Egyptian citrus season about to kick off

"Production is rather large when it comes to Valencia oranges"

According to Egyptian fresh produce exporter Pyramids Agricultural Investment Co.’s business development manager Abdulla Tharwat, the Egyptian citrus export season is just around the corner: “The first of December will be the first day of exporting citrus in Egypt, according to the Plant Quarantine of the Ministry of Agriculture. It also allows processing and packing raw materials in the citrus packhouses from 20 November. These regulations help to control the maturity and color of citrus in Egypt. Therefore, we’ve started the season by packing Clementines and next week we will start with the Navel orange.”

Tharwat expects production to be large, but sizes to be small. This could lead to higher prices for larger sizes. “Production is rather large when it comes to Valencia oranges, so we expect more quantities with small sizes (72,80,88). This will also mean that there will be a shortage for the larger sizes (48 ,56, 64). Compared to the previous season, big sizes will be less affordable this season. Production in mandarins is very limited, which leads to high estimated prices for the mandarins as well from the farmers.”

Farmers in Egypt had hoped to receive higher prices as their costs has risen as well. However, Tharwat explains that the prices will not be higher than they were last year: “The expected price of mandarins is reaching about .30 USD at the farm, while orange prices are expected to range from .19 to .23 USD. Farmers are complaining about the rising costs of production and will be expecting even higher prices for their produce, but unfortunately for them the prices didn’t exceed the price range of the previous season.”

Egypt is dealing with a currency crisis, which not only hampers imports, but also makes a lot of the input costs more expensive for the exporters: “Exporting companies suffer a lot from the changes in the currency exchange rate, as all of the raw materials of packing materials that Egypt imports have become more expensive relatively. Packing materials prices are now on the highest level. When compared to the previous season, the price of telescopic carton has more than doubled.”

This all means that the citrus season isn’t as consistent for the farmers as it could be. Tharwat has hopes that the citrus season will be successful overall, though. “Some markets are stable and some markets are highly affected with the currency exchange rate as well as the new rules in importing from central banks. Some markets won’t be able to import the same quantities, like Bangladesh, while it is expected that others will accept more quantities, such as the Netherlands. We hope for the best for the Egyptian citrus this season!”

For more information:
Abdullah Tharwat
Pyramids Agricultural Investment Co.
Cell no: +201005027256
Tel/Fax: +20452633420

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