Argentina lemon exporters are taking a cautious approach in their second year exporting to the U.S. market after a long absence.
About 10 lemon exporters resumed lemon exports to the U.S. after a 17-year absence, and in their second season are planning to have more volume.
Europe is the biggest market for Argentina’s lemons, with arrivals mostly in Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Argentina lemons notes fresh lemon production for the marketing year 2018-19 is forecast up to 1.6 million metric tons, an increase from 1.5 million metric tons in 2017-18. Of that, lemon exports to all countries are estimated at 290,000 metric tons, up from 265,000 metric tons in 2017-18 and 241,000 metric tons in 2016-17.
The U.S. received only a small fraction of Argentina’s lemon exports last year.
According to the USDA report, U.S. imports of Argentina lemons in 2018 were 5.9 million pounds in 2018, or about 2,681 metric tons. Arrivals of Argentina lemons arrived by boat at Philadelphia from May through August and into Tampa in June, according to the USDA.