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Year Overview: February

More than enough happened in February 2021, but one of the things that would not happen was the edition of Fruit Logistica. The event was postponed to May of the same year. 

The Indian grape season was in full swing and export volumes were increasing every week. Meanwhile Fruit Logistica’s Madles Miserius had a sad message to share; Fruit Logistica 2021 would not be able to take place in February. The organization opted to postpone the event until May. In South Africa the citrus industry celebrated a record-breaking export season, and predictions regarding the upcoming grape season opened the door to possible record harvests as well. The second half of the Spanish citrus campaign saw significant changes compared to the first half. This had to do with the impact of the second wave of the coronavirus in Europe.

Californian growers welcomed the rain after a long period of dry conditions. The rain definitely helped in terms of having enough water available, but strong winds did have an impact on the Californian avocados. Chile also experienced heavy rains, which caused between 50 to 100% losses of the Thompson green seedless grapes. South Africans farm workers were suddenly in high demand in the United States, as the US revised its blanket travel pan on South Africa. In Texas the supplies of organic grapefruits seemed to run out earlier than usual.

The harvest of Kenyan avocadoes would be underway in the first half of February, at the same time the Egyptian sweet potato season was still going, despite it normally ending in November. Tasmanian cherry producers believed technology would finally start to thwart counterfeiters in Asia. South African fruit growers were worried the new minimum wage would have an impact on the industry. In Peru, it was clear that the Wonderful pomegranate season would start in the week of the 15th of February.

Italians launched a new sustainable strawberry brand, in the US, Davis released two new strawberry varieties. The ABGA made a statement they were not looking for a ban on blueberry imports, but more so temporary relief for US blueberry growers. The outcome of an ITC investigation that was going on at the time, was expected to affect the entire trade relationship between the US and Mexico. Availability for ginger was rather low, as there were lower supplies coming in from China as well as Peru.

Total Produce and Dole Food Company were to combine and become publicly listed in the US. Demand for ginger would continue to grow over the month and a Polish apple exporter stated they’d like to start their own brand after a successful shipment of apples to Taiwan. Spanish Hass avocados had a good season in the French market, and the French Nadorcott mandarins saw a good start of their campaign.

Texas produce had it rough on Valentine’s Day, as hazardous amounts of ice and snow hit the state. It was unclear what effect it would have later on, but logistics were already disrupted. Volumes of organic kiwis grown in California increased this season, and the early California cherry varieties had reached their full bloom by at this point. The start of the Peruvian organic avocado season would be delayed by a week, but higher volumes were expected.

Demand for South African grapes wasn’t quite strong in the Far East and China near the end of February, which was attributed as an effect of the Covid pandemic. Turkish apples didn’t have these issues, as the Far East and India had been strong importers of the apples. When it came to the Turkish cherry season, exporters were hoping that the issues surrounding the Chinese market would be resolved, as import was stopped over the Mediterranean fruit fly. Tahiti lime volumes out of Brazil were expected to increase in April or May.

By the end of February, the logistics of Texas would stabilize, although crop damages were still not fully assessed. At the same time the organic greenhouse vegetables would be less available due to challenges with logistics as well. North America seemed to be playing chess with banana supplies, as hurricanes hit Central America. There were questions regarding the citrus demand and if the covid-vaccine would have an impact on the demand. The almond orchards in the largest almond producing region in the world, California, were in full bloom.