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

Imbert E., Gerbaud P., Paqui T., Bright R.. 2006. Fruitrop (English ed.) (137) : p. 9-18.

Banana: The market scenario was typical of June. Demand slowed greatly at the start of the last third of the month as summer weather took hold throughout Europe. However, overall supplies were only medium in volume. The average price thus decreased strongly in comparison with May but remained similar to that of 2004 and much higher than 2002 and 2003 levels. Avocado: Overall performance was somewhat mediocre. Prices were down by about 10% in comparison with the three-year average even though supplies dipped by 3%. However, the good performance of the 'Hass' market should be noted. The judicious distribution between the different EU markets of the substantial arrivals from Peru and South Africa in a context of a shortage of supplies of green varieties prevented a repeat of the catastrophe of June 2005. The increase in consumption in the United Kingdom and Spain seems to be confirmed. Orange: Performance had been poor since March and became critical in June. The total volume sold and quay prices were both about 25% lower than average. Demand remained focused on the large volumes of 'Valencia' from Spain that were available at very competitive prices. In this particularly difficult context, importers considerably reduced their schedule for 'Navel' from South Africa. Grapefruit: In contrast with forecasts, the entry of the southern hemisphere suppliers only relieved market under-supply. The scale of shipments of fruits from Argentina and South Africa was much lower than both the average and forecasts. In this context and with the seasonal demand, prices were about 10% higher than in the two previous years. Litchi: Just like the European market, the French market was supplied in June mainly with litchi shipped from Thailand by sea. The Thai litchi marketing season seemed lighter this year, finishing at the end of the month with falling prices. Supplies were completed by deliveries-mainly by air-from Mexico and China. Mango: After two months that were difficult for mango sales, June marked a recovery. One of the main reasons was the slowing of deliveries from Côte d'Ivoire. However, market conditions improved more rapidly for mangoes shipped by air than for those arriving by sea. Although arrivals by sea decreased gradually, the stocks that had formed and the worsening of fruit quality weighed strongly on sales. Pineapple: Demand continued to decrease. The weather was hot and consumption was oriented more towards the season's fruits that were available in large quantities at low prices. Supplies of pineapple-especially 'Smooth Cayenne'-decreased. In spite of a significant decrease, those of 'Sweet' nonetheless remained too large for demand except at the end of the month. The market situation for pineapple shipped by air was fairly tense. Supplies were limited and whereas operators expected a rise in prices, they remained where they were and sometimes even decreased a little. Demand also decreased and sales were in small batches. In spite of a decrease of the volumes of 'Victoria', poor demand resulted in difficulties in shifting the limited quantities available. Sea freight: June delivered more bad news to the specialised reefer sector - if it hadn't been clear to operators of vintage tonnage at the end of May that they should have taken the lay up option, by the end of week 26 those same operators may have had a few regrets. What banana chartering did take place was fixed by the majors on modern tonnage at TC rate equivalents that could not be matched by box rates on older vessels. At the beginning of July it looked as if the trend might continue throughout the summer....

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