Spain’s Fino lemon production is expected to increase by 12 per cent this season to 907,000 tonnes according to the latest crop estimate released by Ailimpo.
However, Verna output is projected to fall sharply due to high temperatures that affected flowering in May and June.
Initial estimates indicate that the Verna shortfall could be as much as 40 per cent, giving a harvest of 208,000 tonnes. But Ailimpo said significant flowering in September in late-blossoming crops suggested that the final figure could be higher.
The total 2017/18 lemon harvest is projected to reach 1.115m tonnes, a decrease of 3.7 per cent on last season, which ended on 31 August.
The Fino season started in the last week of September with harvest and export activity expected to build gradually during October.
Ailimpo warned the water and weather situation meant that there would be a limited availability of commercial sizes in the coming weeks.
“With these figures for the 2017/18 season, Spain will continue to strengthen its commercial position in the EU with a market share of over 80 per cent,” the organisation said.
“It will also allow for satisfying growing demand from the domestic market and reintroducing exports to overseas markets outside of the EU, such as the Middle East, Canada, and Brazil, increasing the diversification of markets started by the export sector years ago.”