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Giorgio Donnarumma from Nuovafrutta

"The exotic produce market has normalized"

After the peaks registered over the last period for various exotic fruits, the market seems to have now stabilized. Consumption is lower and people are showing an increased awareness when it comes to purchases.

"Let's take Brazilian limes, for example. After months characterized by very low prices of €3.50-4.00/packet up until 10-15 days ago, we are now registering more normal prices at €9.00-10.00," explains Giorgio Donnarumma, sales manager at Nuovafrutta. "Everything is due to the fact that limes are lacking in Europe, as suppliers and importers did not reach agreements that were beneficial to both parties. This increase in prices is therefore only temporary, as quotations will diminish again when more produce will become available in Europe in a few weeks' time."

Brazilian limes (photo supplied by Giorgio Donnarumma)

The mango market is also recovering. "The season of the Kent variety from Peru is almost over and the produce shipped by air costs €40. The new campaign has started in Brazil, though volumes are limited, which has led the prices of the produce shipped by sea to go back to normal levels: from €3.00-4.00 to €6.00-7.00."

Palmer mangos from Brazil (photo supplied by Giorgio Donnarumma)

The same cannot be said for avocados. "The situation is heavy after months of high quotations. Some campaigns are coming to an end, like the ones in Spain, Israel and Morocco. Now the first volumes of the Fuerte and Hass varieties are starting to come in from Peru," explains Donnarumma, who is perplexed by the fact Hass avocadoes from Peru are one month and a half early, while they usually do not arrive before late April/early May. "Fruits are lovely to look at, but I wonder if they will ripen well. I am very doubtful about that." 

Hass avocadoes from Morocco (photo supplied by Giorgio Donnarumma) 

The sales manager also mentioned the start of the South African greenskin avocado campaign. "In general, there is a switch with the Mediterranean season and, after months of high pries, the market is still not particularly brilliant. It will take another month and a half to better understand the market dynamics. In the meantime, Hass avocados cost between €17.00 and €18.00, with ready-to-eat lines reaching €20.00. For greenskin avocadoes, we are talking about €15.00-16.00. One variety that is slightly less expensive is Reed, which has a round shape, though it is less popular." 

Fuerte avocados from South Africa (photo supplied by Giorgio Donnarumma) 

Finally, ginger continues to be very expensive, with prices exceeding €4.00/kg. The situation on the market will remain uncertain for months. 

"The impact of the pandemic in China led to skyrocketing domestic demand, limiting exports. The prices of Chinese ginger continue to be high: over $3,200 a ton against the $1,400-1,500/ton of last year."

Ginger from Thailand (photo supplied by Giorgio Donnarumma) 

"The Brazilian campaign is over and the new one will start in June, while the Thai produce has always been expensive due to the high tariffs for maritime transport. Ginger from Costa Rica is starting to become a thing, and is now reaching the markets with more conviction."

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