The demand for immune system boosters has led to an increase in demand for Egyptian citrus. Despite the logistical challenges the industry is facing, Europeans are willing to pay the higher prices that are caused by increased freight rates.
Fruit traders in Egypt are having a difficult time dealing with the coronavirus measures the Egyptian government has taken, says Amr Kadah, CEO of Fruit Kingdom: “Egypt has been trying to control the spread by ordering a curfew and reducing work hours. The negative consequences for the exports of Egyptian agricultural products, including citrus, are very possible now. It all came quite unexpectedly and our government has been doing what other governments are doing, like closing borders. As a result it is very difficult to find a spot on any transport ships.”
“Fruit exporters are left to themselves, intensely looking for a way out of this situation. Egypt is still the forefront in citrus export worldwide this year, despite the fierce competition with Spain, Morocco, Turkey and Greece. So we have to trust the situation will be resolved and we can continue delivering the produce that is so high in demand.” Kadah states.
Although free spots on container ships are scarce, Kadah has been able to secure some shipments. Delays however, are inevitable: “I’ve been in this business for 15 years, which means I’ve managed to establish a nice network in the logistics. I find myself in an excellent freight forwarders situation, which is great. However the price of logistics remains the largest issue, as certain carriers have increased their rates. But transport is challenging anyway, as carriers are blocked on the roads. Everyone works as hard as they can, but downtime and delays are unbearable for traders.”
Ever since the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus in Europe, demand for Egyptian citrus has gone up, despite the higher prices for transport. “We’ve seen very high demand for oranges and lemons, especially in Europe. This makes sense, as people are looking for an immune booster and vitamin C. This means consumers in Europe are content to pay higher prices for these fruits. I hope the high shipping raters will have stabilized by the 1st of June. I have also hired a new associate for Europe with extensive experience in fruits and vegetables, but we are looking for new sales markets while supplying Europe with what they need. This situation will come to an end eventually, and from every difficult situation a good thing is born. I firmly believe in that, which is why we’re preparing to deal with Asia, Russia and Europe for the future.” Kadah concludes.
For more information:
Fruit Kingdom for Export
Tel: +20 1009 288 377