Spanish grower-exporter Gruventa has summed up the 2015/16 Fino lemon campaign as highly profitable for the sector, with the smaller harvest and high quality resulting in attractive prices and significant progress made in opening up new export markets.
Managing director Fermín Sánchez described the season as “an attractive tonic commercially” that had proved “very satisfactory” for growers.
The season started strongly following the early end to Southern Hemisphere supplies, with record prices seen throughout September. Although prices fell as the campaign progressed, they remained stable and well above production costs, according to lemon and grapefruit interprofessional Ailimpo.
Germany, France and Italy were the three biggest export markets, followed by the UK and Poland. However, despite priority being given to European customers due to the reduced volume, Sánchez noted that companies continue to make inroads in new markets such as Brazil, Hong Kong and UAE.
He said it was vital for shippers to persevere with progress made towards the goal of consolidating supply and developing new markets such as Canada, Asia and the Middle East.
Sánchez called once again for the creation of a quality label for Murcian lemons, claiming this would provide greater differentiation and allow for the development of an international promotional campaign.
Lemons are Murcia’s biggest fruit export, with 421,083 tonnes with a value of €415.4m shipped in 2015. The province accounts for approximately four fifths of Spain’s total lemon output.