Within complicated external context, Ledesma led Argentina’s citrus exports once again
In a difficult season in terms of a complicated external context, Ledesma led Argentina’s fresh-citrus exports once again, with a total volume of 35,634 tonnes of fruits –which represents 7,000 tonnes more compared to 2020. Oranges accounted for 86% of the total production (30,689 tonnes), followed by lemons with the remaining 14% (4,995 tonnes).
The re-opening of the European Union market to imports of Argentine citrus in 2021 was accompanied by exhaustive controls held both by Argentine and European official agencies applied to citrus growers in orchards, packing facilities and ports of origin and destination. The EU has closed imports in 2020 based on phytosanitary issues. In the case of lemons, Europe had a late start leading to a lower volume of exports to that destination. However, both Ledesma and Argentina, in general terms, had a good season in terms of phytosanitary issues.
A distinctive feature of 2021 season of Argentina’s citrus exports was based on the complications arising from maritime freight, both in the country and in the ports of destination, which caused delays in loading and deliveries, and even affected the continuity of operations during certain weeks.
The main export destinations continue to be the European Union (70%) for Valencia-type oranges and the United States (36%) for lemons. Thanks to the experience gained in the previous season, Ledesma was able to add a very attractive new destination for lemons: China. The remaining volume of sales was made within lower-priced markets, which contributed to an overall lower profitability compared to the previous season.
With a long-term perspective, Ledesma is now focusing on making its lemon production volume grow. For this reason, the company has expanded its cultivation area in the province of Jujuy, and in 2021 it has harvested lemons in Tucumán province based on a lease agreement.
During this season, Ledesma production totalized 114,379 tonnes of citrus in its own planting sites placed in Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán provinces. Oranges accounted for 58% (65,806 tonnes) out of said volume, followed by lemons with 28% (32,105 tonnes) and by grapefruits with the remaining 14% (16,486 tonnes).
Ledesma’s Juice and Oils Plant has processed 99,139 tons of citrus to produce almost 6,397 tons of juice and 532 tonnes of essential oils. Ledesma Production Plant has been certified by the most stringent Standards (BCR, SGF, SEDEX and Kosher), therefore meeting worldwide leading customers’ demands.
During 2021, driven by the company’s constant search for innovation, Ledesma has enhanced its infrastructure and resources and has refurbished its packing plant in Libertador General San Martín to export lemons to the United States.