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"Joey Deen: "Healthy demand for citrus due to flu wave and cold weather"

Europe no longer a main market for Egyptian citrus exporters

The sales of Egyptian oranges started slowly this year. "The expectations on the market were high. Because the price of Spanish and Moroccan oranges at the start of the Egyptian season were high, everyone expected the market to be easier," says Joey Deen of Denimpex.

"I personally think that too much came in at the start and caused pressure on the prices. The pressure has lifted a bit by now. The prices are becoming friendlier and the demand is gradually getting bigger. The cold weather late in February and the flu wave in Europe are causing people to want more vitamins and so more oranges are consumed," continues the importer.

Difference between exporters
According to Joey there is a good quality of Egyptian oranges. "Personally I think that they are no less optically than other countries like Spain and Morocco. The Brix is lower - around 11 - and they are slightly less sweet than those from Spain and Morocco, but like in recent years this will improve later in the season. It is clear to see that there is a big difference between the respected and professional exporters/packagers who want to put a quality product on the market and the exporters who just look at volume and less at quality."

According to the importer the citrus production in the entire Mediterranean region is lower, this goes for both Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco and Egypt. Denimpex hasn't played a role in importing Egyptian Navels this year. "We found the price too high, as there were still a lot of Greek on the market that were considerably cheaper. This is why we are only doing Valencia oranges this season," says Joey. "The demand is increasing at the moment, Greece is almost empty and this is mainly causing more demand in the eastern European countries and so more sales. When Spain is empty soon, people will have to switch to Egypt as South Africa is expected to be late and have less available due to the drought."

"As there will be generally less oranges available, we expect there to be a shortage certainly at the end of the season for South Africa. The main market for Egypt is no longer Europe. They have good sales in the Arabian countries and it is also going well in Asia. These markets generally pay more than Europe and so the focus from Egypt will be there," concludes Joey.

For more information:
Joey Deen
Denimpex B.V.
Sint Antoniesbreestraat 10
1011 HB Amsterdam – Holland
T: +31 20 6246390
F: +31 20 6225448
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