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European market, February 2006 : 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.) (133) : p. 12-22.

Banana: Continued under-supply made it possible to achieve an excellent performance once again in spite of the end of the quota system. Supplies from Africa and the West Indies displayed a marked deficit and arrivals from Latin America did not increase markedly except for a few isolated cases on certain markets. Prices increased to more than 15% higher than average. Avocado: A mixed performance contrasting with the excellent January results. Supplies of both 'Hass' and green varieties remained markedly short. Shipments from Mexico were exceptionally plentiful but did not make up for the small quantities shipped from Mediterranean origins. Sales were nonetheless laborious because of slowed demand resulting mainly from high retail prices. In this context, prices fell gradually, reaching a level lower than average at the end of the month. Orange: February was a turning-point in the 2005/2006 winter orange season. Supplies had been short since October and started to increase considerably with the Spanish 'Navelate' orchards in full production at the end of the month. Thus, after being very satisfactory at the beginning of the month, the market gradually became more fragile, especially as demand was comparatively sluggish. Prices were high at the beginning of the month and gradually fell, dropping to below average at the end of the month. Grapefruit: A mixed score. The monthly price was higher than the average but the advantage was very meagre as the deficit was still more marked than in January because of the early slowing of the Florida season. Sales were very laborious for fruits of all origins. Although sales by Turkish operators increased distinctly, the same did not apply to Israel where the performance was mediocre. The results for Florida were even worse as the quality of some brands was disappointing. Easy peelers: Demand slowed distinctly as it does during this period every year. In spite of a context of general deficit because of the small late easy peeler crop in Spain, only the origins shipping mainly high-quality varieties performed well. Israel, and Morocco to a lesser extent, had a satisfactory month. In contrast, the situation was much more difficult for Spain. Litchi: The Indian Ocean litchi export season finished gradually in February. Fruits from Madagascar and South Africa still dominated the European market but in strongly decreasing quantities. Litchi sales ended simultaneously for both origins leaving the market practically empty. The only litchi on the market at the end of the month consisted of a few air shipments from Australia. The resumption of more plentiful supplies will be at the end of March/beginning of April with the first arrivals of fruits shipped from Thailand by air. Mango: The European mango market was substantially dominated by Peru and remained comparatively well balanced throughout February. In practice, the pattern of sales was the opposite of that of the same period in 2005. Whereas prices had recovered in the second half of the month in 2005, they lost ground this year under pressure from an unexpected strong increase in supply. Cumulated shipments from Peru and Brazil resulted in the gradual forming of stocks, especially on the northern European markets that received this produce directly. Pineapple: As in January, February was marked by a few logistic difficulties that disturbed supplies, causing delays that strengthened demand. Although supplies of 'Smooth Cayenne' (especially from Côte d'Ivoire) decreased, those of 'Sweet' increased but without having an effect on prices. Thus 'Sweet' prices remained unchanged and were even sometimes lower than those of 'Smooth Cayenne', resulting in a market that was fairly disparate overall. The market for fruits shipped by air lacked quality for a while and then improved, but with limited volumes that made it possible to increase prices. Sea freight: While at 66c/cbft and 75c/cbft the February average Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) returns on t...

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