Israeli fresh Barhi date season approaches

The first Israeli fresh dates of the season are due to hit European markets next month, and suppliers are saying fruit volumes will arrive quickly once the season gets underway.

“Once the season starts, quantities will be very big,” said Avi Dagul of Field Produce Marketing. Because the season only lasts about two months and the export window is only about six weeks, growers put much of their product on the market quickly. With the market absorbing lots of dates in a short period of time, prices tend to start high for early fruit and quickly drop as the season progresses.

The season also moves quickly because fresh dates have relatively short shelf lives. “Fresh dates have a shelf life of about two weeks in cold storage,” said Dagul. “So it's a very short season; in about two months, it's finished.” Whereas Medjool dates can be stored for a much longer period. Early exports are usually flown into Europe by plane, and later shipments reach most European markets within three days. Dagul noted that while they're exploring markets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Russia, their main markets remain in Europe, with most volume going to Spain. He estimated that Field Produce Marketing will export between 150-200 tons this year, and Israel will ship about 1,500 tons. That will come from an estimated national production of 3,000 tons.

While the early part of the season will provide good prices, Dagul noted that the season will be tough for those who don't move quickly.

For more information:
Avi Dagul
Tel: +972-4-8522749
Fax: +972-4-8525364

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