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No packing from CBS areas

South Africa: 2 million boxes of oranges less to EU

There have been further developments in the issue of Citrus Black Spot in South African citrus. Eight cases have now been found and after a meeting last Friday with the EU and South African Authorities, South Africa has decided to stop the export of oranges to Europe from CBS infected areas.

The EU reminded that the threshold of five cases had been reached and they wanted extra controls put in place for the rest of the season. CEO of the Citrus Exporter's Association Justin Chadwick explains that they looked at all options but given the very short time frame, there was no option but to stop packing oranges for Europe, he did stress that the pest free regions of West and Northern Capes would continue packing for Europe. It was a bit early to be exact but he estimated that it would mean as much as 2 million cartons less going to the European market this season.

These oranges will now be packed for the Asian, Middle East, Eastern Europe and ever growing Chinese markets. Chadwick hoped that these markets would be able to absorb the extra volumes. There is also the possibility that oranges from pest free regions which were destined for these market would now be redirected to Europe to fill the gap.

As for other counties such as Argentina, Brazil and Bangladesh, which have also had CBS detected in citrus shipped to Europe, Chadwick said that he could not comment, but that Argentina had not been under the same requirements (of 5 strikes) due to their better record of interceptions in the past.

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