Posted on

Algeciras Port improves its connectivity with Latin America

Credit: Algeciras Port

 

Handling 4.7 million tons or 37% of the Spanish horticultural cargoes, Algeciras Bay Port became one of the principal ports for fruit & vegetables operators  

 

The Port of Algeciras is the largest Mediterranean port for all cargo traffic and the largest Spanish port. It is located in the Strait of Gibraltar, a transit way for 9 out of 20 principal maritime routes. Thanks to the strategic geographical location of Algeciras Port, it operates as the distribution centre for Southern Europe, Mediterranean countries and Northern Africa.

“Our current connectivity along with our competitive transit times make Algeciras the natural gateway for reefer cargo coming from Latin America and heading to South Europe, North Africa and Med” says J. Javier Lopez, Head of commercial division. “We connect directly with more than 200 ports, it takes just 7 days to come from Natal (North Brazil) and we are one hour away from Morocco by RORO and feeder service”

As a novelty in 2019, Algeciras has improved its transit times for import flows coming from some of the main producing countries in Latin America as Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and Dominican Republic.

A wide range of services
offered by the Port community companies

With 109,4 million tons of total cargo (2019), the Port of Algeciras ranks the fourth among top EU ports. “We handle nearly 380,000 TEUS of import- export full cargo, some 56,000 TEUS of them are reefers, which is very important for us,” informs Mr. Lopez. “Furthermore, our Port community is highly specialised in reefer cargo, and the largest fruit exporters from South America keep trusting in our port capabilities.”  The current cold storage capacity in the port and surrounding area exceeds 30,000 pallets, and a wide range of services for refrigerated and frozen goods is offered. These companies cover load, storage, cargo consolidation and distribution to customer centers. They also handle custom office paperwork or quality controls, providing an extra value throughout the import and export process. Thanks to the unique border inspection post open for 24 hours 365 days a year, perishable commodities are released within 24 hours upon arrival. At present, most part of the Spanish horticultural cargoes (4.7 million tons or 37%) is carried out through Algeciras Bay Port.

The Port of Algeciras has 2 terminals: APMT and TTI-Algeciras, which was the first semiautomatic terminal in South Europe. They jointly fulfil 5.000 reefer connexions. New container services from Latin America and South Africa have emerged, ship capacity has increased, growing yearly around 10%, and the Port has been optimizing and automatizing all the logistic processes to become more efficient yet. Thanks to constant investment into its infrastructure, the Port of Algeciras can attend to the megaships (+23,000 TEUS) of the three shipping Alliances: 2M, The Alliance and Ocean Alliance.

Posted on

New start for Harvest Season and garciaBallester in Asian citrus market

New start for Harvest Season and garciaBallester in Asian citrus market
Credit: Press release

An event held on 12th February in Palma del Río, Córdoba, makes official and consolidates the alliance between Harvest Season and garciaBallester. The two large companies, leaders in the business, are now united in achieving the same goal: to become leaders in the Asian citrus import market. garciaBallester’s own facilities were chosen as the ideal setting to seal the union between the two companies. 

Representatives and senior executives from both companies were present from the beginning, with garciaBallester represented by Jorge García (CEO), Jorge C. García, (management coordinator), Lucas (Asian export manager), Miguel Meliá, (GB Palma del Rio’s packhouse manager) and Stephane (sales director), and Harvest Season represented by Tony Zhang (general manager).

The event started with the reception of both parties in garciaBallester’s facilities, and later on they went out to the fields.  Once in the field, which was also in the middle of the orange season, the union between both companies was formalised. To do this, a customised pickaxe was used as a symbolic element to announce their commitment to a new era in the citrus market in Asia. Later, attendees were treated to a guided tour around garciaBallester’s facilities. 

The highlight of the event was the cutting of the opening ribbon, where Harvest Season and garciaBallester celebrated their new chapter together. They were able to share new ideas and also to answer questions from the invited press. The event demonstrated successfully how to start this new stage for Harvest Season and garciaBallester.

Posted on

Russia imposes temporary ban on Chinese citrus imports

Russia imposes temporary ban on Chinese citrus imports

 

The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) has announced a temporary ban on imports of citrus from China, following the detection of harmful organisms in shipments, according to Russia Business Today. An initial warning was made in December, but the measure became effective as of January 6. According to the announcement on the official Rosselkhoznadzor website, Russia will temporarily restrict citrus imports from China until effective measures are implemented to comply with Russian standards regarding the safety of imported food.

Last year, after interceptions of Chinese stone fruits and pip fruits containing harmful organisms like the Oriental fruit fly, Russia suspended the import of many fruits from China, such as plums, nectarines, apricots, peaches, cherries, apples and pears. China responded by inviting Russia to audit its agricultural inspection and quarantine control systems. However, Russia declared that it was not satisfied with the results of the audit.

 

Posted on

Chinese fresh produce imports continue to rise

Chinese fresh produce imports continue to rise

 

In the first eight months of 2019, China imported more than 5.11 million tons of fresh fruit for a value of US$7.32 billion, thus recording a growth of 35% and 30% respectively compared to the same period of 2018, according to data from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The top five categories are durians (US$1.37 million, + 55%), cherries ($1.02 million, -1%), bananas ($770 million, + 38%), mangoes ($750 million, + 138%) and table grapes ($630 million, + 16%).

Kiwifruit also recorded remarkable import growth both in terms of volume and value: at the beginning of September 2019 kiwifruit imported from Italy, New Zealand, Chile and Italy represented 97.7% of the total, with an increase respectively of 82%, 17% and 43%. Although the price of fruit in China has started to drop after a period of continuous growth, it is still 30% higher than the average: in the apple sector, the largest supplier is New Zealand, which in 2019 started to export its first variety, the sweet red Breeze, while pear exports are also growing strongly (2,800 tons, + 55%).

Arrival of bananas from Mexico and grapes from Argentina

The Philippines, Ecuador and Vietnam remain the main banana exporters to China, jointly controlling 92% of the market, with growth of + 17%, + 135% and + 101% respectively. However, stiff competition is emerging from Mexico, which gained access to China for its bananas at the beginning of 2020. Other major news in the panorama of Chinese imports is the arrival of Argentine table grapes following the signing of the phytosanitary protocol. In the citrus field, the main exporter to China remains Egypt, the sixth largest producer of oranges in the world and the main exporter. By October 2019, Egypt had shipped 191,000 tons (+ 107%) to the Chinese market, mainly Washington Navel, Valencia, Navelate, Cara Cara, New Hall and Navelina.

87% of Chilean cherry exports go to China

China’s main cherry supplier, Chile exported 129,000 tons of product to the Asian giant in 2019, worth US$870 million (-4%). Chile intends to keep this position, considering that the Chinese market absorbs 87% of its total cherry exports. One of the most interesting factors remains the continuous growth of online commerce: by the end of 2021, the value of the fruit and vegetables purchased via e-commerce is expected to be around US$72 billion. In the last year alone, the volume of purchases online grew by 41.2%, with 28% of consumers making purchases at least three times a week. This phenomenon is favoured by the entry into the fresh food market of e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and JD.com. Meanwhile, Chinese fruit exports appear to be in decline: last year, they totalled 1.6 million tons ($2.5 billion, -16%), including apples (415,000 tons, -45% ), citrus fruits (267,000 tons, + 25%), table grapes (125,000 tons, + 14%), pears (214,000 tons, -35%) and peaches (110,000 tons, + 88%).

Posted on

Chinese take delivery of first Colombian avocados

Chinese take delivery of first Colombian avocados, Credit: Olle Svensson (Flickr)
Credit: Olle Svensson (Flickr)

 

 

The first Colombian avocados landed in China in the middle of December, following the signing of a protocol between the two countries. The first three companies to export Colombian avocado to the Chinese are Pacific Fruit, Westfalia Fruit Colombia and Avofruit. In an official statement, Agriculture Minister, Andrés Valencia, said, “China is an attractive market for the positioning of our non-traditional products such as Hass avocados, beef, pork, passionflower and shrimp, among others.” 

Colombia’s climate and geography allows it to supply avocado all year long. Colombia is starting to establish its avocados in Asian markets. This year, it began shipping to Japan and negotiations are currently underway to secure access to the South Korean market, too.

Posted on

Exotic fruits flood into Vietnam

Exotic fruits flood into Vietnam, Credit: Marco Verch (Flickr)
Credit: Marco Verch (Flickr)

 

 

Vietnam imports US$150 million of fresh fruits and vegetables every month, with shipments soaring from the US and Australia. This influx has led to exotic fruits becoming less pricy and fuelling further demand. The General Department of Vietnam Customs reports that the main sources were the US and Australia with imports rising over the past ten months by almost 70%. Shipments of fruits from South Africa rocketed by 39%, while those from New Zealand were up 38%, those from China climbed 36% and those from Chile increased 21%.

The volume of fresh blueberries imported from the US by air has reached 350 tons this year. In the face of the larger supplies, prices have tumbled, with the average price per kilo of blueberries falling 40% since last year and Australian Navel orange prices plummeting 35%

The prices of other exotic fruits have seen similar patterns, such as New Zealand’s kiwis and apples, US grapes, Australian mandarins and South African pears.

Posted on

Imports of Moroccan produce to Spain double in four years

Imports of Moroccan produce to Spain double in four years, credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
Credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution

 

 

Spanish imports of fresh fruits and vegetables totalled 2.34 million tons from January to September 2019, according to the latest Fepex data. The share of imports from the EU has fallen to 50.3% from 58%. The largest suppliers were France (565,154 tons, €243 million) and Morocco (337,514 tons, €513 million). Although imports from France have fallen 13% in volume since 2015, they have grown 21% in value. Imports from Morocco have grown significantly over the same period, from 186,925 tons in January-September 2015 to 337,514 tons in January-September 2019. In terms of their value, shipments from Morocco almost doubled from €258.5 million in 2015 to €513 million in 2019 over the 9-month period. This increase in the supply of Moroccan produce is creating tough conditions on the domestic market for Spanish production.

Posted on

Chinese demand top-quality apples

Chinese apple exports rebound as EU struggles

 

China’s apple imports are estimated to be up almost 8% in 2019/20 (July-June), to 100,000 tons in response to growing consumer demand for high-quality fruit, according to USDA data. Domestic production is up this year but cannot match imports in terms of quality. In 2018/2019, China’s apple imports soared 49%, with 87% coming from New Zealand, Chile and the US. While Chile and New Zealand both have free trade agreements with China, the current trade dispute with the US saw apple imports from the North American country fall 35%. This allowed increases in imports from New Zealand (+75%) and Chile (+70%). Other apple suppliers to China are France, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Poland, Japan and Italy.

Meanwhile, China’s apple exports are expected to recover in 2019/20, up almost 30% to 1.05 million tons, due to the significant increase in exportable supplies. The main destination markets for China’s fresh apples are in South and Southeast Asian countries.

 

Posted on

Chinese grape sector develops

Chinese grape sector develops

 

China’s 2019/20 table grape imports are estimated to be down almost 5% to 250,000 tons, due to the improved quantity and quality of the domestic crop. China’s main sources for grape imports are in the Southern Hemisphere (Chile, Peru and Australia) during the off-season, while the US is traditionally China’s main grape supplier in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the trade dispute with the US has led China to grant access to Spanish and Portuguese grapes.

China’s grape exports have steadily risen in recent times due to their improved quantity and quality. In 2019/20 (June-May), shipments are estimated up over 10%, at 320,000 tons. The principal export markets are Southeast Asian countries.

Posted on

Flow of Belgian and Dutch pears into China

Flow of Belgian and Dutch pears into China

 

Demand in China for imported pears continues to grow. In 2019/20, imports are estimated to be up almost 40% to 15,000 tons, according to USDA data. The rise in demand is largely attributed to the marketing campaigns organised by main suppliers Belgium and the Netherlands. The additional tariffs imposed on US pear imports mean that shipments have fallen from North America. As for the Southern Hemisphere, China recently granted access to Chilean pears, which join Argentinian pears on Chinese supermarket shelves. 

China’s pear exports are also expected to increase by almost 40% to 500,000 tons in 2019/20, due to the larger crop. The main markets are in Southeast Asia, while exports to North America are also expected to rise.