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Arno Steenkamp, Star South

EU citrus market needs to be managed correctly

The citrus season at South Africa's Star South has just come to a close with the last fruit loaded in week 42.

Arno Steenkamp, Director said, "It was a really difficult season with all markets having much more challenges and there is no longer place for borderline quality in all markets. Bigger volumes are being produced each year, but not all markets are open yet to support the potential growth. To be strong in a market it's crucial to send good quality in the correct brand."

The company exports all of its citrus, with Valencia being the biggest part at 40%, followed by navels, 35% and grapefruit and lemons 15% and 10% respectively.

Arno explains that South Africa produced big sizes this season and a lot of that was shipped to markets which cannot handle big sized fruit, this affected the normal market negatively and the markets that do take big fruit were over supplied.

Contrary to the expectation that the Russian market would be empty due to the embargo, this was not the case, according to Arno, and South Africa again overshipped to this market.

Despite the problems in shipping to the EU due to the CBS issues, Arno said that it is and will remain an important market, "We need to manage the EU market correctly as it is important and the Dollar markets cannot handle all the volumes."

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