Good market for South African grapefruit and mandarins"

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Larger batches are now being shipped to the EU, but due to the colouring and fewer kilos in the trees, this shipments have been more limited. Therefore, there will continue to be a fewer offer so good prices," says Andres Ribas van Oosterom, of Vientosur.

The lemon market, however, is dealing with some challenges. "Argentina has struggled with the impact of wet weather during the summer until April and the appearance of Black Spot in the lemons, and that, in combination with the poor quality standards achieved, means not much is shipped to Europe. In the past two weeks, less than 50% of the total export volume has gone to Europe, while in other years that share has ranged between 60% and 70%," says Andres. "South Africa has shipped less than 50% of the volume that it normally sends to Europe. There are many small sizes in the production areas in the Eastern Cape, which means that people still have to wait to be able to ship larger sizes, but that will make it easier for the Spanish Verna lemons to be consumed first."

Meanwhile, most of the volume of Satsuma mandarins has already been loaded. "Peru still has to make some shipments, even though there has been less interest in this variety in recent years. South Africa is again fully devoted to its Clementines, of which a lot less than previous years has been loaded so far this season. Therefore, there are not enough good Clementines in the market," says Andres.

With an area of around 400 hectares, FruitOne is one of the largest growers of Tango mandarins in South Africa. "This week, we are starting again with the Tangos, a premium mandarin which is very popular with our retail customers. The Tango is also appreciated in markets such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Russia, but for the time being, the highest demand is still that from the EU," says Andres.

Last but not least, the supply of the South African Navels has also been delayed. "However, the prices of the Navels here are still low. Spain has delivered a lot of Navels to the industry, and the cold stores are full. As a result, there is not much enthusiasm to ship Navels to Europe. However, shipments will still be made in the coming weeks because the warehouse space has to be cleared up for the next varieties," explains Andres.

A new development for the FruitOne group is that, in addition to the conventional juicing orange programs, this year Fruitone will also deliver 'chem-free' juicing oranges with a natural wax for some specific customers."

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