The Egyptian orange season has recently started and due to the coronavirus, demand is quite high. Volumes are similar to last year, but one exporter expects to ship about 5,000 tons more than he did the previous season. The export of citrus to Japan will be a major theme this season, as this will be the first year that Egypt is allowed to ship their oranges to the country.
According to Mohamad Shaaban, general manager of fruit exporter Garlico Egypt, the orange season is going well. His company will be focusing on Brazil as one of their new markets this year. “The Egyptian orange season has been solid so far. Harvest has been great with good quality and quantities similar to the 2019 season. We’re expecting to export 5,000 ton more than we did last year, we’ll ship more volumes to new markets like Brazil, and older markets like Russia, European Union, Bangladesh, India, Canada, Australia, Arabian countries and Australia. Of these markets, the most important markets will be Brazil, Russia, and Bangladesh.”
This will be the first year that Egypt can export its citrus to the Japanese market. Shaaban states it’ll be important to make a lasting first impression, ensuring only the best quality produce gets shipped to Japan: “The biggest challenge this year is to control the prices, quality and shipments delivery to our customers all over the world, especially with the restrictions that Covid-19 brings with it in mind. We would like to expand our offers to all the countries in Europe, Brazil and Japan. For Japan, this will be the first time they can import fruit from Egypt, after their government has authorized the shipments this year. For the Japanese market, we’ll have to make sure that the quality is no less than premium and ensure everything fits their requirements. First impressions always last…”
As the coronavirus is spreading fast in multiple countries, demand for fruits that contain vitamin C is huge, Shaaban says. “The season has just started and we’re already seeing huge demand from various markets. As oranges contain lots of vitamin C, which boosts our immune system, consumers go out of their way to buy more of the fruit than usual, as Covid-19 is still among us. When demand goes up, the prices usually go up with it. We expect steady demand for the rest of the season, except for about two weeks after Christmas time. However demand should be back to normal after the first week of January.”