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Grapefruit shipments out of Israel to start soon
“The first loads of red grapefruit are already available since last week,” said Mehadrin's Tomer Ezra. Mehadrin sends most of their shipments to Western Europe, though there will be also shipments to Eastern Europe and Russia.
“We'll have good volumes of fruit this season,” said Ezra. “More than last year because it looks like there is just more fruit on the trees.” He also expects fruit sizes to be more on the larger end of the spectrum, though he also expects to have sufficient quantities for customers wanting smaller sizes. While good volumes are expected, he noted that the season, as it typically does, will get off to a slow start.
“We had a holiday this week, so we'll start the season slow,” said Ezra. “But we should get up to full capacity in next week.” While prices will not reach the levels seen last year due to good amounts of South African fruit still left in storage, Ezra believes they will get adequate returns, despite increased competition from Turkey. “Anyway while prices will be under pressure from South African fruit at the outset, I think they'll even out later in the season.”
Israeli growers will start to ship sweetie fruit this week, and just like the former, Ezra sees good signs for the latter. He noted that fruit in the field looks good, so quality of fruit in the market, when it ships in one week, will also likely be good. “Normally, this is a big product in Eastern European markets, so they are waiting eagerly for the shipments,” said Ezra. “Good quality will likely bring good prices, so we're anticipating a nice season there.”
Also on the slate of crops that will soon depart Israeli fields bound for European markets are avocados. For them, it's much of the same situation as the two aforementioned products: a slow start that will give way to a good season. As of now, Ezra said they're waiting for approval from government authorities that oil levels are high enough so they can ship their avocados. They're expecting that to happen within the next two weeks. “The indications from the field are that we'll have more avocados than last year,” said Ezra.
The Medjool date harvest is still ongoing, and Ezra described a season with lots of smaller sizes, which he said is good for customers who like to get creative with their packaging.
“Every year we try to offer value-added packaging to our customers, and having smaller fruit means we have more alternatives as to how we can present that packaging,” said Ezra. “All in all, this has been another good year because quality has been good and prices have been stable, so dates have been a good business.”
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