Taiwan lemon exports expected to hit 800 tons: official
Central News Agency
2009-06-16 07:31 PM
Taipei, June 16 (CNA) With locally grown lemons becoming increasingly popular worldwide, exports of fresh lemons and lemon juice this year are expected to exceed 800 metric tons, Hsu Han-chin, chief secretary of the Agriculture and Food Agency, said Tuesday.

The southern counties of Pingtung and Kaohsiung are the major lemon-producing areas in the country. This year, more 2,000 hectares of farmlands have been dedicated to the cultivation of the Eureka Seedless lemons and other seedless lemon varieties, according to Hsu.

The total production volume of the crop is estimated at 15,000 tons, down 15 percent from last year due to drastic temperature changes in January and February, Hsu said.

Despite the drop in production volume, the quality of this year's lemon crop is still good, and the citrus fruit's popularity among foreign buyers has lead to a surge in exports, according to Hsu.

The agency has predicted that exports of the fresh fruit will reach 350 tons, while exports of lemon juice will amount to nearly 500 tons, a sharp increase from last year's 90 tons, Hsu said.

Taiwan grown lemons are mainly exported to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and China. In addition to helping local growers make inroads into foreign markets, the agency will assist them in expanding domestic sales and in developing other uses for lemons, Hsu said. Some of the possibilities are lemon essential oil, lemon honey lozenges, lemon vinegar, and lemon sauce, he added.

(By Y.L. Kao)

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