UPDATE: Summer Lemon Supplies
June 01, 2015
Long-term effects of California’s record drought are beginning to impact this year’s lemon crop. Lack of natural rain water is reducing the size (smaller), yield (lower), and overall shelf-life of citrus. Current supplies are dominated by 165-count and smaller fruit. Expect prices to continue climbing through mid-summer due to a demand-exceeds-supply situation, especially for 140-count and larger sizes.
- Markon First Crop Lemons are available; quality is very good
- The Southern California season is in full swing; approximately 60% of this season’s crop has been harvested
- Available supplies are dominated by 165- and 200-count sizes
- 140-count and larger sizes are expected to remain very tight through summer
- Southern California stocks will be on the market through September; the Arizona and Mexican seasons will begin in August
- Growers are closely managing fertilizer and irrigation schedules to help offset the stresses of the drought
- Strategic harvesting is in place to ensure only optimum size fruit is harvested; crews are leaving some fruit on trees longer to continue to grow in size
- Packing sheds are utilizing cold-chain management, different waxes, and post-harvest chemical applications to help extend shelf-life
- Mexican supplies have not been impacted by the drought like domestic stocks; no issues are being reported at this time
- Offshore lemons from Chile are expected to hit the market in late June; this should help ease some East Coast demand
Markon will continue to update as more information becomes available.