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French market, March 2005 : indicators. Banana, avocado, orange, grapefruit, easy peelers, litchi, mango, sea freight

Imbert E., Hébrard V., Gerbaud P., Bright R.. 2005. Fruitrop (English ed.) (123) : p. 8-17.

Banana: The market performed well once again, concluding a very good first quarter. Nevertheless, supplies returned to average levels after two months of marked shortfall. Domestic demand was lively especially because of the significant deficit of competing produce. Exports were also dynamic as a result of the shortage of dollar and Canary Island bananas. Avocado: Performance was comparatively satisfactory. The increase in the volumes sold made up fairly precisely for the fall in the average monthly price. But the trend was very different from one variety to another. The market for 'Hass' was satisfactory thanks to slightly short supplies and relatively satisfactory demand, especially from mid-month onwards. In contrast, the large quantities of green varieties available caused a marked, steady decrease in prices, which were right down at the end of the month. Orange: Market performance was fairly satisfactory. The average monthly price increased markedly whereas the supply shortage was fairly small, especially during the first part of the month. However, these good overall results hid a distinct, disturbing market situation at the end of the month. Demand had been active but slowed substantially because of a fairly general worsening of the quality of the fruits supplied. Grapefruit: The market balance became more delicate as the supply shortage was less serious than in preceding months (concentration of shipments from Florida to the EU and an increase in the rate of Israeli exports). However, the average monthly price remained very strong. Although the performance of fruits from Mediterranean origins was satisfactory, it was less so for standard produce from Florida. Easy peelers: In contrast with forecasts, the market was very generously supplied. Spanish supplies continued to be ample in spite of the serious losses caused by frost. Demand was healthy until the middle of the month. The price of good quality produce increased and reached a very satisfactory level. In contrast, the market was very difficult for the other types of produce and especially for 'Minneola'. Litchi: March probably marked the start of the slow time of year for litchi imports to European markets. While awaiting the start of the Thai export season forecast for April, the market has only substitutes like longan and rambutan. Mango: Most of the mangoes supplied in March were from Peru, which conserved its dominance for both sea and air-freighted fruits. The situation improved in the middle of the month as Peruvian shipments decreased and competition from other supplier countries was weak. This was the context for the first shipments by air of mangoes from West Africa. Sea freight: A high exit price for Ecuadorian bananas for most of March kept chartering activity in check although an earlier than expected recovery in volumes out of Panama and Costa Rica following the January rains combined with strong US and EU banana markets kept the majors in particular on the lookout for tonnage. While supply of tonnage exceeded demand, owners and operators of Spot units generally held their nerve and as a result the reefer charter market eased until the last week of the month, but not by much....

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