The start of the Egyptian pomegranate season is upon us, with three main varieties being exported from the country. The normally least popular 116-variety has actually picking up in terms of export volumes, but the real demand will come with the most popular Wonderful variety.
The Egyptian pomegranate season has started with the 116-variety, says Gehan El Sherif, export manager for fresh produce exporter El Rawan: “So far, things are going well for the Egyptian pomegranate. The season always starts with the 116 variety, normally a variety that only has a small base of clients and is only grown in Egypt. However, this year it seems our export volume will be higher than it was last year, when it comes to variety 116. They have been sent to many markets, like Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Romania.”
Now that the 116-variety is done, demand should pick up with the Balady and Wonderful varieties, El Sherif explains. “Around the 10th of September, the start of the second variety will begin, named Balady. Currently the coloring of the insides of the Balady variety is at 50%, while the outside coloring is at 90%. This variety is suitable for some markets like the Gulf countries as well as Russia. To appeal to the European market, though, we’ll have to wait for the outside coloring to get a little better. Finally, the Wonderful variety will have its turn, which is the best variety for pomegranates in terms of color, taste and its long shelf life. The Wonderful variety should see its start in covered farms by the 20th of September and is popular in all markets, especially in the Far East.”
Until these two varieties start, demand will be calm, El Sherif states. “Demand right now is a little bit lower, because we are in the phase of the 116 variety, but once Balady and Wonderful start, demand will be at 100%. We’ve received requests for many programs from a lot of new markets where clients are waiting for the start of the most popular varieties.”
El Sherif states that the Turkish pomegranates are lower in volume than usual, which could provide opportunities for the Egyptian pomegranate: “Egypt ranks tenth in pomegranate exports, last year they exported around 12,594 tons from Egypt and we expect this to increase again this year. On top of that, there is a shortage of Turkish pomegranates, which will increase both demand and export volumes for Egyptian pomegranates as well, as we are competitors.” she concludes.