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French market, April 2005 : indicators. Banana, avocado, orange, grapefruit, litchi, mango, sea freight

Imbert E., Hébrard V., Gerbaud P., Bright R.. 2005. Fruitrop (English ed.) (124) : p. 17-25.

Banana: The market performed very well for the fourth month in succession, even though it generally loses ground in April. It even strengthened at the end of the month. The slight supply deficit of March became more marked. Furthermore, the presence of competing fruits remained moderate for the season. Finally, in spite of a poor score for Poland, the rate of export sales continued to be particularly lively. Prices remained high and very stable. Avocado: Poor performance. Average prices and volumes sold were markedly down on the average. The market for green varieties was over-supplied for much of the month and became catastrophic. This difficult context weighed strongly on the situation for 'Hass', which nonetheless performed better as shipments were limited. Orange: The performance of orange was extremely disappointing. Demand reached historically low levels, probably as a result of the quality problems in preceding months, and was unable to take the nevertheless extremely limited quantities available. Only top of the range 'Navelate' and 'Valencia' from Spain and 'Maltese' from Tunisia experienced some success. The situation was particularly difficult for 'Maroc late' and standard quality 'Navelate' from Spain. Grapefruit: April was a little disappointing even though the market remained balanced. However, in spite of substantial shipments from Israel, the overall shortage was more marked than in March because of rapidly dwindling shipments from Florida and Turkey. However, demand was sluggish as a whole (high retail prices) in spite of a degree of improvement in the second half of the month for origins with guaranteed quality (Florida/Israel). The average price was distinctly higher than average but down in comparison with the preceding months. Litchi: Whereas there was no interruption in the supply of litchis to Europe in 2004, the break between the end of the seasons in the southern hemisphere and the start of shipments by northern hemisphere suppliers has been much more marked in 2005. March was particularly short of fruits and only a few small shipments from Australia arrived before the first litchis from Thailand reached Europe in April. Mango: In April, the gradual end of the Peruvian export season and the slow starting of the West African origins kept the market under-supplied, encouraging firm prices. The situation suddenly worsened at the end of the month with the arrivals of larger quantities of Côte d'Ivoire mangoes on the French market and also the coinciding with fruits from Latin America on northern European markets. The junction between April and May was thus characterised by the formation of a trade front opposing the two main supply zones. Sea freight: Despite owners and operators' best efforts to maintain the TCE levels achieved in March throughout April, the charter market fell away at a similar speed to previous years. However while the fall last year was attributable to a relative shortage of bananas in Ecuador, the cause this year was predominantly weak Med banana markets, which continued to be inundated with fruit into May....

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