Egyptian exporters are gearing up for the citrus season, which officially begins on December 15, but it remains unclear how prices will compare to last season. Mahmoud Esawy, export manager at Al Wessam Company for Agri Crops, shares his insights.
According to previous statements from professional sources, an increase in prices is necessary to cover increased production costs, and to reflect the quality of Egyptian citrus this season as well as the supply-demand balance for citrus on the global market. In Esawy's view, Egyptian exporters need to be highly flexible.
Esawy says, "It's true that our position among the competitors is advantageous, both in terms of volume and quality. Egypt will be in competition with Greece and Türkiye , but we have abundant volumes, very good quality this season with availability of all sizes, and a wide range of varieties, from Mandarins, Murcott, Lemon, Navel Orange, Valencia And Baladi Orange. This allows us to meet all market requirements. But still, we don't have total freedom price-wise."
The exporter adds, "We'll be looking to match competitive prices and keep pace with rising production costs. The cost of packaging and agricultural inputs has soared in Egypt, and this has been exacerbated by the rise in the exchange rate of the dollar. We have done our best to control production costs, and we will also make every effort to ensure that prices do not increase inappropriately. The price increase comes first and foremost to improve fruit quality and satisfy customer needs, especially in the premium segment. We aim to remain competitive in all markets, and our fruit will not be more expensive than that from Turkey or Greece. We already know that our mandarins will be more competitive, and it's still a bit early to say about navel oranges, but that will probably be the case too."
"Beyond the competition with other origins, there will be strong competition between Egyptian exporters," adds Esawy. "This will be very beneficial for our customers, and they will find adequate prices for a product of better quality and sizes than last season, and no more expensive than the global competition. At the start of the season, I estimate the increase over the start of last season to be around 10-15% compared to the same period of last season. If we have stable demand throughout the season, then the campaign will be very successful."
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Al Wessam Company for Agri Crops