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Israeli Medjool date harvest begins
Israeli growers began harvesting Medjool dates this week, and early signs point to another year of good volumes.
Medjool date production in Israel is carried out mostly in areas near the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. Areas in the Jordan Valley and near the Sea of Galilee round out the country's production, which could reach up to 23,000 tons this year, according to Avi Dagul, founder of Field Produce Marketing in Israel.
“This year, I think Israeli growers will produce about 3,000 more tons of Medjool dates than last year,” said Dagul. He added that the quality of dates, which growers started harvesting this week, is very good. He expects Field Produce to harvest about 2,000 tons of Medjool dates this year, and he thinks picking will stretch into November. They'll offer their dates in packages of five kilos, two kilos, one kilo and in 180 and 200 gram bags. About the increase in production, he thinks it's now become a common occurrence in Israel, which produces most of the world's supply of Medjool dates.
“It's now normal to have increased production,” said Dagul. “It's now normal to see 10 or 15 percent increases in production in one year.” About half of that production stays in Israel and the Middle East, and the rest mostly goes to Europe and Russia, with some small amounts going to the Far East.
The Bahri date season is also up and running, with almost half of the season gone. Dagul estimated that his company will produce about 150 tons of Bahri dates this year, and Israeli growers will likely hit 3,000 tons of production. While this year has gone well for Bahris so far, with a full month still left in the season, Dagul said it's still too early to predict how good it will be.
“We're still in the middle of the Bahri season, so it's too soon to tell,” said Dagul. “But so far, it's been quite a good season.”
For more information:
FIELD PRODUCE MARKETING LTD
Publication date: 9/5/2013
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