South Africa: Valencia Focus Group finalizes export downgrade
The revision was released by Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa, with CEO Justin Chadwick pointing to a much lower volumes to date than in the previous season despite advanced harvesting.
"It is now Valencia time and there is a huge amount of interest in how the season is going to end. To end week 34 a total volume of 23 million (15Kg equivalent) cartons have been packed. This is 8.5 million cartons less than the same time last year," Chadwick said.
"While some may speculate that there may be a tendency for growers to hang fruit a bit later in order to wait out a poor market, this does not seem to be the case. Growers in the north are well advanced in their harvesting – Onderberg and Nelspruit regions in Mpumalanga are basically finished. Letsitele, Limpopo River and Hoedspruit in Limpopo Province are over 2/3 rds complete, which just leaves Eastern and Western Cape to really get going.
"Market reports are that there seems to be growing interest for oranges in Europe (with the October duty deadline coming closer), while Middle East and Russia seem to be delaying their decision making. It could be that they delay too long – which may result in market shortage for these destinations as the balance of the southern hemisphere citrus season unfolds."
The revision is slightly higher than previous expectations of a downgrade to a volume between 37-39 million cartons.
Related story: South Africa revises Valencia orange estimates
Photo: Citrus Trees Online