EXTREME weather conditions have caused big falls in Alicante Province lemon and orange harvests.
Growers have been forced to count the cost of a very wet spring and record-breaking summer high temperatures in the area.
The Verna lemon variety has been the worst hit with just 50,000 tons harvested- a 50% fall on last year.
Harvest numbers for the Fino variety of lemon are 15% down on 2022 figures.
Oranges have suffered as well with the ‘Lane Late’ and ‘Powell’ varieties falling by 30% over 12 months.
The local young farmers association, Asaja Alicante, claims this year’s extreme weather combined with an ‘exhaustion’ of trees is to blame for the falls.
Asaja president, Jose Vicente Andreu said: “Many lemons have yet to reach the full size, which explains why there is less fruit being sold.”
Another factor in fewer lemon supplies is that the main winter importer, Turkey, has seen harvests slashed due to frosts earlier in the year.
The higher sea transport costs have also seen importers like Argentina and South Africa look towards other markets, like Asia.
Vicente Andreu added that good prices were being paid for lemons as well as for oranges and tangerines, but problems over cheap imports dating back to last year were still an issue as local growers could not compete with rock bottom prices.
“Alicante Province farmers are still suffering the consequences dating back to 2022, in which around 30% of the oranges were left unharvested due to the impossibility of selling them,” he commented.
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