Mr Mahmoud Mahrous coordinates an Egyptian group formed by fruit growers and exporters, with three packing houses mostly devoted to the distribution of citrus fruits like Navel and Valencia oranges, early and late mandarins and lemons. He explains that these packing houses control around 120,000 tonnes of citrus from Egypt every year.
The group also works with Valencia oranges, and Baladi Valencia which starts early in November, is also the only variety arriving to customers without defects. This is because they take it from their own farm and they can oversee and protect it properly before it arrives to the customers. "As for lemons, we do them very early, with good prices to serve our customers against the high prices of Turkey.”
In terms of volume, Mr Mahrous states that production in Egypt this year is expected to be between 15 and 20% smaller than in the previous campaign. "We were unable to supply the quantities needed, but this year we are planning early so that we can cover all of China’s orders.”
Besides the markets mentioned above, with China as its biggest destination, the group’s fruit is shipped also to the Netherlands and Germany, and this year Nile is planning to start business in African countries, like Nigeria and Kenya, since Asia will not allow them to grow much more in the coming years, so they’ll need to open new markets. "The good thing is that while China prefers big sizes, in Africa medium and small sizes are more popular, and competition is not great, so you can sell big quantities at good prices,” he explains.
When it comes to prospects for the coming season, Mr Mahrous remains optimistic, since volumes will be lower and fewer companies will be doing Navel, which means Nile will be able to ship large quantities to Asia and Europe. As regards the Valencia, they cannot export it to China or Europe, because they need big sizes, so I think the season will be normal.
Nile - Elsaad – Gelila Growers
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