Over the last two decades several reports have been published on the production of essential oils in Argentina, particularly the citrus oils. Among the citrus oils, lemon is the dominant product. It is produced in large amounts in Tucumán province and it alone has sustained the Argentinean citrus processing industry.
Over the years, production of lemon oil has increased to the point where Argentina is now the largest producing country. Annual exportation and importation statistics on citrus oil were obtained from the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos and the production statistics were obtained from the Federación Argentina del Citrus. Additional information was obtained from the Anales de la Sociedad Argentina para la Investigación de Productos Aromáticos and private estimates of quinquennial averages and percentages of each oil. Using all of these data, the export volumes and value for lemon oil over the past 20 years have been determined. Further information was also obtained from the major importing countries for the last five years for the other citrus oils. The resulting information has been collated and tabulated for lemon oil, orange oil, grapefruit oil, mandarin oil and bergamot oil for the years 1992-1996.
Table 1 shows the production statistics for the years 1992-1996. The mean value of production of each of the citrus oils is shown in Table 2. To put this in perspective, the variation of citrus oil production over the period 1975 to 1995 can be seen in Table 3. Because all of the citrus oils produced in Argentina are not exported, a summary of the exportation statistics for Argentinean citrus oils is shown in Table 4 with the value of these oils summarized in Table 5.