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April 2013

Dull spring takes toll on EU production, positive start for SH citrus

April 2013 saw the French apple season wrap up earlier after a strong demand cut supplies short, while in Canada it was cut short due to bad weather and Washington apples saw a big demand in record production year, an estimated 130 million boxes, 18 percent larger than the previous record year.

Washington apple marketers set weekly shipment records 16 and growers benefited from higher average prices.

The dull damp spring in Europe was also taking its toll, the soft fruit season was late also the asparagus crop would be delayed. Potato stocks were low after one of the worst ever seasons in 2012 and Spain had 6000 acres under water after floods in Extremadura

US organic company CF Fresh celebrated 20 years in April and announced that they would formally change the name of the company to Viva Tierra Organic, Inc. International produce company Total Produce also announced it had agreed to sell its 25.3% shareholding in Capespan Group Limited (“Capespan Group”) to Zeder Financial Services Limited for a cash consideration of approximately €22m.

The Chilean blueberry season was ending after 'a very difficult season' and the two main ports were still on strike after 21 days.

As South African was getting the citrus season off to a good start, a good citrus production was predicted for the Southern Hemisphere up 10% on 2012. In Florida they were experiencing the worst fruit drop that anyone can remember for a long period of time and over a decade after being banned in the US market, Egyptian citrus was looking at the possibility of re entry. The US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed a pest treatment program for the import of Egyptian fresh oranges and tangerines, which includes mandarins and clementines.

A vote in the EU has paved the way for the European Commission to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides linked to bee deaths in scientific studies.

Western Australian table grape growers were steeling themselves for a fight against the importation of Californian grapes. The federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has released a draft non-regulated analysis of existing policy for Californian table grapes to Western Australia. The draft report proposes that the importation of table grapes from California be permitted into Western Australia, subject to a range of quarantine conditions.

Lastly New Zealand finally got some relief late in April when the 'Drought Breaker' rain came some regions had been in a state of drought since the beginning of March.

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