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European market, December 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.) (131) : p. 12-22.

Banana: The market finished an exceptional 2005 in a very satisfactory manner, even though it stumbled slightly this month. Sales are traditionally slow at this time of year but were even slower because of the cold weather. However, prices held at a level significantly higher than average because total arrivals were particularly limited. Shipments decreased noticeably from both the West Indies and Africa. Avocado: The end of the year was difficult with a heavy, ultra-competitive market because of increased shipments from Chile. Supplies consisted mainly of 'Hass' (with large volumes shipped from Chile, Mexico and to a lesser extent from Spain) as the quantity of green varieties was limited because of the Israeli production shortfall. End-of-year promotion operations did not succeed in clearing increasing stocks. The average price was about 10% lower than average-a disaster for the Latin American origins with high production costs. Orange: Market performance was satisfactory once again. Steady demand matched supplies that were down by about 15% as a result of limited 'Naveline' and 'Navel' production in Spain this season. Prices remained about 30% higher than average. Grapefruit: The market was very sluggish even though the deficit was more marked than last year. The strong increase in the arrivals of Turkish fruits hardly relieved the overall shortage resulting from the lack of fruits from Florida. Demand is generally slow during this period when the focus is on exotics but it was particularly lack-lustre this year. The average price for the month was high and similar to last year's but the volumes marketed were down by about 15%. Easy peelers: The only average quantities available at production stage in the second part of the season led to forecasting good performance in December. However, the market was very disappointing, as is shown by a monthly price distinctly lower than average. Demand was brisk but supplies were larger than expected because of the fragility of a significant proportion of the 'Nules' remaining to be marketed. In a context of strong Spanish pressure, the other origins found it difficult to gain a foothold on the market. Litchi: The Madagascan export season did not begin as early as in 2004. December started with the sale of litchi shipped by air from the various countries in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Madagascar, Réunion and South Africa), most of which had already shipped fruits in November. The first conventional ship from Madagascar arrived in Marseilles on 8 December. The season then changed completely with the switch from fruits shipped by air and sold at very high prices, in spite of a downward trend, to large quantities of fruits arriving by sea sold at attractive prices for consumers. Mango: Supplies-arriving both by air and by sea-were substantially dominated by Brazil in December. The quantities arriving by sea increased strongly, stimulating the accumulation of stocks in the northern European countries where the markets deteriorated rapidly. There was a time lag before this had an effect on the French market and the trend was less marked for 'Kent' mangoes than for 'Tommy Atkins', whose price fell to the lowest level of the year. Pineapple: As expected, the market for pineapple shipped by sea improved considerably in December. Whereas the prices of 'Sweet' and 'Smooth Cayenne' were the same for a short while, that of the former was much higher than that of the latter in December. However, supplies of 'Sweet' from Latin America decreased continuously throughout the month. In spite of this, 'Sweet' was the star of the pineapple market at the end of the year and demand continued to increase. The air pineapple market was more difficult, with demand hard to establish, making it impossible to achieve the sales that had been hoped for. Sea freight: A disappointing 12 months for the Spot market operators ended on a relatively sour note with the shortage of bananas continuing to have a negative in...

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