Year Overview - June

In June the European Commission granted its approval for Total Produce to combine with the Dole Food Company. In February, Total Produce announced the deal and also said it would move its listings from Dublin and London to the US. The company had agreed to buy a 45% stake in Dole Food Company, one of the world's biggest fresh fruit and vegetable companies - for €300m. California Giant Berry Farms and OnePointOne announce their strategic partnership aimed at increasing berry output and availability through vertical farming and data-driven berry cultivation. Australian  grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables Costa Group Holdings Limited acquired  2PH Farms Pty Ltd for approximately $200 million in cash. 

The Citrus Growers’ Association of South Africa welcomed the recent signing of a revised citrus protocol between South Africa and China. With local lemon production expected to grow by 175 000 metric tons by 2024, China will now become a critical new market for this growth and will secure R325 million in new export revenue.

2021 saw major port congestion around the world and in June the chaotic situation at the Port of Yantian had not shown any signs of improvement yet. The Covid-19 related inspection and preventive measures were tightened by local authorities, not only in the Shenzhen area but also in the Guangzhou area. One expert said that the asset chain was breaking down under the pressure of increased imports, and this overwhelming movement of import containers was having a negative impact on U.S. product exports. North American exporters were having a difficult time scheduling ocean freight to Far East. Meanwhile between 180 and 200 containers of pineapples, cassava and chayote from Costa Rica and Colombia are being held at the Port of Algeciras, in southern Spain, due to changes in the EU sanitary regulations. 

By June, Peru had exported approximately a third of the total volume of Hass avocado projected for the 2021 season. On the north coast there has been a slight delay in the export volumes reaching their peak due to the weather but volumes are expected to recover and high quality to be maintained. June was Californian Avocado month, California avocado shipments were 120.7 million pounds. This is about 36 million pounds less than last year. South Africa’s avocado season was disappointing with lower volumes  than expected due to an off year, the cold in September affected the flowering and the excessive rains in January and February. The avocado crop in Western Australia was expected to rise 233 per cent.

Chinese cherry price plummeted as large volumes entered the market
In the last week of May the open-field cherries entered the Chinese market in large volumes. The cherry harvest had started in Turkey and demand from Europe was said to be stable. Californian cherries saw a seven-day later start to the season due to the cooler than normal temperatures, peak volumes were lowers than normal. The first Washington cherries arrived in Shanghai. 

A low-chill apple variety developed by a Himachal grower was taking hold in India. The self-pollinating apple variety which does not require long chilling hours for flowering and fruit setting was now being grown in tropical and subtropical areas in various parts of India, where temperatures can be as high as 40-45ºC during summer. WAPA  released the latest update on the apple and pear stocks in the Northern Hemisphere in June. Italy and Poland still had a lot more in stock compared to the 2020 season, while France has quite a bit less in stock.  

In Italy bad weather slowed stone fruit demand, but kept apple and pear demand high. The earliest peach and nectarine harvests were starting in Lleida, where the production is expected to be one of the lowest in the last 30 years due to the impact of frost in April. Soft fruit from Poland were expected to see lower volumes this year after the frost damage in the spring. Lower volumes were expected for redcurrants, blackberries and sweet cherries but blueberry were expected to be normal.

The Egyptian grape season started a few weeks early this year, and demand was good due to the lifting of lock down restrictions. Volumes were selling quickly but there were still sufficient volumes on the market. Following a late start there were fewer but better quality grapes from Mexico. As California moved into its grape production, the industry was seeing a challenging transition from the Mexico season to California’s

Supplies of Mexican mangoes were steady, though sizes were smaller and there was less volume compared to the previous year. Exports to the US were positive.

Mexico was looking to a new record in its tomato exports, surpassing the record it achieved in 2020, when its exports increased by 9.5% in volume and by 20.5% in value, totaling 579,000 tons and 2,609 billion dollars.

Green Giant released the findings from its annual Favorite Veggie Survey. Broccoli secured the number one spot as America's favorite vegetable, followed by carrot and corn.

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