It’s been smooth sailing in terms of demand for Greek pears, says Paris Karastergios, import-export coordinator for Greek produce exporter Kastargiou P. Bros S.A.: “In general, demand for Greek pears has remained quite steady, with continuous programs running for the medium/big sizes of Santa Maria pears, 60+. Meanwhile the demand for smaller sizes, 50/60, has just started to return to last year’s level, with the Jordanian market slowly switching from Coscia/Ercolini to Santa Maria pears.”
Greek pear exporters have tried their best to sell their stock as fast as possible, to avoid the storing costs as much as possible, Karastergios explains. “The harvest has finished since late August and we have been struggling with the storage costs since then. Electricity in Greece costs well over 100% more this season than it did last year, and what’s more worrying is that nobody can guarantee that electricity will not cost even more in 2023. This fact makes long term schedules difficult to arrange and it definitely decreases our profit margin. Thus, selling fast in the beginning of the campaign was a goal for us, which was achieved thanks to strong demand during August and September for Coscia and Santa Maria pears.”
Karastergios states that there’s a need to increase pear prices from their end, but the market is doing what it can to keep the prices low: “Since the beginning of the campaign, the prices have been fluctuating from 0,60 €/kg, for sizes 50/60 to 1,15 for sizes 70/80, category I pears. At the same time, cat. II pears are being sold for 0,40 €/kg regardless of the size. However, costs are going up due to storing costs, and this fact combined with the Smartfresh treatment, which has been applied for the pears that we sell from mid-September and onward, is why we try to increase our selling prices for all sizes. The markets, meanwhile, are trying to keep the prices at the previous levels.”
For Kastargiou P. Bros S.A, Israel has actually been the most important market for their pears this season. “Most of our pears have been exported to Israel, while Jordan absorbs the majority of smaller sizes. We have developed a small, yet loyal clientele in both of these countries over the years, and with the addition of a few significant importers this season, we have achieved steady loading programs. We have been talking with our clients all year round and we have agreed on some loadings in advance, however the interest became more vivid than we originally anticipated.”
“We have passed the middle of our Santa Maria pears campaign, with enough pears yet to be exported. We are now focusing on different markets, as loadings to Oman will start shortly, and we are in touch with clients from Lebanon and Bahrain in order to start exporting to those countries, too. When we finish with our Santa Maria campaign, we will start exporting Blanquilla pears, which is a variety that can be stored for much longer than the others. However, the interest is higher than expected, and we may have to start packing Blanquilla earlier than planned,” Karastergios concludes.
For more information:
Karastergiou P. Bros S.A.
Tel: +30 24610 26940
Mob: +30 693 2469117