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First shipment of Argentine lemons to the US in 17 years

Friday, April 20th 2018 - 08:38 UTC
Full article 4 comments
“Let's send off the first truck, which will carry our produce to our brothers in the United States,” president Mauricio Macri said during an event in Tucuman. “Let's send off the first truck, which will carry our produce to our brothers in the United States,” president Mauricio Macri said during an event in Tucuman.

Argentina sent its first shipment of lemons to the United States in 17 years, a few months after President Donald Trump authorized citrus imports from the country.

“Let's send off the first truck, which will carry our produce to our brothers in the United States,” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said during an event in the northern lemon-growing province of Tucuman.

Argentina had been requesting an authorization to export lemons to the U.S. market since 2008, after a ban on Argentine citrus was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Sept. 2001 due to plant pests and diseases in Argentina.

After a long negotiation, in 2016 the administration of then-President Barack Obama removed the ban, although that decision was overturned by Donald Trump a few weeks after being sworn in as President.

Last August, the U.S. president finally authorized lemon imports from Argentina. The first shipment, however, had to wait until the harvest, which just recently began.

The first truck, carrying 30 tons of high-quality lemons, left on Wednesday from Tucuman toward the port of Rosario, from where the fruit will be shipped to the United States.

“The quality of Tucuman lemons is outstanding. We were able to access the U.S. market through hard work and with the help national and provincial institutions, as well as the private sector,” Roberto Sanchez Loria, president of the Tucuman Citrus Association, said.

According to information from the Tucuman provincial government, Argentina is the world's largest producer and exporter of lemons, with a yearly output of 1.5 million tons.

Tucuman produces 84% of Argentine lemons, and citrus exports provide the province with US$ 800 million in revenue per year.

“Today is a historic day because it marks a before and after. Today, the 50,000 people that work in the lemon industry can renew their hopes for a better future,” Tucuman Gov. Juan Manzur said.

Top Comments

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  • DemonTree

    I knew you wouldn't be happy at the news. Not long ago you complained about Argentina buying US soy beans when America hadn't imported a single lemon. Well, now they are importing lemons and I bet you're no less angry about the beans.

    What on earth is so abusive about charging people the real cost of their energy use? There are MANY better things to spend taxes on like schools and hospitals rather than subsidising people's bills.

    If you object to foreign imports so much, why don't you start a movement to buy produce grown in Argentina? That would be a lot more useful than singing rude songs.

    Apr 21st, 2018 - 08:30 am +1
  • Enrique Massot

    Argentine president Mauricio Macri couldn't resist the photo-op in front of the lemons truckload.

    Perhaps resuming lemons' exports to the U.S. may compensate the February 2018 trade deficit of USD 903 million, which ballooned from USD 217 million in February 2017 and means massive imports of food products that compete with local production, devastating the regional economies.

    Argentina has been importing clementines from Uruguay, sweet potatoes from Brazil, raisins from India, potatoes, oranges, apples, carrots, pork meat and supreme irony, yerba mate! (Argentina's national infusion) and dulce de leche (creme caramel). And while the argument for opening the doors wide to imports was that local prices would be lowered as a result, this has not happened--on the contrary, consumer prices have been steadily increasing.

    Slowly but surely, abusive increases in energy prices to consumers and businesses are building a sea of indignation, expressed in country wide marches against the government's allowed “tarifazo,” or steep bill increases that among others benefit Shell, of which Energy minister Juan Jose Aranguren was CEO until assuming as minister.

    As Spain's former dictator Francisco Franco said before he died, “Everything is tied up and well tied up.”

    Apr 21st, 2018 - 03:13 am 0
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Hi Reekie,

    I've been away travelling to (among other places) the land of your (probable) ancestors. Coincidentally, they are growing a lot of lemons and doing some interesting things with them. :-)

    Backtracking to see what I've missed, I've noticed that there are a number of threads were you have made the only comment and there has been no response. You can almost hear the tumbleweed being blown down the street. Are people not considering your messages worthy of response? I wonder why?

    “... couldn't resist the photo-op...”

    Like CFK never did anything like that? But her photo ops tended not to be in front of actually Argentine product, but either crowds of thugs or the pope.

    “Perhaps resuming lemons' exports to the U.S. may compensate the February 2018 trade deficit of USD 903 million”

    Probably not, but it is a start.

    “Argentina has been importing [product that it doesn't grow enough of itself]”

    So what? Why would you deny your people these products at a good price?

    ”... and supreme irony, yerba mate! (Argentina's national infusion)”

    Maybe demand outstrips the amount that can be supplied from Northern Argentina? Again. why would you deny your people...? Also, Britain's national infusion (tea) is 100% imported. Is that irony too?

    “And while the argument for opening the doors wide to imports was that local prices would be lowered as a result, this has not happened--on the contrary, consumer prices have been steadily increasing.”

    So why are the local farmers complaining then? Or maybe they aren't?

    “Slowly but surely...building a sea of indignation”

    I think that was happening under CFK. Now, there seems to be a small proportion of the population who are protesting, but the majority seem to be relieved that the CFK era is over and are optimistic for the future. At least this is what I've been told by people who actually live there.

    Apr 24th, 2018 - 05:10 pm 0
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