Trends and competition from the Far East

German citrus market on the verge of switching to European goods

The lemon market is stabilizing: "Overseas lemons are currently still available from South Africa, Uruguay and Argentina, but in two to three weeks we are once again picking up goods from Spain in Germany, and from Turkey in smaller proportions," said an importer from northern Germany. Demand has been rising again recently, after a slow summer. "It was long time that Spanish goods available and so the overseas season began late.The colder weather of the last days and the end of the holidays has a greater demand for lemons, or citrus fruits in general result."

No preference for oranges
Oranges are also currently originating mainly from South Africa, in smaller quantities but also from Zimbabwe and Uruguay, the dealer says. He does not recognize preferences among the varieties among the German consumers.

Late Easy-Peeler more popular
The Easy-Peelers show some clear trends: "Easy-Peelers are generally on the rise, and the later varieties are becoming increasingly popular as they taste even better. "Nadorcott and Orri are growing strongly and are now even in popular in the summer months, both overseas and from Europe." As a result, the seasons are extended to the end, with early varieties losing in importance.

Grapefruit: Expected scarcity has not come about
The grapefruit season continues to be normal for South African produce, although scarcity was anticipated due to lower harvests. "It was said that we have to plan for scarce quantities towards the end of the season, from early September to mid-October, but that has not materialized yet, the supply is good and prices are stable." Mexico has been on the German market as a competitor for South Africa for a good two weeks now. In mid-October, the Spanish grapefruit season will start.

Pomelos available, but not ripe enough
The first pomelos from China are already available, but the expert is unsure of their quality: "The fruits were harvested very early, which has a negative effect on taste and juice content."

New markets: competition for the German market
The citrus specialist sees great pressure on the market in the future, fueled by newly opened markets, especially in the Far East: "In recent years, the main suppliers of citrus fruits are opening up more and more new markets for their products, with Malaysia and Singapore as examples of new customers South African goods, and the purchasing power there continues to grow. " In this respect, Germany must always compete more than the recipient country, which is also reflected in the price.

The price and the high demands of the German trade are an unfavorable combination, but a change is not to be expected, according to the expert: "We have high demands on residue values, certifications and standards, much higher than in many other countries. This eventually results in suppliers getting better prices in almost all other countries.


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