Price gaps changing in Middle Eastern fruit markets
A Middle East fruit market expert has told www.freshfruitportal.com the price gap between Dubai and Saudi Arabia has dropped, leading to lower re-export rates.
G.F. Marketing director David Pearce says Dubai prices are usually much lower and 55% of the fruit that enters the market is re-exported to Saudi Arabia, but this dynamic has changed recently.
"What we have been seeing for the past few months is that the prices are very similar and less fruit is going over into Saudi Arabia," he says.
He says kiwifruit is not profitable in the region at the moment but bananas certainly are, while the month of Ramadan helped the rotation of citrus oversupply with the exception of grapefruit.
"Sales picked up as Ramadan got into full swing with sales rates increasing in the second and fourth weeks of August. Navel sales price increased as Navels became shorter in supply. The price went over AED60 (US$16.33) per carton for good quality navels. So, Ramadan sales did help South African citrus out of a difficult position on Navel oranges.
"Kiwifruit (Chilean) was oversupplied into the market and has been for some time and all fruit were sold below cost.
"Less Valencia oranges have been shipped out of South Africa and yet Valencia sales price in the market has dropped. The two to three week after Ramadan is always poor and we are seeing this again."
Pearce says French apples have hit the Middle Eastern markets three weeks earlier than last year but still in small volumes, the Chinese haven't shipped yet but their apples are expected to be more expensive than last year, while there are still Southern Hemisphere supplies in the market during this transition period.
"There is still a fair amount of Chilean apples in the region and we are noticing 'water-core' (core rot) problems with Red Delicious apples. South Africa is currently shipping Granny Smith as its main volume and small amounts of Golden Delicious and reds.
"We hear that the U.S. crop has less export volume so we are not expecting to be overloaded with U.S. apples in the markets which will affect the selling prices. The U.S. is the largest supplier to the Region."