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

Imbert E., Hébrard V., Gerbaud P., Bright R.. 2005. Fruitrop (English ed.) (125) : p. 9-17.

Banana: Market performance of banana was exceptional once again. Although the deficit was smaller than during the previous month, it was still very marked in both fruits from Côte d'Ivoire and the West Indies. But above all the rate of sales did not weaken at all on the domestic and export markets. Temperatures were still favourable for banana consumption, with stone fruit supplies starting at the end of the month-with fruits from Spain only. Prices increased strongly. Avocado: The market swung round once again and performed very well after a difficult April. Total arrivals were fairly substantial (16% higher than average) as a result of an early start to the 'Fuerte' season in South Africa and the prolonging of the Israeli season. Nevertheless, demand was healthy, probably as competition from the season's fruits was weaker than usual. Prices were distinctly higher than average. Orange: The orange market was still suffering from a slump. In spite of the return to perfectly satisfactory fruit quality, demand remained extremely slow whatever the variety. Prices remained very low for standard brand fruits. Grapefruit: Overall performance returned to an average level after an exceptional winter season. Supplies had been very limited since October and returned to normal with the start of the seasons in the southern hemisphere and Israeli operators' strategy of holding back large volumes for the end of the season. Demand was present but selective. Thus, although performance was comparatively satisfactory for Argentinian operators, the results were more mixed for Israel. Litchi: In May, the litchi market was still dominated by shipments from Thailand, first by air and then by sea. The switch from one type of transport to the other varied considerably according to the market. On some of the latter, the price fell strongly to adapt to the new supplies. In contrast, others went through a more confused transition period during which the price fell gradually at the same time as the increase in supplies arriving by sea. Mango: The market remained fairly depressed in May after the reversal in trend observed at the end of April. Supplies from Côte d'Ivoire, the main supplier of the French market, came up against strong competition from Brazil on export markets. The situation lasted throughout the month and kept the price of mango shipped by sea at an artificially low level. The market for mango shipped by air behaved more regularly, with a more delicate trend at the end of the month. Sea freight: Following a slow start to the month in terms of chartering activity, rates rose sharply as the Ecuadorian banana strike eased and more fruit was shipped. The real spike in rates was caused by the week 20 charterer-to-charterer (CSAV to Noboa) fixture of the Polar Ecuador, which led the market from a 60c/cbft TCE average to 120c/cbft TCE overnight.

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