Global lemon market – COVID-19 causes growing demand
Fresh Plaza’s overview of the global lemon market reports that demand on the European market is high, while volumes are lower than last year. The increased demand is related to the coronavirus crisis, because the fruit is a great source of vitamin C. Argentina and South Africa, the two countries responsible for most of the exports to the European market, have already started. In addition to Californian and some Argentinian lemons, the US also expects Mexican ones. Looking to the future, China also seems to be developing into a major exporter of lemons.
The South African lemon industry is being very cautious with its export prospects. Large volumes from South Africa and Argentina may put pressure on the European market. Exports are currently predicted to amount to 27.1 million boxes (15 kg each), which is 5 million more boxes than last year. This increase is mainly a result of acreage expansion. Although the planting of new lemon trees has slowed down, more than 43% of all South African trees are four years old or younger.
In France and Germany, demand has been very high, with an additional increase observed this year due to the high vitamin C content of lemons, which arguably helps strengthen the immune system. Due to the coronavirus, there is extra demand for such products. In Switzerland, organic lemon sales reached a new high in March.
Spain’s extremely high demand and prices for lemons now appear to be over, although the coronavirus continues to have a strong impact on demand. High prices in Europe have encouraged Argentinians and South Africans to export lemons to the European market earlier.
In Sicily, lemon production is currently at its lowest level in 15 years, due to problems with the fungal disease mal secco (Phoma tracheiphila) and unfavourable weather conditions.
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Dominican Republic exports pineapples to Israel
On 16 May a shipment with 41 tons of pineapples left the Dominican Republic for Israel (Fresh Plaza, 20 May). This is the second shipment of a total purchase of 79 tons. According to the Israeli Embassy in the country and Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (AERODOM), the flight of the El Al Israel Airlines arrived in the country loaded with health supplies and left for Israel with the exported fruit, within the framework of the bilateral relations between both countries that include Israeli assistance in the fight against COVID-19. Israel recently announced its intention to help solve problems related to the management of water resources in Dominican agricultural production.