Citrus volumes in Egypt this season are "very abundant, in sufficient quantities to privilege the export of high-quality fruit" says Muhammad Shaker, marketing manager of the grower and exporter Almansi.
Shaker says, "The cultivated areas are very large and there will be no worries about quantity this year. Sizes are more balanced than last season, with large sizes now widely available. This differs from variety to variety, but in general large sizes are on hand. Some growers have a limited problem of fruit deformation, but this does not represent large volumes. On the other hand, brix is excellent and should reach 13% when we start harvesting."
The availability of large quantities will be an opportunity for exporters to focus on exporting good quality batches, says Shaker. "What will specify the success of the season is the quality of exports. Traders now have the chance to be more demanding and must ensure compliance with the standards of destination markets. In Europe, for example, recommended levels of pesticide residues must be respected, and exporters need to avoid uncalled-for problems in that regard."
Last May, the Egyptian Agricultural Export Council imposed an inspection ban on all citrus shipments to Europe until the end of last season, following the detection of a prohibited pesticide. Shaker, who is also a member of the council, had declared: "In a voluntary way, and before any directive from the Egyptian government or the European Union, we have decided to implement a compulsory inspection of every single container departing from Egypt to Europe until the end of the season to ensure the absence of any prohibited substances."