"The European lemon grown in Spain has shown great resilience throughout the 2021/22 campaign, which has just ended. Neither the increased competition with non-EU lemons nor the strong inflation threatening Europe has been able to deal with this citrus produced mainly in the fields of Murcia, Alicante, and Andalusia since its harvest period with a positive balance”.
This is confirmed by the Interprofessional Lemon and Grapefruit Association of Spain (AILIMPO), which adds that "taking into account a context as complex as the present, prices at origin have been stable and higher than production costs." And that the war between Russia and Ukraine has affected the marketing of the product, especially in Eastern and Central Europe, since Turkey has diverted volumes to both areas that it previously directed to the countries in conflict.
However, AILIMPO has indeed lacked more external support by failing to transfer the increase in costs to the sales market, not only for the fruit but also for energy, materials, packaging, transport, etc., which has affected both the products in the field and to the collection and preparation in the warehouses.
Lemon exports to France increase
In total, Spain has produced some 990,000 tons of lemon during the 2021/22 campaign, of which 80% have belonged to the Fino or Primofiori variety, while the remaining 20% has corresponded to Verna. The data represents a decrease of 4% compared to the previous season, a decrease caused by the adverse weather conditions of 2021 – cold, wind, and rain – that influenced the flowering and setting of some cultivation areas.
Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have continued to be the main markets for European lemons grown in Spain. However, it is worth noting the 4.3% year-on-year increase experienced by France, acquiring 77,087 tons until March 2022, according to ICEX. Also, the one achieved by the Czech Republic, going from 10,806 tons exported in the same period of the previous campaign to 15,652 tons in the current one.
Therefore, from AILIMPO, they value the confirmation that lemon consumption in Europe is active, where the average is around 1.96 kg per capita per year in households, according to Eurostat. This scenario has been reinforced by the effect of the organic lemon, which already represents a considerable percentage of the volume and an even greater percentage of the value.