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Transition to South American lemon imports as California harvest begins to slow


Overview of the upcoming South American lemon imports in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.


Original published in FreshPlaza.com on May 17, 2021 

As part of its “One World of Citrus™” strategy, Limoneira has made significant investments to ensure its customers receive a consistent supply of high-quality citrus year-round. This strategy is paying off as the California coastal lemon harvest begins to show signs of slowing and the South American crops begin increasing their harvest.

Season of lemons from Argentina, California and Chile in the US Market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The transition to the Southern Hemisphere growing season is well underway in countries such as Chile and Argentina where Limoneira has its own production, as well as growing partners and associate producers. Having its own production and packing in these areas helps Limoneira maintain consistent volume and quality control.

Currently, volume is up from Chile with exceptional quality according to a release. While total production volume in Argentina is down in general for the industry, volume for Limoneira’s “One World of Citrus” is significantly up as young trees and associates’ plantings come to fruition.

Historical volume (in Kg) of lemons from Chile in the US Market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“Having a more consistent, fresh supply throughout the summer has helped us build our programs through the Midwest and many other regions,” says Brett Johnson, Western sales director.

Just in time delivery

Once lemons from the Southern Hemisphere reach the U.S., volume availability is handled throughout the country from Limoneira’s distribution centers in New Jersey, Florida, Texas and California. Limoneira specializes in “Just in Time” delivery and there are multiple packaging opportunities from all of these shipping points.

A partnership with JB Hunt, among other trucking companies, provides regular transportation from the East to the Midwest and South, as well as from the West to other destinations throughout North America.

“Keeping our shipments fresh from California and transitioning to our new Chilean and Argentinian crops allows us to provide the best service and quality to our customers throughout the U.S. and Canada,” says John Caragliano, Eastern sales director.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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