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Year overview: November

More shipping news caught readers’ eyes in November with reports that even with the global shipping shortage slowly easing, supply chain delays are far from over. In fact, on the U.S. West Coast, ships calling at Los Angeles and Long Beach were told to queue 150 miles offshore. And on land, extreme supply chain problems were dreaded regarding unvaccinated drivers.

And in container news, Singapore-based container line ONE reported an 891 percent increase in profit. And reefer container freight rates are anticipated to stay firm in 2022.

In industry developments, food recalls seem to be changing in the U.S. The Last Harvest, an award-winning documentary telling growers’ stories, was released. Imports of Colombian fresh mango into the U.S. was greenlit. And in Canada, Prince Edward Island potato growers were stunned over a sudden border closure while a joint venture received financial assistance to develop Quebec vertical farms.

With the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic worsening in many European countries, Fruit Logistica was postponed to April 2022, the dates directly conflicting with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)’s show in Montreal at that time.

Meanwhile a new facility is expected to boost Victoria's fruit and vegetable export potential in China. And the industry looks back on the first Shanghai International Fruit Expo.

In commodity news, avocados proved to be a popular topic in November. One Belgian shipper noted that the avocado market is expanding tremendously and believes avocados have global growth potential. And FairFruit, an exotic fresh produce importer, says it would like to be importing about 200 containers of Ethiopian Hass avocados within four or five years.

However 2021 was a difficult year to move an increasingly growing crop of avocados out of Brazil. And in Chile, some of its avocado growers benefitted from using Swiss precision irrigation technology.
South Africa and Tanzania met on avocado imports. And in Kenya, its horticulture regulator slapped a ban on exports of the country’s popular avocado varieties to curb harvesting of immature crop by hungry farmers and dealers.

And in the U.S., early predictions for California’s avocado season are for a normal-sized crop.

Cherries was another popular subject in November. Better quality and a better season was expected for the coming Chilean cherry season but shippers also predicted having to take more risks this season and absorb additional costs.

In general, growers and shippers working in the Chilean stone fruit season predicted ups and downs but one change that was anticipated was that the U.S. would likely see greater volumes of cherries this season.

At the same time, China Eastern Airlines signed an order for Chilean cherries worth US$230 million. China did also see an early start of Chile's cherry exports. However, European shippers note that Chilean cherries have become exclusive in the market. And in turn, Chilean cherry growers say they haven't forgotten Europe in the pre-Christmas time.

Meanwhile the Tasmanian cherry season looked positive and on time this year.

Also in fruit, high banana consumption numbers make Europe an attractive market for an innovative ethylene system. And the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa) says a widely circulated video that depicts alleged harmful worms in Somali bananas is false and misleading. The Costa Rican banana industry was thwarted by low prices and TR4 fungus alerts. And Subtropico takes readers through South Africa’s largest private banana ripening facility.

Moving over to citrus, the World Citrus Organisation (WCO) released its annual Northern Hemisphere Citrus Forecast for the upcoming season (2021-22) and showed that citrus production is projected to reach 29.342.000 T, which represents a 1.27 percent decrease compared to the previous season.

Meanwhile there’s high demand for clementines from the Ionian area. The Arancia Rossa di Sicilia brand registered with the International Trademark Register while a Brazilian orange juice magnate would face trial in London for operating an illegal cartel.

In blood oranges, fruit that was grown in Sicily was severely damaged by recent storms. And out of Spain, there were reports that the Spanish citrus sector is on the ropes due to the loss of competitiveness over the supply of third countries. Also, a late start to the Cordero Spanish Navelina pays off.

In the U.S., fewer--but bigger--grapefruit are expected from Texas this season and while California’s crop of Navel oranges is flat compared to the 2020 crop, it eyes a good orange eating season.

However European demand results in higher Persian lime pricing out of Mexico.

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