Lemon essential oil also called lemon natural essence, is the main subproduct of concentrated juice elaboration. It is a volatile product obtained from the fruit’s fresh epicarp (Citrus limón. Burmann), by expression or scaling.
You need around 200 kg of lemon to obtain 1 kg of essential oil. It is also used as a flavoring agent by the food industry, and for the elaboration of cosmetics, perfume, and cleansers.
We are talking about a pale yellow-yellowish green liquid. It has a fresh smell that reminds of the mature fruit’s peel. Its relative density to 20/20ºis from 0,850 to 0,859. It is volatile, soluble in alcohol or ether, and less soluble in water. Its main chemical constituent is limonene, that represents a little bit more than the 60% total. The lead consumer of this oil is the beverage industry, which uses it as a flavoring in carbonated beverages, soda drinks, and juices. The left claim corresponds to the cosmetic and perfumery industries. It is also used in aromatherapy treatments, because of its attributed therapeutic properties. Its tariff position in the MERCOSUR Nomenclature is 3301.13.00.
Argentina is the main global producer, followed by the U.S.A. and Italy. Argentinian quality overcomes its competitors’. The commercialized global volume of lemon essential oil is about 14 thousand tons. Argentina is the first global exporter, followed by Italy, the U.S.A., and the U.K., which is an important redistributor in the EU. In the rest of the countries, we can highlight Canada (3,5%), South Africa (2,5%), and China (1,5%). The U.S.A. is the main global buyer of lemon essential oil. It buys 30% of the total imported volume, followed by China, which absorbs 18% and displaced the U.K. from its historical position. Other buyers are France, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, and Ireland. These buyers shape 20% of global acquisitions. Argentina is the main supplier for the U.S.A. and the U.K. Its sales volume covers 50% and 30% of the claims, respectively.
Argentina exports almost its total production of lemon essential oil, through Buenos Aires port. The essential oil sent to the NAFTA represents 55%, meanwhile, the 30% is loaded to the EU. Other destinations such as China (5%), Mexico (3%), and Canada (2%) are highlighted.