A fruit growers association is warning of a ‘disastrous’ time for lemon farms in Alicante Province due to cheap imports.
La Unio de Llauradors says that local income could plummet by as much as €52 million compared to a normal year.
Two main lemon varieties are grown in the area, namely the Verna and Fino lemons.
La Union claims that money from Verna growing will fall by 72% this year, with a drop of 60% for Fino farmers.
The group say that increasing supplies of cheap imports from Egypt, South Africa, and Turkey are deflating local demand and prices.
Verna lemons are now only being sold on for 20 cents per kilo, with 40% of the crop remaining to be harvested.
A La Union statement said: “For the last two weeks, traders are hardly buying any Verna lemons and a large quantity are just being left on trees and will end up having to be destroyed.”
The Fino brand is selling at 18 cents per kilo, which is a 60% price fall compared to 2020 levels.
“Unfair competition is threatening the livelihoods of many families in the south of Alicante Province,” stated La Union.
The association laid the blame at the door of the European Union for striking deals with non-EU countries.
Lemons are not just sold on to wholesale fruit markets but are bought by manufacturers who use citrus fruit in a variety of products.
25% of Spain’s annual lemon harvest is destined to be used in processing, with the country second in the world citrus processing rankings behind Brazil.