Meanwhile, the EU’s consumption of citrus fruit has increased in response to campaigns highlighting the health benefits of the fruit. It is also the result of innovation (the development of late varieties with better quality), and new ways of consumption (fresh juice dispensers in shops). Although the increase in consumption is higher in the new Member States, over the last 12 years in Spain, lemon consumption has risen by 30%.
Lemon crop recovers after fall in 2015-16
Lemon production in the main Mediterranean exporting countries recovered in the 2016-17 campaign to bounce back from a disappointing 2015-16, which was hit by a heat wave. However, heavy rainfall and high winter temperatures reduced quality and product availability in certain periods of 2016-17. Production of small citrus decreased by 3% compared with 2015-16, with the fall intensifying towards in the second half of the season (from January onwards). Greece, Morocco and Israel increased their production dramatically.
Monitoring of lemon prices in the EU
Spain has set up an observatory to monitor lemon prices. The entity monitors weekly prices received by producers, at packing stations, and at retail points. The purpose of the observatory is mainly to negotiate prices, detect market problems and to take appropriate measures in a prompt fashion.