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Early stonefruit season hampers South African imports

Early stonefruit season hampers South African imports

The early start to this year’s stonefruit harvest in South Africa made for a lighter crop and smaller sizes this year. But shippers expect volumes will pick up going into 2015.

Harvesting of stone fruit in South Africa got off to a very early start this year, with picking getting underway as much as 3 weeks earlier than normal. The quick start to the season resulted in smaller sizes, so growers had trouble filling out boxes. Apricots, in particular, were not as plentiful as expected, so early estimates as to how much fruit would be picked and shipped were not met.

Plums and peaches
Plum volumes were also off, with fruit sets not going well in some areas. As with apricots, smaller sizes made it harder to fill out boxes and meet early volume estimates. Peaches recovered from early deficiencies in the season and peak volumes are currently coming out of South Africa. Sizing on peaches has also been good.

Nectarines
Nectarines have also fared well in terms of sizes, but variability in maturity and sugar content made it a challenge to choose the right fruit for export early in the season. In general, the nectarine crop is looking very promising, according to one South African exporter.

Quality of stonefruit
Despite challenges with sizing and volumes, quality of fruit has been good. Good weather throughout the growing season resulted in high sugar levels in most fruit. Good sugar content helps fruit store well, so shelf life should be good. While the early part of the stone fruit season was characterized by a shortage of fruit, the last week has brought increased volumes, and exporters hope those volumes will continue going into January.

Prices
A early shortage of fruit resulted in higher prices, but those prices are starting to come down now that volumes are filling out. One exporter was concerned with how quickly prices rose earlier in the year because the subsequent drop might also come very quickly. Pricing trends have been similar to those from the 2011 season, but returns have been better because of a more favorable exchange rate. Prices in the United Kingdom, in particular, have been good when compared to the rest of Europe. Sales in Europe this time of year are usually pretty sluggish, but shippers expect demand to pick up in January.

Flat varieties
A stone fruit variety that has drawn a lot of interest in Europe has been the flat peach. While the uptick in attention to the variety has made South African exporters take note, South African growers cannot plant the variety commercially for at least another three years because of quarantine regulations. But if interest in flat stone fruit persists, growers will likely plant and export the fruit to Europe in the future.

Middle and Far East
Volumes of stone fruit in the Middle East and Far East have been very good this year, but prices there have been under pressure and are currently trending downward. While South African exporters don’t ship most of their fruit to those markets, those areas remain important, so exporters are watching those markets closely.

Publication date: 12/24/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Good prospects for South African lychee season

Good prospects for South African lychee season

Harvesting will begin mid to late November for the new season South African lychees. Derek Donkin, CEO of Subtrop said it is a bit early to accurately predict how the season would go but it is looking better than last year.

“In some areas we had a very poor crop last year, but those areas are looking better this year.”

Last year South Africa produced around 4,500 MT, this is expected to be around 5,500 MT.

South Africa exports around 50% of the lychees, mostly to the European market, the other 50% goes to the domestic market.

Publication date: 10/30/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Australian citrus feels effect of more South African fruit in China

Australian citrus feels effect of more South African fruit in China

Australian citrus grower, Seven Fields is celebrating winning the 2014 Regional Exporter’s Award for Victoria. The company came out top of all the exporters in Victoria not just from the fresh produce industry, but all sectors such as IT, mining, manufacturers etc.

Richard Byllaardt from the company said they are now in the running for the National Regional Exporter Award against all other state finalists, which will be announced in late November.

For Sevenfields, the citrus season is drawing to a close, oranges are just finishing in the Sunraysia region and lemon harvest will commence in January, from their Katherine farms in the Northern Territory. Byllaardt said it had looked to be a very promising season, but fruit quality issues due to windy weather and then several frost events reduced the amount of fruit available to export.  This, plus South Africa having problems with shipping to Europe due to the Citrus Black Spot issues, therefore sending more fruit than usual to China just compounded the problem.

“South Africa has much lower labour costs than Australia, meaning they can supply citrus cheaper than us, plus we also have very strict protocols to meet in China which also adds to costs. Australia has only been exporting citrus direct to China for three years and this year was the first year substantial volumes were sent. As exporters we though China would be another great market for us, but with South Africa likely to increase volumes there it is going to make it more difficult for us. We will continue to send fruit to China, but also concentrate on our core markets, which are Japan and the US and other South East Asian countries,” he said. “The UK and EU are also very important markets for us, and with South Africa having difficulties in sending fruit here, it opens up more opportunities for us”  explains Byllaardt.

Seven Fields will also continue to send mandarins to the UK, last year they sent 70 containers, this year it will be substantially less due to less fruit available, but Byllaardt hopes to have volumes back up to 70 containers again next year.

For more information:
Richard Byllaardt
Seven Fields
Tel: +61 418 807636
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/15/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Australian citrus feels effect of more South African fruit in China

Australian citrus feels effect of more South African fruit in China

Australian citrus grower, Seven Fields is celebrating winning the 2014 Regional Exporter’s Award for Victoria. The company came out top of all the exporters in Victoria not just from the fresh produce industry, but all sectors such as IT, mining, manufacturers etc.

Richard Byllaardt from the company said they are now in the running for the National Regional Exporter Award against all other state finalists, which will be announced in late November.

For Sevenfields, the citrus season is drawing to a close, oranges are just finishing in the Sunraysia region and lemon harvest will commence in January, from their Katherine farms in the Northern Territory. Byllaardt said it had looked to be a very promising season, but fruit quality issues due to windy weather and then several frost events reduced the amount of fruit available to export.  This, plus South Africa having problems with shipping to Europe due to the Citrus Black Spot issues, therefore sending more fruit than usual to China just compounded the problem.

“South Africa has much lower labour costs than Australia, meaning they can supply citrus cheaper than us, plus we also have very strict protocols to meet in China which also adds to costs. Australia has only been exporting citrus direct to China for three years and this year was the first year substantial volumes were sent. As exporters we though China would be another great market for us, but with South Africa likely to increase volumes there it is going to make it more difficult for us. We will continue to send fruit to China, but also concentrate on our core markets, which are Japan and the US and other South East Asian countries,” he said. “The UK and EU are also very important markets for us, and with South Africa having difficulties in sending fruit here, it opens up more opportunities for us”  explains Byllaardt.

Seven Fields will also continue to send mandarins to the UK, last year they sent 70 containers, this year it will be substantially less due to less fruit available, but Byllaardt hopes to have volumes back up to 70 containers again next year.

For more information:
Richard Byllaardt
Seven Fields
Tel: +61 418 807636
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/15/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Australian citrus feels effect of more South African fruit in China

Australian citrus feels effect of more South African fruit in China

Australian citrus grower, Seven Fields is celebrating winning the 2014 Regional Exporter’s Award for Victoria. The company came out top of all the exporters in Victoria not just from the fresh produce industry, but all sectors such as IT, mining, manufacturers etc.

Richard Byllaardt from the company said they are now in the running for the National Regional Exporter Award against all other state finalists, which will be announced in late November.

For Sevenfields, the citrus season is drawing to a close, oranges are just finishing in the Sunraysia region and lemon harvest will commence in January, from their Katherine farms in the Northern Territory. Byllaardt said it had looked to be a very promising season, but fruit quality issues due to windy weather and then several frost events reduced the amount of fruit available to export.  This, plus South Africa having problems with shipping to Europe due to the Citrus Black Spot issues, therefore sending more fruit than usual to China just compounded the problem.

“South Africa has much lower labour costs than Australia, meaning they can supply citrus cheaper than us, plus we also have very strict protocols to meet in China which also adds to costs. Australia has only been exporting citrus direct to China for three years and this year was the first year substantial volumes were sent. As exporters we though China would be another great market for us, but with South Africa likely to increase volumes there it is going to make it more difficult for us. We will continue to send fruit to China, but also concentrate on our core markets, which are Japan and the US and other South East Asian countries,” he said. “The UK and EU are also very important markets for us, and with South Africa having difficulties in sending fruit here, it opens up more opportunities for us”  explains Byllaardt.

Seven Fields will also continue to send mandarins to the UK, last year they sent 70 containers, this year it will be substantially less due to less fruit available, but Byllaardt hopes to have volumes back up to 70 containers again next year.

For more information:
Richard Byllaardt
Seven Fields
Tel: +61 418 807636
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/15/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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