More South Africa stone fruit shipments heading to Middle East
Exports of South African stone fruit are trending towards the Middle East, while shipments to the U.K. and the European Union have grown at a slower pace, and in some cases have dropped, according to numbers from Hortgro Services.
According to statistics from weeks 40-47, the largest increase in volumes has been seen in exports of nectarines to the Middle East, which increased from 8,681 cartons in week 47, 2009, to 106,115 cartons this year, a leap of 1122%. Shipments to the U.K. during the same time dropped 62% to 62,126 cartons, compared with 164,326 cartons last year. EU exports grew 18%.
Plum exports also registered a drastic change, with shipments to the Middle East growing to 6,920 cartons from 734 last year, an increase of 843%. Exports of plums to the U.K. during the same period dropped 58%.
Peach exports saw an overall drop in volume to all destinations, dropping from 319,111 cartons shipped in week 47, 2009, to 127,973 cartons this year.
In the case of apricots, the Middle East saw an increase in shipments of 194% to reach 24,874 cartons. During the same period shipments to the U.K. declined 57%.
As a whole stone fruit exports between weeks 40 and 47 have been below preseason estimates. This season also started about 7 to 10 days early.