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European market, March 2006 : indicators. Banana, avocado, orange, grapefruit, easy peelers, litchi, mango, pineapple, sea freight

Imbert E., Delanoue C., Gerbaud P., Paqui T., Bright R.. 2006. Fruitrop (English ed.) (134) : p. 12-22.

Banana: Market performance was disappointing, forming a break with the excellent results achieved in January and February. The monthly price was slightly lower than average in spite of a serious deficit in the cumulated shipments from the West Indies and Africa and still restrained arrivals of dollar bananas. Demand was slowed by cold weather during the first two-thirds of the month and seems to have been smaller than usual. Furthermore, the dollar bananas available in limited quantities but at competitive prices played a destabilising role. Avocado: The under-supply of the 'Hass' market became more marked with the early dwindling of Mediterranean production which has been short this season. This conjunctural feature continued to be very favourable for Mexico, which chalked up a new record in particular thanks to Easter promotion operations in supermarket chains at the end of the month. The green market was very satisfactory in this context. Supply consisted mainly of the last Israeli exports and remained small because of the late starting of the harvest in Kenya. Orange: The deterioration noted in February gained momentum in March. The market was soon over-supplied as a result of the large 'Navelate' crop in Spain and somewhat slow demand in spite of the cold weather. In this context, the market shares of the other suppliers-especially Morocco-shrank considerably. Grapefruit: Overall performance was very disappointing. The average monthly price was slightly below the three-year average while the supply shortage worsened, reaching nearly 50%. The market for Mediterranean grapefruit was very difficult and practically monopolised by a plethora of Turkish fruits whose quality was sometimes uneven. In this context, it was difficult for fruits of other origins to gain a position, with the exception of produce from Florida with an assurance of good quality. Easy peelers: Performance was very varied. The comparatively slow demand typical of the season was very selective and focused on up-market produce with guaranteed high quality (the best brands of 'Fortuna' from Spain, 'Nadorcot' from Spain and Morocco and 'Or' from Israel). The sales of other produce-especially 'Ortanique'-were laborious. The average price for the month and the volumes sold were below average overall. Litchi: In March, the market featured an almost complete absence of litchi. As the Indian Ocean season had finished in February, only Australia continued to make shipments to Europe. The Thai export season started in the second half of the month. This origin should keep the European market supplied until the summer months. Litchi is becoming a rare exotic fruit again and is changing hands at high prices. Mango: Arrivals from Peru clearly dominated the European market in March, and were completed by regular shipments from Brazil that were mainly delivered to the countries of northern Europe. Deliveries from Peru were smaller-at least during the first half of the month-and this allowed a partial recovery of prices. Nevertheless, the prolonging of the Peruvian season limited the trend and kept prices at an intermediate level. This situation was most unfavourable for the increase of exports from West Africa and these had to endure the difficult market conditions imposed by Peru. Pineapple: Supplies of 'Sweet' increased steadily throughout the month. With Easter approaching and the swelling of the volumes arriving from Latin America, demand became more and more firm, making it possible to clear the quantities available. The quality of supplies of 'Smooth Cayenne' seemed to increase during the same period, but new quality problems affected marketing already hit by the volumes arriving from Latin America. The trend that started in the air pineapple market at the end of February continued and supplies of 'Smooth Cayenne' and 'Victoria' decreased continuously. Sea freight: Following what can best be described as an average start to the year, the charter market gathered mo...

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