E.U. slump drives South African neighbor market push

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E.U. slump drives South African neighbor market push

South Africa's apple, pear and table grape exports to countries on the same continent have increased in the wake of depressed demand from Europe, according to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) GAIN report.

U.K. imports in 2010 dipped by 0.2%, however exports to countries such as Angola and Benin increased by 57% and 26% respectively.

Flat European Union imports were due to the recession and relatively large deciduous fruit stocks overlapping with the Southern Hemisphere.

The GAIN report described other African countries as critical for South African growers, representing 20% of their export markets.

"They are potential growth markets for South Africa despite the lack of developed infrastructure and formal retail sectors in these markets," it said.

However, the report predicted apple exports would show a 10% year-on-year increase to 312,000 MT for 2011-12  as more trees reach full bearing production.

Pear exports were also predicted to show a modest 2% year-on-year increase to 180,000 MT.

The report noted that new areas planted for pears remained flat in 2011 at 11,400 hectares due to increased planting costs.

"The cost of establishing one hectare of pears has been increasing significantly recent years, and rose approximately 16% in 2010 alone. The costs of planting material and trellising have nearly doubled since 2008."

GAIN said this meant certain varieties such as William Bon Chretien trees were more than 25 years old and needed replacing.

Exports of table grapes were expected to remain flat at 260,000MT compared with 258,000MT for 2010-11, which was a difficult year due to floods.

Photo: agroeconomia.pe


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