Corefruit: South African Hass exits Europe after good run, before price pressure on small fruit

Corefruit, which markets ZZ2’s avocados, are packing their last consignment of Hass for the European market this season before the large wave of Peruvian Hass comes ashore.

“We obtained very good prices on the Hass up to those loaded in around week 16/17,” says Rouxan Jansen van Rensburg of Corefruit, “even higher than last year’s prices in some cases, but prices on Hass, especially on small counts, will be coming under increasing pressure with the volumes from Peru coming in stronger. For the South African industry, the best marketing window is between shipping weeks 9 to 18.”

“At the beginning of the season we expected a good count distribution because of favourable production conditions but on some varieties there are more small fruit than usually, probably because of the good fruit set and high tonnages. So on Pinkerton for instance, which is generally a large fruit, we’re seeing some smaller fruit, more 16s and smaller than usually. Some clients have been telling us that Peru’s fruit is on the smaller side this year, and Kenya always has small fruit, which is why you’re going to see particularly small sizes coming under pressure.”

Spain is a country that likes its Hass large and ZZ2’s large expansion in the South African Maluma cultivar, which peaks at larger counts than the traditional Hass, comes in handy. The Maluma is picked earlier than Hass and it is used to open the Hass season nice and early, around week 9 shipping, until its end overlaps with Hass during weeks 12/13. At the end of the season they’ll be sending small volumes of the late Lamb Hass by September or October, by which time the market should be emptier again.

Tide turning against greenskins
“The greenskin season started well, on levels comparable to last year, but then it fell to much lower levels. That is 100% a product of the large volumes and the fact that the market is turning away from greenskins. Even a market that traditionally took many greenskins, like Germany, is turning to Hass,” Rouxan says. “Italy and countries in Eastern Europe are also increasingly asking for Hass. Scandinavia is 100% Hass and UK supermarkets carry mostly Hass, too, although some do now and then carry greenskins.” They will be sending greenskins until week 28.

Finding a good home for the fruit while everywhere in the avocado-producing world volumes are rising, is a tricky business. “We like to have a game plan in place before the season starts, not just for avocados but for all our commodities,” Rouxan says. “The majority of our avocados go to fixed programmes, either supermarket programmes or on proposals fixed before the start of the season regarding volume and sizing. The last thing we want to do is just sending blindly to clients to speculate with the commodity, especially in a year like this, and hope for the best. For that reason we have a big client base to spread risk and maximise returns.”

For more information:
Rouxan Jansen van Rensburg
Tel: +27 21 863 6300

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