The world’s production of lemons and limes in 2018/19 is projected to be up 5% to a new record of 8.2 million tons, according to USDA data. Increased volumes have been recorded in Mexico, Argentina, the EU and Turkey, which should more than offset the drop in production in the US. Consumption and exports are both expected to set new records.
The world’s largest producer, Mexico, expects its lemon and lime output to rise slightly, to a record 2.6 million tons, thanks to an expansion in production area. Similarly, Argentina’s production is projected to be up 7% to 1.6 million tons, due to favourable weather conditions. Production in the EU is up 10% to 1.6 million tons, due to both favourable weather and increased area. Meanwhile, Turkey’s output is set to rocket 15% to a record 948,000 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions. South African output is also forecast to climb, in this case by 4% to a record 480,000 tons, on the back of favourable weather and a larger production area. However, US production is expected to drop 4% to 777,000 tons due to the unfavourable weather in California.
The largest market for lemons and limes is the EU and accounts for over two-thirds of exports.