Photo: Citrusvil Argentina
Argentina’s citrus sector is undergoing difficult times due to a drought that has reduced fruit size. Fresh lemon production for 2020/21 is projected to plummet by 30% to 1.03 million tons, according to FAS/Buenos Aires data. Lemons were particularly affected by low temperatures early in the growing season. The drought will limit orange and tangerine production increases to 700,000 tons and 360,000, which nevertheless represent 50,000 ton increases for both fruits compared to 2019/20.
Lemon exports in 2020/21 are projected to fall 23% to 190,000 tons, due to the smaller crop, larger Northern Hemisphere supply, strong competition from South Africa, and uncertainty regarding the EU measures to tackle Citrus Black Spot. Sweet citrus exports are estimated at 80,000 tons for oranges and 35,000 tons for tangerines, which are both significantly lower than historical levels. The country’s citrus sector is dealing with challenging domestic economic conditions, which have reduced Argentina’s ability to compete in export markets against other Southern Hemisphere exporters, especially South Africa.