“Up until Wednesday 4 December there was a daily supply of Egyptian strawberries. There are somewhat lower volumes planned for the coming days due to the Belgian and Dutch strawberries that have fallen in price and that has an effect on the market,” says Alain Tulpin of the Tulpin Group. “Two weeks ago, the prices were around 11 euros for a kilogram of Belgian strawberries. As a result, they started exporting strawberries from Egypt in order to benefit from the high prices."
Photo: Marcel Buelens, CEO Ostend Airport
Although there is still sufficient demand for strawberries, according to Alain, the Christmas sales has not really started. “We expect the demand for the Christmas period to start over a week from now. The quality of the Egyptian strawberries is generally good, but due to the high prices of the previous two weeks, some growers started picking too early, which had a negative effect on quality. Fortunately there are also a lot of growers who have adhered to the correct standard."
“The acreage of strawberries is still increasing in Egypt, but it is understood that demand is no longer growing as fast, in comparison to a few years ago. Production increased by 50% last year, that last year the exporters were confronted with their export quotas. That is why import duties had to be paid on the Egyptian strawberries at the end of the season, while Moroccan and Spanish strawberries arrive without import duties,” Alain continues.
"England is still the largest market for Egyptian strawberries, followed by Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands," Tulpin notes. “Belgium is a relatively small importer and France is already switching to Moroccan strawberries on 1 January. Since the Russian ban on Spanish strawberries, the Russian market offers more potential for Egyptian strawberries. Besides, the volume of Egyptian strawberries exported to South Africa is also increasing every year. "
"Ostend: Gateway for Egyptian strawberries"
"Due to the specialisation and the many possibilities of the airport in Ostend, Belgium, we can say that the airport is the gateway for Egyptian strawberries in Europe. Recently the entire fleet of aircraft has been renewed from 40 tonnes to 60 tonnes of aircraft. In a good week we have about 4 to 6 flights a day and so far a good volume of Egyptian strawberries has arrived at the airport in Ostend," Alain concludes.
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