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Anyue Lemon Prices and Exports Increase, Production Drops

December 06, 2020

According to a report from Xinhua News Agency, the lemon production area in Sichuan province’s Anyue County, the so-called “lemon capital” of China, has now reached 34,667 hectares, accounting for over 80% of the country’s growing area. Statistics from the Anyue County Lemon Production and Development Center indicate that the county’s production volume will reach 550,000 tons this year with a total value of 14 billion Chinese yuan ($2.1 billion), an increase of almost 900 million yuan ($138 million) with respect to last year. Under current plans for the region, the standardized production area in the region is set to nearly double by 2030.

Lemon exports from Anyue County have remained steady throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Between September 2019 and August 2020, lemon exports from the region doubled to surpass 130,000 tons. The current harvest season is set to continue through December.

Market prices for Anyue lemons have also risen as quality has improved. Prices started at roughly 3 yuan per jin ($0.92 per kilogram) and have now stabilized at 1.6–1.9 yuan per jin ($0.49–0.58 per kilogram), an increase of approximately 0.5 yuan per jin ($0.15 per kilogram) relative to last year.

Contrary to the increase in export volume, domestic production has actually decreased by 10% this year, which is another factor that has contributed to the price increase. This decrease has been primarily attributed to poor weather — winter and spring were drier than usual. Furthermore, the COVID-19 outbreak made irrigation in spring more difficult, causing the trees to produce many flowers but few fruits. The lemon market last year was also not good, causing many farmers to leave their fruits on the trees until as late as February of this year, sapping nutrients from the trees that would otherwise have been used this season.

Online sales have been a major driving force for Anyue lemon sales this year during the pandemic, reaching a total value of 720 million yuan ($110 million) between January and June, with some vendors processing as many as 20,000 orders per day.

Image: Pixabay

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