Egypt has put a curfew in place, but work and trade is still functioning. The citrus season will run for another month, but concessions will have to be made in terms of prices. With shipping rates going through the roof, one exporter has decided to sell half of his produce without profit, to help people in these difficult times.
According to Abdullah Tharwat, business development manager at Pyramids, Egypt has not been exempt from measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Many governmental organizations have given holidays to their employees and some of the private companies turned to working from home. The Egyptian government has a mandatory curfew from 7:00PM to 6:00AM. We’ve definitely felt the consequences of the global pandemic, all the countries we export our oranges to have been affected by the virus. It’s had an impact on several purchasing plans and the quantity per order. The shipping lines have raised the cost for transport, which also has an effect on the market. Some customers simply refuse to pay the new increased prices.”
Luckily for Pyramids, they’re not completely depending on the exports, as they also sell some of their produce on the domestic market: “As Pyramids we deal with a lot of restaurants and shops in our local market. The quality they request is not as high as the export quality oranges, but there is high demand for oranges in the local market. The consumers believe that vitamin C will be beneficial for their immune system, to help them fight off the virus if they get infected.” Tharwat explains.
Tharwat knows these are tough times, and Pyramids decided to sell half of its produce without making a profit on it. “The citrus season in Egypt still runs for another month. The peach season is also about to start, so it’s getting hectic. Grapes, oranges and garlic have a long shelf life, so we’re mainly focused on getting the citrus and oranges to their destination. With peaches transport is currently a bit riskier, so we might not be able to take the risk of the produce going bad. The rise in shipping costs naturally also means the produce itself gets pricier. We’ve negotiated with our clients to see what the best way to overcome the situation would be. We agreed that as its time to help humanity, we’re selling half of our produce at cost price, to help people in these difficult times."
For more information:
Pyramids Agricultural Investment Co.
Nubaria city Km 80, Cairo/Alex desert road, Egypt