18/04/2017 | Ingles

55% increase of Verna lemon production in Spain

Concerns about arrival of southern hemisphere supply in June

Official data confirm a significant increase in the production of Verna lemons in Spain compared to the previous year. The total volume will grow from 193,680 tonnes in 2016 to an estimated 300,000 tonnes in 2017 (+55%). The main causes for this are the impact of the rains this winter and the entry into production of numerous new plantations.

The Verna lemon harvest will kick off in late April and the Spanish lemon campaign will last until at least late July, with the possibility of it continuing until August.

Concerns about increased supply and development of the southern hemisphere's campaign
However, Spanish Verna lemons won't be alone in the European market this year. Both Argentina and South Africa have also increased their lemon production in 2017, and that will entail a greater supply and pressure on the European market, especially from June, when the campaigns in these two countries will be in full swing. The scenario that is expected in the coming months is a very competitive one, and obviously very different from the one we saw last year, which was exceptional, with a low harvest volume in Spain and very little lemon from the southern hemisphere.

With these production forecasts and the level of uncertainty about the development of the campaign, field sales operations are currently limited, and will only be activated as the harvest begins, depending on the development of the global supply in the markets. In this context of going back to the normality of a few years ago, sales will be determined by the commercial calibres, and batches with a high share of large lemons will have little appeal to the fresh market and the processing industry.

AILIMPO expects a transitional lemon campaign that will give Spain the opportunity to consolidate its position in the EU market, differentiating its supply with a great service and a fresh lemon that is grown with the maximum guarantees and which hits the supermarket shelves just 72 hours after the harvest. The certification of the farms under the GlobalGAP and GRASP protocols will be a key differentiator for producers.