According to Exports Manager Ahmed Saied, the Egyptian HAMA Holding for Financial Investments is planning to gradually increase its volume of easy-peelers. “This year we already have a huge quantity, somewhere around 10 thousand tonnes of good variety mandarins, which are also owned by our farms, so we have a good opportunity to increase our capacity to export mandarins to different areas in the world. Within 2-3 years, we expect to export around 60 thousand tonnes of mandarins.”
As far as export markets are concerned, HAMA’s focus last year was on Lithuania, Russia, Dubai and China and this year China is bound to become one of the most important destinations. “This market is one of our priorities because we already have all the facilities. We have the biggest controlled atmosphere cold storage in the Middle East, where we can store about 5,000 pallets for 3-4 months with the fruit in optimum condition,” explains Mr Saied. With this, HAMA will be able to ship large volumes to China going from 160 containers last year to between 350 and 400 containers in the current campaign.
Increasing the export volumes is, in fact, a necessity for HAMA as the acreage is increasing every year. This entails its European customers not being compromised. "Since we seek a balance between all our markets, and to keep our market shares at their current levels. The only difference in markets like Russia and Ukraine will lie in prices, but volumes will roughly stay the same,” he assures.
In terms of quality, Mr Saied states that the fruit is expected to reach the desired standards, yet HAMA is waiting for cold weather to give colour to the oranges in order to export early. For sizes, Saied expects them to be the same, with a difference of 5-10% more or less. He also expects no issues in reaching the brix level demanded in the Chinese market.
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