will be different than in 2020, when lemon consumption skyrocketed in March and April due to COVID-19, to make way for the campaign from Verna, which is forecasted will be similar to that of 2020.

The economic uncertainty in Europe and the impact of Brexit (which will facilitate the early arrival of the southern hemisphere, as that market has no phytosanitary controls) will mark the development of the campaign.

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