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European market, November 2005 : indicators. Banana, avocado, orange, grapefruit, easy peelers, litchi, mango, pineapple, sea freight

Imbert E., Hébrard V., Delanoue C., Gerbaud P., Paqui T., Bright R.. 2006. Fruitrop (English ed.) (130) : p. 8-18.

Banana: The market performed well once again in November, with a renewal of business in France and in Europe in general. However, total shipments (from the West Indies and Africa) increased significantly to finish fairly close to average. Nevertheless, supplies of dollar bananas were generally limited in neighbouring countries and so French export releases were good. Prices increased during the first half of the month. Avocado: A very fine performance with prices up by nearly 30% while volumes have been generous as a result of the stronger presence of produce from Latin American origins (Mexico and Chile-confirming the foothold of the latter in the EU market). Under these conditions, and as a result of the marked deficit in Israeli fruits, the green varieties that generally dominate the market at this time of year lost part of their market share to the benefit of 'Hass'. Orange: The Spanish 'Naveline' season started satisfactorily. Demand was healthy thanks to suitable weather conditions and a smooth switch from southern hemisphere 'Valencia'. Prices were 30% higher than average-justified by the serious deficit in Spanish production. Grapefruit: The market was just as under-supplied as it had been in 2004 because of the very marked shortfall in the Florida crop. In this context, the prices of 40/45 size fruits were sky-high. Conversely, the market for small fruits was generously supplied by Turkey and more sluggish. Easy peelers: Performance was most satisfactory. The quantities sold and the average price for the month were both distinctly higher than usual. Stimulated by a return to temperatures typical of the time of year, demand was lively while the total volumes available at production returned to average levels with the switch to the varieties 'Nules' and 'Clemenvilla'. Nonetheless, the more delicate keeping qualities of a proportion of supplies from Spain made the market more difficult at the end of the month and penalised the late starting of Corsican and Moroccan seasons. Litchi: November marks the beginning of the most important time of the year for litchi supplies in terms of volume. The different countries in the Indian Ocean production zone started their shipments one after the other, without the earliness observed in 2004. Mauritius was first this year, followed by South Africa, Madagascar and finally Réunion. The 2005/2006 season promises to be a large one in terms of tonnage and good as regards fruit quality. Mango: Most of the mangoes shipped in November were 'Tommy Atkins' and 'Kent' from Brazil. Shipments were regular in the first half of the month and increased in the second half, making up for the decrease in end-of-season shipments from Israel and Spain. Prices therefore remained stable overall during the period. Pineapple: November was fairly difficult for pineapple market operators and especially for those specialising in 'Smooth Cayenne', whose price was interesting but whose sales volume was fairly small. Supplies of 'Sweet' from Latin America continued to pour on to a European market that found it difficult to handle the quantities, at least at the beginning of the month. Although air pineapple market sales were fairly brisk at the beginning of the month, the edge soon came off with a slight increase in supply and a dip in demand. Sea Freight: It was the best of months, it was the worst of months... while activity on the Spot market for larger units remained minimal at historically low Time Charter Equivalent yields, the majority of Period business was finalised at increases between of 10-20% on last year's contracts. Owners and operators have seemingly realised the market equity value of modern tonnage - while Spot market behaviour in the past has proved to be a valuable barometer of Period market sentiment, its relevance to the 12-month banana business in particular (high quality modern tonnage) can now be questioned....

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