SA citrus picks up in the Middle East
Pearce says Navel orange sales have increased almost threefold during the last two weeks, while most of the remaining Egyptian Valencia supply is of poor quality and has to be re-sorted before sale.
While South African oranges have been dominating the market during this month of Ramadan, demand is still not high enough to move all the volume that has been shipped.
"Even though the Middle East is a 'fixed price/firm sale' market, the customers are going back to exporters and growers to ask for market assistance on Navel oranges that were shipped," he says.
"Everyone is very concerned about the post Ramadan sales for the months of September and October."
Good quality Navel oranges are fetching between AED50-52 (US$13.61-14.15) per carton, but the large volumes of bad quality fruit are reaching prices as low as AED35 (US$9.53) per carton.
Pearce says there has been a big increase in the sales rate for Valencia oranges as well, with a price of around AED48 (US$13.06) per carton. Easy peelers are also selling well at more than AED50 (US$13.61) per 10kg (22lbs), but results have been mixed for other fruits.
"Grapefruit is still a disaster and fruit are not moving, lemons are decreased in price slightly but again, South Africa is alone in the market and it is expected that sales will remain good."