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Conjoncture December 2004 : indicators. Banana, avocado, orange, grapefruit, litchi, mango, sea freight

Imbert E., Hébrard V., Gerbaud P., Bright R.. 2005. Fruitrop (Ed. Française) (120) : p. 8-17.

Banana: The year 2004 started very badly but finished well. Demand displayed the usual marked decrease from mid-December onwards because of the run-up to Christmas but the market held up better as only small quantities of fruits were available. The last time prices were higher than 0.70 euro per kg, as they were in December 2004, was precisely ten years previously. Avocado: Large quantities have been sold (with shipments of Mexican Hass as large as in 2003 and ample quantities of green varieties from lsrael after two years of shortfall). However, performance was comparatively satisfactory even if demand markedly smaller than forecasts during the Christmas sales operations resulted in a noticeable worsening of the market at the end of the month. The average price was higher than in 2003 and higher than the average. Orange: The market for oranges did not perform well, like that for easy peelers. The slight increase in prices of Naveline the main variety available this month from Spain in comparison with the 2003/2004 season did not make up for the decrease in the quantities sold. This difficult situation was probably caused by strong competition from easy peelers. Grapefruit: The change in the range available in supermarkets to the benefit of festive produce led to a considerable decrease in releases, as every year. However, operators in Florida earned a new record price as supplies were still very short and demand concentrated on the top-of-the-range varieties from this origin. Performance was much more uneven for the other origins. However, all displayed an average price that was sometimes lower than that of November (the case for Turkey, Cuba and Mexico) but remained markedly higher than in previous seasons. Easy Peelers: The distinct improvement in the taste qualities of the fruits supplied led to a marked recovery in demand. However, the performance of Spanish operators remains very poor. The large quantities of Nules and Clemenvilla still available in the production zones and the quality problems caused by the long period of rainy weather limited the possibility of a price recovery. The other origins benefited from a temporary transfer of demand for lack of Spanish fruits and performed better. Litchi: With over 19 000 palettes arriving at their destination before Christmas, Madagascan exports set a new record in the history of the litchi trade, going well beyond the hoped-for 14 000 palettes initially announced as an appropriate target for this period. The pressure generated by the quantities available meant that the price levels counted on at the beginning of the sea litchi season were not reached. After a fairly rapid decrease, the price of Madagascan litchi remained stable until the end of December. The dull economic context did not help in sales of this festive fruit whose image is taking a bash season after season. Mango: The trend reversed completely in December with the accumulation of fruits arriving from Brazil and then from Peru and Ecuador. The operators who had forecast a large, sharp increase in deliveries of fruits from South America were right. This happened just before Christmas, taking prices into a lasting dip and upsetting the market. Sea freight: The December Time Charter averages bring to an end a year in which average earnings for the large and small reefer segments have risen to 62c/cbft and 73c/cbft, or by 29% and 21% respectively. With the way 2005 has kicked off, a similar increase this year looks more rather than less likely. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Commerce, commercialisation et distribution

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