Heavy demand, tight supplies for early lemons

10/24/2013 04:02:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Most growers will have slightly larger desert crops compared to last year, he said, though Limoneira may be down a bit because the company had a large crop last year.

Less desert wind than last year should mean more first-grade fruit this season, he said.

Although the Yuma, Ariz., area starts producing a few weeks earlier than Coachella, Calif., Coachella produces up to 5% more fruit than Yuma, Teague said.

Arizona’s growing conditions can be harsh, he added.

“The raw product itself is good — a very heavy, juicy piece of fruit with a thin skin, highly sought in the Asian and sub-Asian export markets.”

Limoneira expects good results from foodservice, retail and export deals this season.

Teague expects to see “balanced supply and good pricing, and so I think both sides of the equation will make decent money.”

Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers Inc. will help consumers — and retailers — celebrate the holidays with a selection of conventional, organic, meyer and seedless lemons, said Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations.

They’re packaged in bright pouch and net bags, she said.


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