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South Africa: Cape Five exploring new markets

The South African top fruit season is well underway, although the the pear crop seems to be down on last year, the apples volumes are up.

Wayne Mudge from Cape Five Export, says most of the Grannys have been harvested and the Pink Lady harvest will start this week and continue into May. "There is pressure on the apple growers with so much volume, growing conditions have been good although sizes are smaller, but on the whole compared to last year when we had problems with sunburn, due to the heat wave in January, things are looking good."

The small sizes are good for the UK and Northern European markets, but Mudge explains that Cape Five Exports are starting to sell more to West Africa where the demand and prices are good. The Northern European markets have strong competition from South America and also bigger volumes of domestic fruit. While the apple is in demand in the African countries.

Growers are increasing volumes of apples such as Gala and Fuji to meet demand from the Far East. Varieties of Pink Lady with better colour are also being developed.

Cape Five Export are also progressing in the export of citrus. Lemon and grapefruit export has already started and volumes look similar to last year. Mudge expects less Valencias and size in general for oranges is smaller due to growing conditions.

This may affect the market for Navels as this variety is dependent on big sizes for premium prices particularly in the Northern European markets. Meanwhile Cape Five are looking to new markets for citrus such as the Middle East and Canada.

Mudge also sees India as a very important future market. "At the moment there are a lot of restrictions with phytosanitary issues and high import duties, but despite this imports are growing".

As for competition from South America, Mudge is not too concerned as each country knows what to expect from the rest and whereas South Africa has made big advances in the development of plum varieties, Chile have been improving in development of cherries. According to him the various countries have equal advantages and disadvantages.

For more information:
Wayne Mudge
Cape Five Export SA (Pty)
Tel: +27 21 850 4640
Direct: +27 21 850 4642
Mobile: +27 82 886 8676

Publication date: 4/23/2012
Author: Nichola McGregor
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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