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Surge in Thai fruit exports

Surge in Thai fruit exports © Réussir Fruits et Légumes

© Réussir Fruits et Légumes


Thailand, the world’s seventh largest fruit exporter, has free trade agreements for exporting its fresh fruits to 18 countries. In the first two months of 2021, shipments to these countries rocketed by 107% y-o-y, reports Thailand’s National News Bureau. Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Oramon Sapthaweetham, said the total trade was worth US$461m, accounting for 94.9% of the country’s total fruit exports.

The products that have registered strongest growth are durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. The main destination markets are China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile.

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Philippines bananas being squeezed out of Chinese market

Philippines bananas being squeezed out of Chinese market © Marlith (Creative Commons)

© Marlith (Creative Commons)


The Philippines Banana Planter and Exporter Association (PBGEA) has announced that profits in banana exports fell by 15% due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which increased shipping costs and delayed transport, reports Business Mirror.

Shipping costs increased by 15%-20% last year, and the transport period increased from an average of 25 days to an average of 30-33 days. The main reason for this delay in transport is the spillover effect from backlogs in Chinese and Singaporean ports in late 2020. Backlogs in one port mean that supply ships miss their rendezvous, which leads to further delays.

The Philippines suffers more from distribution problems in comparison with countries like Vietnam and Cambodia that are closer to the Chinese market. That is why Vietnamese and Cambodian bananas gradually push bananas from the Philippines out of the Chinese market. Last year almost 90% of the Chinese import bananas came from the Philippines, while only 10% came from Vietnam and Cambodia. This year almost 40% of the Chinese import bananas come from Vietnam and Cambodia.

Banana exports declined by 51% in January to 186,000 tons of bananas, while the export value dropped by 47% to US$85 million. Japan is still the largest export market for bananas from the Philippines in terms of export value, but China is the largest market in terms of volume. The income from banana export slumped 20.6% in 2020 to US$1.55 billion.

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Kiwis grow increasingly fond of persimmon

New Zealanders grow increasingly fond of persimmon © PxHere

© PxHere


New Zealanders are developing a taste for persimmons, a fruit previously mainly destined for export, especially Japan, reports Asiafruit. Ian Turk, manager of the New Zealand Persimmon Industry Council, said: “We’re excited to have seen an increase of 20 per cent in just two years in the New Zealand market.”

Around 12,500 tons of New Zealand-grown persimmons are exported each year. Estimated to be worth NZ$10m, exports will reach Australia, South-East Asia, Japan, the US and China in 2021.

“We’ve had an excellent season this year and are recovering well from the impact of a tough 2020 season,” said Turk. “The combined issues of a Covid-19 lockdown two weeks before harvest, lengthy drought conditions and air freight costs that quadrupled due to the pandemic meant some significant challenges. We’re heading into the 2021 season with greater confidence – not quite back to normal, but nearly there.”

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Matchmaking service for fresh fruit and vegetables

Matchmaking service for fresh fruit and vegetables © IPD


Import Promotion Desk will hold a IPD Virtual B2B Event Fresh Produce on the 10-28 May 2021. It also opens up new procurement markets for European buyers: mangos, papayas, pomegranates and avocados as well as ginger, turmeric, sweet potatoes and fresh herbs – these are just a few examples from the wide range of products offered by Import Promotion Desk (IPD). Due to the cancellation of the Fruit Logistica Special Edition, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) – the initiative for import promotion – decided at short notice to present the diverse range of fresh fruits and vegetables from developing and emerging countries to European importers in individual video meetings.

Traders will have the opportunity to meet companies and get to know products from Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Ghana, Peru and Ukraine. IPD’s free matchmaking services are open to all European importers: IPD experts match buyers from Europe with producers from developing and emerging countries.

Free Import Promotion Desk service

As an import promotion initiative, IPD supports importers in their sourcing, neutrally and free of charge. IPD connects them to selected producers of fresh fruit and vegetables who meet the GLOBALG.A.P. standards or the requirements of the EU organic label. The IPD companies are visited and carefully evaluated. In addition to certifications, IPD experts also consider criteria such as product quality, export capability and capacity. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, IPD experts are in close contact with producers in partner countries and continue to screen exporters. This way, importers can be sure that they are dealing with reliable producers.

Virtual B2B Event Fresh Produce

In the context of the IPD virtual B2B event, IPD will present more than 30 carefully selected  companies. European importers will find, for example, mangoes, papayas and pineapples from producers in Ghana. Or grapes, oranges, lemons, strawberries and fresh herbs, spinach, peppers and garlic offered by suppliers from Egypt and Ethiopia.

The range of subtropical and tropical fruits is enriched by exhibitors from Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, such as passion fruit, pitahayas, bananas, physalis as well as avocados. In addition, companies from Peru offer sweet potato as well as fresh ginger and turmeric in organic quality. Producers from Ukraine present sweet potatoes, Hokkaido pumpkin, plums, peaches or blueberries.

A detailed overview of the companies and all products importers will find in the IPD company brochure here.

The participation in the IPD event is free of charge. Importers just have to follow these  steps:

  1. Get information about the IPD-approved companies in the IPD event brochure.
  2. Contact IPD Expert Sourcing + Markets Daniel Oppermann to arrange appointments.
  3. Meet the approved suppliers in individual online meetings. 
For more information contact: 
Daniel Oppermann
Expert Sourcing + Markets
T +49 (0) 30 590 099 575
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First shipment of record ZespriTM Kiwifruit crop is due to arrive in Europe

First shipment of record ZespriTM Kiwifruit crop is due to arrive in Europe

The first shipment of what is expected to be a record season of New Zealand-grown ZespriTM Kiwifruit is on route to Europe.

The fruit is aboard MV Cool Eagle, a new specialised reefer vessel built by Cool Carriers, with the ship expected to arrive on Sunday 18 April. MV Cool Eagle is one of a series of five ships that are the largest reefer vessels ever built and will carry over 7,000 pallets of fruit making MV Cool Eagle the largest vessel to carry ZespriTM Kiwifruit to date. The vessel will discharge her cargo of fresh Zespri SunGoldTM Kiwifruit in the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.

The first shipment of Zespri Green Kiwifruit is expected to leave for Europe in May.

Giorgio Comino, Zespri Executive Officer Europe and North America, says MV Cool Eagle is the first of five planned charter reefer vessels to Northern Europe under Zespri’s shipping programme this season.

“As we finish up sales of our non-New Zealand grown crop, we’re looking forward to the arrival of the MV Cool Eagle to begin our new season,” says Mr Comino.

“There’s been good pollination and rainfall after pollination this season, which has helped with fruit sizing and it’s looking like another great-tasting crop.

“This season we’re expecting to supply nearly 20 percent more Zespri SunGoldTM Kiwifruit to Europe, reflecting the continued growth in demand for the variety, and around the same level of Green as last season.”

Mr Comino says with this season’s harvest now underway across all growing regions in New Zealand, the wider kiwifruit industry was again working hard to ensure it can safely pick, pack and ship another delicious crop of ZespriTM Kiwifruit.

“There has been a tremendous effort from everyone in the kiwifruit industry to respond to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19,” says Mr Comino.

“While New Zealand remains in level one, the industry will again be embracing additional safety protocols and embracing enhanced hygiene practices throughout the supply chain, and concentrating on delivering more fresh, healthy fruit to its customers and consumers in Europe.”

Mr Comino confirmed that this season’s marketing campaigns would again feature the Kiwi Brothers following a successful launch in six core European markets last season.“

This year, we are integrating these popular characters on our prepacks and through promotions with our retailers.

“We’re also excited to begin rolling out new cardboard packaging lines this season, after significant investment in our Zeebrugge packing station, and this season ZespriTM will be able to offer nine million prepacks without plastic flow wrap, reflecting our commitment to sustainability.”

With the new season approaching, Mr. Comino is looking forward to again working with Zespri’s long-term suppliers and partners.

“Our suppliers and partners continue to play a major part in our successes throughout the year, and we would like to recognise them for their work delivering our fruit to consumers, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.”

About ZespriTM

With global operating revenue of NZ$3.36 billion in 2019/20, ZespriTM is one of the world’s most successful horticulture marketing companies and the ZespriTM brand is recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit. Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, we are 100 percent owned by current or past kiwifruit growers, and employ over 600 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas. On behalf of our 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers based elsewhere, ZespriTM manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of ZespriTM Green, Zespri SunGold TM, ZespriTM Organic, ZespriTM Gold, ZespriTM Sweet Green and ZespriTM Red Kiwifruit.




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Peru and Chile smash blueberry export records

Peru and Chile smash blueberry export records

© Promperu


Peru remained the world’s number-one source of blueberries in 2020, achieving a record export year in the process. The value of Peru’s blueberry shipments surpassed the US$1 billion mark, a jump of 23.4% on 2019, according to trade agency Adex, whose representative Lizbeth Pumasunco said, “From August to November we have an advantage, because the US and Canada do not harvest because it is winter, and in the case of Chile and Mexico they do not start their campaigns.”

Chile also shipped a record 118,225 tons of blueberries in 2020/21, up 8.2% on the previous year. The higher volume was due to an increase in planted area, the replacement of old plants with newer, more productive varieties and the introduction of the Systems Approach for exports from the Ñuble and Biobío regions, which enabled more fruit to be exported fresh rather than frozen.

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India’s grape exports to the EU fall 18%  

India’s grape exports to the EU fall 18%  
Photo: Maylen grape harvest – Seasonz

Grape exports to the EU from India have dropped nearly 18% this season, reports Financial Express. Exports to the EU totalled 74.9 million tons in 2020-21 (December-April). Vilas Shinde, chairman of the Sahayadri Farmers Producer Company, said the harvest was delayed by 15-20 days as unseasonal rains delayed pruning of vineyards. Normally by September, around 25% of the pruning is completed and another 20% is completed by October 15. 

“Now a glut-like situation is happening because the harvesting is in full swing resulting in high arrivals simultaneously from most vineyards. This is posing as a major challenge to growers, exporters and even buyers in Europe because of the lack of storage facilities,” Shinde said. 

Jagannath Khapre, president of the All India Grape Exporters Association, said that while the season has been slow, exports should pick up momentum in the next few weeks. Of the 74.9 million tons of grapes exported so far this season, 49.9 million tons have been exported to the Netherlands, 12.3 million tons to the UK, and 6.9 million tons to Germany. 


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CMR Group aims to expand customer portfolio and increase turnover in 2021

CMR Group aims to expand customer portfolio and increase turnover in 2021

CMR Group, a leading Spanish importer and marketer of fruit and vegetable products, aims to increase its turnover by 10% in 2021 compared to last year and expand its customer portfolio.

Some of the group’s products have performed very strongly since the outbreak of the pandemic, especially during lockdowns, such as citrus, while others, focused on the food service channel, have seen notably reduced demand. 

With a seasonally adjusted and wide offer, CMR Group covers all sales channels, from retail to large distribution, with supply programmes that cover all campaigns and adapt to the different formats and specificities that each channel requires. The group operates out of the Mercabarna, Mercamadrid and Mercaleón wholesale markets to serve its specialised customers, as well as through export departments to reach customers from other countries. It also has commercial sales offices in France and the Netherlands. 

Jordi Martí, national commercial director of CMR Group, said: “We have noticed a very positive response both in modern distribution customers, especially supermarkets, and in the traditional channel, but a marked decrease throughout the foodservice channel.” 

CMR Group supplies the whole of Europe. Its strategy is to expand its client portfolio, given its ability to provide reliable and regular services with high-quality products from many different origins, as well as from its own melon and watermelon production areas. CMR’s off-season and sustainable production guarantees supply and complies with the programmes established at the beginning of each campaign. In addition, ten years after the current central warehouse began operating, CMR Group has completed the construction of new ripening chambers that will complement the current offer. “We have experienced a progressive rise in demand for pre-ripened products, due in part to the great response we have received from our avocado brand AURUM,” said Martí.

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Another record year for South Africa’s citrus exports 

Another record year for South Africa’s citrus exports 
Photo: Eurofresh Distribution

South Africa’s 2021 citrus exports are expected to set another record, driven largely by late  mandarins. The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa (CGA) estimates 158.7 million cartons will be shipped in 2021, compared to 146 million in 2020  and  130 million in 2019,  meaning a 22% export growth in just  two years.

Eswatini and  Zimbabwe combined have  also increased their export figures from  3.9 million cartons in 2020, to an estimated 4.4 million  cartons in 2021  – an increase of 13%. Navel  oranges and  lemons have  shown a small  increase since last  year, while  Valencia oranges (+5%) and  grapefruit (+16%) have  shown a stronger increase.


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Jump in Peru’s citrus exports 

Jump in Peru’s citrus exports 
Photo: Promperú

On the back of the pandemic, Peru exported 37% more citrus in 2020  than in 2019, with shipments reaching 244,000 tons, worth US$262 million, according to data released by the country’s Foreign Trade Research and Development Institute (Idexcam). 

In a statement, Idexcam said: “There is a growing demand for citrus, especially mandarins, due to their antioxidant properties and high content of vitamin C which strengthens the  immune system, creating a rebound of global  commercialisation.”

Mandarin exports were up 36% y-o-y to $250.4 million, with the main market being the US, followed by the Netherlands ($15 million), Canada ($17.8 million), China  ($15.7 million) and Russia ($13.2 million).