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Ben Butler - JEMFruits
UK: "I think people now favour the red seedless over the white seedless"South African red seedless grapes are still holding a steady price on the UK market. The supply is from the Cape and Hex areas and should continue for a few weeks more. White seedless however are not faring quite so well due to large volumes from India.
"The South African Crimson red seedless which we are getting is some of the best quality fruit around at the moment," according to Ben Butler from JEMFruits. "The volumes were a bit tight in December and January but they are starting to loosen up now. This will put a bit of pressure on the prices in the coming weeks though. Imports from South Africa should go until week 16-17, this is a couple of weeks later than last year."
Chilean fruit will start to arrive in two weeks so Ben is hoping that the quality will be good to give a smooth transition between the two.
"I think people now favour the red seedless over the white seedless, this is contributing to the high value of the reds."
"White seedless are under a lot more pressure due to the volumes of Indian Thompson's on the market, there is also Peruvian and some Chilean white seedless around."
Ben explains that the quality of the Indian grapes this season has been quite typical, "At the beginning of the season you always get low Brix, but quality has been picking up and is quite good now."
The market was very good for white seedless a month ago which encouraged Indian growers so send too much to the market, "What happens is that the prices are high so everyone ships their fruit at the same time but when it arrives it kills the market. Then the fruit is not worth what it was when it was shipped and they make a loss," said Ben.
It was said today that Indian grapes were being offered at 6 Euro for a 10x500g box in Europe.
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