NASS forecast the 2010/11 U.S. lemon crop at 948,000 tons, 10 percent higher than the 2009/10 crop, which was considered average for the decade.

California’s production, forecast at 840,000 tons, would be 8 percent above last season. Arizona’s crop, at 108,000 tons, would be 29 percent higher than 2009/10 if realized. AMS shipment data show total lemon shipments to be about 14 percent lower this season through November 14 than the same time last season. At the same time, total lemon imports are down slightly, about 3 percent, for the season but were comparatively strong in the most recent 2 weeks compared to last season.

Despite the large crop, prices for all lemons have started off the first few months of the season relatively strong compared to last year but prices are expected to come down in the ensuing months due to ample supplies.