Randolf Aaldijk, Origin Fruit Direct: first arrival of lychees in week 51

"How will the drought affect the grape supply from the Western Cape"

The grape market is very hot at the moment. "There is a shortage of grapes and this is resulting in a price level of 4 Euro per kilo for the Peruvian and Brazilian grapes. This is an awful lot of money. The price of Red Globe is below this, but they are also still very expensive," says Randolf Aaldijk of Origin Fruit Direct. "The supply from the north of Peru is considerably lower due to the floods earlier this year and the supply from South Africa is also delayed."

"There are also delays in the sea freight from South Africa, so we will have to wait and see when the South African product gets here. The first areas are in full production, but it really is a question of what effect the drought will have in the Western Cape in particular for the later areas. Some growers say they haven't even been able to harvest, others have enough water and expect a normal harvest. It is very dependent on the grower and area," continues Randolf.

The first lychees from South Africa were sent by airfreight three weeks ago. "They traditionally sell for set high prices. When the volumes start to go up, they start the sea freight. We do a small programme through sea freight each year then expect the first arrival in week 51. Due to the delays in the ports it will be a challenge to get the lychees in before Christmas," says the importer.

He says the sales of lychees are quite stable. "The harvest in South Africa does fluctuate strongly annually. A good harvest is expected this year, without too many ups and downs. The harvest is a bit later, due to the cold weather. There is demand from both retail and wholesale fro the South African lychees. The South African lychees in particular are known for their quality and flavour and we define ourselves from the product from Madagascar with this."

For more information:
Origin Fruit Direct
Keilestraat 9c
3029 BP Rotterdam
Tel.: (010) 244 93 00
Fax: (010) 478 39 66

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