African countries to offer Egyptian citrus a chance to grow

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.

Besides citrus fruits, the group also controls about 5,000 tonnes of the highest quality green, red and black grapes that are shipped to Europe, Asia and Africa. “This quantity is under our full control, so that we can offer our customers the highest quality and best prices from the early start to the late end of the season,” states Mr Mahrous.
“Last year, we succeeded in shipping about 300 tonnes of Grapes by air through our company Premiere Cargo and we plan to make it 1,000 tonnes next year, concentrating on opening new markets like Africa. We are also one of the basic suppliers of strawberries from Egypt to Asia, Europe and Africa, with the highest quality and the best prices. For pomegranates, we exported about 10 containers this year and we plan to ship at least 50 containers next year.”

He says that their company is one of two or three companies in Egypt certified to supply "zero defect" citrus to China.” This country, which mostly demands large sizes, will be finished with its own Navel in January or February, thus opening the door for Egyptian fruit to arrive to both Chinese supermarkets and wholesalers. “We’ll also channel our Navel into other Asian countries, like Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, as both quality and prices are excellent.”

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.
For more information:
Mahmoud Mahrous
Nile - Elsaad – Gelila Growers
Mob.: 00201001880211 (Wathsapp)
Skype : Mahmoudmahrous


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