26 de septiembre de 2016

AILIMPO Concludes the 2015/16 Spanish Lemon Season

Season accentuated by a 30% drop in yield caused by weather conditions in May 2015 affecting fruit setting. 

Conclusion of a season qualified as an anomaly and extraordinary.

The upcoming 2016/17 season is expected to entail a significant recovery and return to normalcy. Ailimpo will publish the crop estimate-forecast report at the end of July.


The current Spanish lemon season has concluded with a provisional harvest figure of 802,000 tons, (estimated data to be achieved end of august) which is 30% less than the production figures from two years ago that yielded 1,154,000 tons and reflected Spain's true productive potential with the nearly 10 million lemon trees planted. As Ailimpo previously forecasted, the drop in crop yield was due to adverse weather conditions throughout 2015.  

In general terms, Ailimpo points out that “the campaign that we are closing can be viewed as an anomaly and exceptional in terms of both volume as well as contributions. Moreover, the campaign closed earlier than expected in June, though Spanish lemons are usually present on the market until the end of July”. 

The lemon harvest downturn resulted in a reduction of the offer on the export market, which shrank in volume by 21% to tally 530,000 tons, nevertheless underscoring that “commercial efforts focused on EU markets as the sector follows a policy of prioritizing service and supply to traditional and consolidated clients”. On the other hand, and despite the smaller volume, the overall turnover on fresh lemon exports increased 15% to reach €640 million. Germany was once again the top destination for Spanish lemons, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Poland. 

The smaller crop resulted in 50% less exports to non-EU markets, though business activities were maintained with 48 countries outside the EU, albeit at inferior volumes, which demonstrates the dynamics of the commercial sector and trend toward diversifying destinations for Spanish lemons”. In this regard, the top non-EU countries for Spanish lemons included Switzerland, Canada, the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, etc. 

There is also a prominent positive trend growing in the national marketplace, marked by a 10% increase in consumption and confirmation of an apparent growing interest by consumers in lemons as a product identified with a more youthful and healthy lifestyle”. 

Finally, processing activity in juices, essential oils and other products was very limited this year because of the modest harvest and greater engagement for the market for fresh lemons. This activity nevertheless barely topped 100,000 tons, representing 13% of the total lemon production, though normally industry share is around 25%. 

Spanish lemons around the globe. 

These data also reveal that Spain remains the world's second largest lemon producer behind Argentina and maintains its global bellwether status in fresh lemon exports worldwide, since 4 out of every 10 lemons exported around the globe come from Spain.  






1 Sept-31 Aug



1 Sept-31 Aug *





Dif. (%)

Fresh Exports
























Ailimpo is the Spanish interbranch organization based in Murcia and officially recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and the European Commission. The organization represents the economic interests of producers, cooperative farming organizations, exporters and industries of lemons and grapefruits in Spain, a sector in which Spain is the world's largest fresh fruit exporter and ranked second among processing countries with a turnover of €620 million annually, generating 15,000 direct jobs and auxiliary industry turnover of over €250 million. 

Ailimpo's duties under law include ensuring the appropriate workings of the food chain, entering into food and agricultural contracts/agreements, developing methods to control and rationalize the use of phytosanitary products to guarantee the quality of products and environmental protection, and fostering and promoting standards of quality and excellence in the sector.

The lemon sector contributes to environmental sustainability with a net positive balance of 304,840 tons of CO2 sequestered yearly.