Citrus export from South Africa is going well at the moment although some traders say that they are not doing lemons or grapefruit because they just cant get a hold of it. Volumes of grapefruit are short but with lemons it is the huge demand which is making them scarce.
Navels however, are available as harvest started 2-3 weeks ago and demand is good. Gary Britz from Ele Trading said they were starting to get a bit of cold weather which is very important for colour development.
“There are lots going into Canada, UK and the EU where the demand is good and the Middle East is still good prior to Ramadan.
Some people have already started Valencias, but the big volumes will start in around 2-3 weeks and prices are pretty much the same in comparison to last year but the exchange rate is giving a slight advantage to the growers and exporters.
Spain and Turkey finished their citrus seasons early leaving a clear European market but according to Gary the consumer is not prepared to pay more for a Navel or Valencia, they would rather leave it and buy something else so prices will be around the same as last year.
Valencias from the North East of the county are sizing up nicely, there are a lot of 48’s, 56’s and 64’s, fruit from the Western Cape is a bit smaller.
Rain is still short in the country, there has been some but they are still in a drought situation and while temperatures are coming down, they should be lower at this time of the year and more rain is still needed.