Citrus markets under pressure in Russia

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Citrus markets under pressure in Russia

G.F. Marketing director David Pearce says prices for South African and Argentine citrus fell during week 27,  but markets for other fruits have been strong.

Pearce told lemon prices had fallen while Russia's soft citrus market was historically slow.

"Lemons, South African and Argentinean varieties, lost more than US$1 during the week - now they are offered at a maximum of US$17.86 in wholesale but are sold cheaper. Last year South African lemons were traded between US$23.23 and US$24.20 per carton," he says.

"Satsumas are standing in offer at US$13.58 per carton, Clementines at US$15 and sales are at a record slow for this period. Last year for example, South African Clementines were selling at US$19.36 and were in deficit.

"Improvements in the citrus market are hardly feasible during coming times; old stock is still high and new arrivals are coming in unprecedented volumes. Over last week and this coming week the total discharge of citrus from South Africa will be over 25,000 pallets."

He says grapefruit prices have fallen to US$1.29 per kilogram and sales are reported as slow, while Southern Hemisphere oranges face tough competition with North African fruit.

"Prices for Moroccan and Egyptian oranges, late varieties, reached the lowest price level which was between US$10.70 and US$14.20 per carton.

"Fresh harvest navels from South Africa have to compete with the old stock and their prices have been brought to the same level. For a comparison, South African first category navels were in high demand during the same week in 2010 at wholesale prices between US$21.62 and US$22.58.

"However, the Russian fruit market is strong in other items like vegetables, pome fruit, especially apples, and stonefruit. Peaches and nectarines of Greek origin are unusually cheap this season at about US$1.15 per kilogram wholesale - there are also sufficient qualities of local seasonal fruits available like strawberries and blackcurrants."

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