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Thursday, 01 June 2017

South African lemons to EU down 20%

South African exporters, wary of the implications of citrus black spot interceptions on the entire South African citrus campaign in Europe, are playing it safe and sending their lemons to Russia, the Middle East and Asia, with a drop of 20% in the amount of lemons destined for the EU compared to 2016. “Due to technical barriers to trade the EU has received far fewer lemons (12%) than 2016 (32%),” says Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association. By contrast, the proportion of lemons going to Russia has increased by 11% (17% of the volumes already shipped), to Asia it has increased by 6% (19% of the whole) while the Middle East is currently taking a chunky 47% of shipped lemon volumes, up by 4%. “The Middle East is a very important market for the South African citrus industry, especially early in the season.” Of the 6.9 million 15kg cartons of lemons packed by the end of week 20, 5.2 million cartons have been shipped, on par with last year. CGA reaction to US re-entry of Argentinian lemons Justin Chadwick considers the recent decision to re-allow Argentinian lemons to the US market a positive sign. “It sends out an important message for international trade. From a trade perspective it shows an open attitude towards a recognition of technical ways to allow trade to continue while still protecting domestic production.” “The concern around pest and diseases is well-founded. We understand that concern - we never had the Oriental fruit fly until five or six years ago and we know that combatting a new pest adds a lot of cost and hassle to production. The US Department of Agriculture would have considered it carefully and worked out a procedure to minimise contagion of its domestic industry.” It is hoped that Argentinian lemons finding an outlet in the US, will take pressure off other markets, given that South African lemon production is set to double over the next five years

Source: Freshplaza