South Africa has revised its crop forecast for lemonsdownwardsby eight per cent. Output is now only expected to reach 10.2 million 15kg cartons, down from the original estimate of 11.1 m cartons.

The revision is due to a reassessment of production in the Sundays River area of the Eastern Cape. Justin Chadwick, chief executive of the Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa, said: “After the first pick growers have noticed that the flower drop in December was greater than first expected, leaving little for the second and third pick.”

Meanwhile, the first one million cartons of the grapefruit crop have already been shipped andsizing is reported to be better than last year, which was characterised by small fruit. Shape and both internal and external quality are reported to be very good.

And to date some 80 per cent of the forecast 1.7m carton satsuma crop has been packed, Chadwick added.