Turkey: Lemons Up, Grapefruit Down

Ernie NeffInternational


Lemon production in Turkey climbed in 2020-2021, but grapefruit production is expected to decline, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Lemon production reached 1.1 million metric tons, which is 13% more than in the 2019-20 season.

Lemons have a longer season compared to oranges and tangerines in Turkey because different lemon varieties ripen at different times during the marketing year.

Consumption of lemons in the country is forecast to decrease to 482,000 metric tons. The decrease is due to high export volume and low demand caused by the closing of cafes and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lemon exports are expected to soar 49% in 2020-21 compared to the previous season. The top export markets for Turkish lemons are Iraq, Russia and Ukraine.

Turkey had 41,000 hectares of lemons planted in 2020-21, compared to 40,154 hectares in 2019-20 but up from 35,911 hectares in 2018-19. There are 11.1 million bearing trees, up from 9.8 million in 2019-20 and 8.7 million in 2018-19.  

Grapefruit production is expected to be 251,000 metric tons in 2020-21, down 7% from the prior season. The drop is due to intensive hail during the blooming season.

Production of grapefruit depends on appropriately hot weather conditions, and Turkey’s climate does not provide ideal conditions. Turkey is only able to export grapefruit varieties that are more sour and less sweet, which creates limitations for expanding export markets.

Domestic demand for grapefruit is very small, and the fruit is mostly consumed as fresh-squeezed juice. Although grapefruit production is quite low, it is still six times the amount of domestic consumption.

In 2020-21, grapefruit exports are expected to be 12% lower than the previous season at 161,000 metric tons. Grapefruit exports are primarily to Russia, Poland and Ukraine.

Turkey has 5,100 hectares of grapefruit in 2020-21, down from 5,222 hectares in 2019-20 and 5,181 hectares in 2018-19.

See the full USDA/FAS report on Turkey.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service

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