High-quality lemons distinguish Argentina from competitor regions
The start of this year’s Argentine lemon season was delayed due to a later blooming period last year caused by a severe drought in Tucuman. “Smaller fruit size and rainy weather during the month of April hindered the start of fresh fruit exports this season,” says Mariano Sangronis with Citromax. However, despite a late start, fruit quality is very good. “In the fall, weather conditions leading up to the harvest season were excellent,” he commented. “We had some rainy days that provided the orchards with healthy conditions leading up to the winter season. As a result, the fruit is very clean, juicy, and with a strong aroma that characterizes Tucuman lemons.” This season, Argentine lemons clearly distinguish themselves from competitor growing regions. Cold weather and frost are expected, but Sangronis is hopeful it won’t impact lemon harvest and planning.
Exports depend on COVID situation
In June, Citromax experienced a good pace for exports to Europe, the US, and Asia. However, in each region, the market situation is different and depends on the COVID situation. “We are having a great export season to China where we created lots of brand awareness last year. In the United States, foodservice is showing a strong recovery while in the EU demand is coming back slowly. “All in all, demand for the remainder of the season – which is expected to last into September – will depend on HORECA re-openings as foodservice is a significant driver of lemon demand,” said Sangronis. “The late start will reduce total export volumes, but Sangronis is hopeful the re-opening of foodservice will keep demand strong as it plays a key role in late season demand.”
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In recent years, Citromax expanded its export coverage and now exports to Russia, Canada, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. “Logistics have been a challenge this season, but difficulties always take the best out of our company,” Sangronis said. “Correctly executing strategies in combination with good planning have enabled us to keep our export programs going at a good pace.” Total Argentine lemon exports are expected to be stable this season. “Consolidating last years’ market agreements in combination with developing new markets should be our first priority to keep demand growing.”
In about a month, Citromax’ blueberry season will kick off. So far, weather conditions have been favorable and Sangronis is hopeful to increase blueberry exports this season.
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