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Increased availability will boost US lemon consumption

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2018-04-24  Views: 59
Core Tip: Argentina is the largest lemon growing nation in the world and just recently, the United States opened up its market for lemons from the South American country.
   Argentina is the largest lemon growing nation in the world and just recently, the United States opened up its market for lemons from the South American country. What does this mean for lemon growers and consumers in the US?
 
  Complementary to the domestic market
 
  “I believe ultimately Argentina's exports of lemons to the US will be complementary to the domestic market,” says Alex Teague, COO of Limoneira. Argentina's early harvest starts in March and harvest for domestic use finishes in September/October. Harvest for the export market normally finishes in early August. “Given that US production is lowest between the end of June and September, the overlap is relatively limited. In addition, the majority of Argentina's lemon production is for juice and by-product,” said Teague. According to the USDA, the country's 2017/2018 lemon production for the fresh market is expected to amount to 1.4 million metric tonnes.
 
  A worker on the line at Trapani S.A.

  Drive US lemon consumption
 
  “The increased supplies and availability of lemons in the US will help grow US lemon consumption.” In addition to its domestic supplies, the US already imported lemons from Mexico and Chile. Now adding Argentina will result in the completion of a solid 52-week supply chain. “Year-round availability will contribute to increasing fresh sales of our very healthy product,” mentioned Teague. “Naturally, supplies will peak in some weeks, but we believe market demand will straighten out those situations along with grower-shipper discipline on the production side. Many of the Southern Hemisphere producers are lining up with program lemon sellers in the US, resulting in a win-win situation for both Argentinian grower-shippers as well as US importers and consumers.”
 
  One of Padilla's ranches in Argentina

  Long-term efficiencies
 
  Last week, Limoneira announced the formation of Grupo Argentina. It's a network of four Argentinean lemon growers (Limoneira, F.G.F. Trapani S.A., Padilla Citrus S.A. and EarlyCrop S.A.) that are joining forces to provide uninterrupted supplies of lemons to the US. “We've had a personal and business relationship with the grower-shippers for over 20 years,” shared Teague. “Each company operates independently, but together, we market lemons from Argentina in the US under the One World of Citrus marketing program. We share packing systems due to phytosanitary protocol and hopefully, the collaboration will result in long-term efficiencies in packing and transportation. However, we will have to play this season by season,” Teague said.
 
  Outside the US, each company has its own marketing program with the exception of F.G.F. Trapani who works with Limoneira on marketing lemons in Canada and Asian markets.
 
keywords: lemon
 
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