Demand for lemons continues to pick up, with many food service operations returning.
"Overall demand for lemons seems solid, and out of some of the ups and downs we saw over the past couple of years. It has been encouraging," says John Carter of Limoneira. "Typically, foodservice is the stronger part of demand on lemons, and foodservice demand has picked up. It is more steady than it has been compared to during the lockdowns time frame."
Right now, lemons are coming from California as well as Argentina.
Currently, supplies of lemons are coming from California as well as Argentina. "Chilean lemons have also been arriving in light volumes for the past few weeks, and Mexico has been crossing a little bit. The U.S. crop is bigger here this summer than it was last summer. To date, Argentina has shipped less into the U.S. than last year--approximately 70 percent of what they shipped a year. Chile and Mexico are just beginning," he says. Those supplies will change somewhat as the summer moves, with Chile and Mexico taking a larger part of the supplies by the end of August. In Canada, lemons have also begun to arrive from South Africa.
Ocean transportation continues under the watch.
Like the growers and shippers of many agricultural commodities, transportation costs have increased on the ocean shipping of lemons, as well as farm and packing cos"s. “On the shipping side of things, you feel that those costs may have reached the high point. Where it goes from here is undetermined, thowe'ree’re cautiously optimistic on that for"it,” Carter says. He does add that there are still some issues with ocean transportation, but they are not as prominent as last ye"r. “But you can still have delays that make arrivals a little more unpredictable on the shipping origin and destination poi"ts.”
Limoneira is running a new promotional Catch the Citrus Wave packaging for lemons, navels, and mandarins. Each bag highlights the variety with its corresponding citrus characters. The packaging also includes a QR code taking shoppers directly topromotion'sion's landing page for recipes, games, coloring activities, and information about sustainable farming initiatives.
As for lemon pricing, Carter notes those increased costs factor in co"rse. Don't see an increase in pricing right now that truly reflects the cost increases. Giventhere'shere’s not much more movement on the pricing front; exporters are more cautious about the volumethey'rehey’re sending to the U.S. and other ma"kets,” he says.
For now, pricing is mixed on lemons, with the outlook depending on the good supply available in the field relative to the costs to get that supply to the" market. “As always, opportunities emerge relative to specific grades and sizes depending on how Mother Natur" behaves,” adds Carter.