The Navel season in Egypt will be shorter than expected, as the start has been delayed by at least two weeks. This is significant as Valencia will start in the middle of January of 2020, which doesn’t leave much room for the Navels to thrive.
The season for Egyptian navels is looking reasonably okay, says Mohamed Elkhtib, export manager of Zamel for Import & Export. “Although the quality of the Navels is looking great, we do expect the season to be slightly shorter due to a later start. Normally the Navels would be available by now, but the coloring has not reached the desired level yet. With Valencias starting mid-January, the Navel season will be significantly shorter than usual. It will be challenging to deal with all the competition, knowing everybody will want to sell their Navels prior to Valencias starting. It could lead to very competitive prices, but also to better quality overall.”
Next to domestic competition, there is more than enough competition from other producing countries as well. “Naturally countries like Spain, South Africa and Morocco are our main competitors. However the quality of Egyptian citrus has increased a lot over the past years, so we feel we can offer a competitive fruit for a good price. Currently we’re looking at $8.50 per carton FOB. I’m also trying to reach new markets. I recently signed deals for Navels in Singapore and Belarus, but I’m still hoping to reach Brazil and Canada as well. Thanks to the shorter season I expect to export about 1500 tons of Navels this season.” Elkhtib concludes.