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India’s pear imports to surge by 29% in 2021

India’s pear imports to surge by 29% in 2021
Photo: Eurofresh Distribution

India’s 2020/21 pear crop is estimated to contract to 305,000 tons, due to adverse weather conditions during the flowering stage, according to USDA data. Pear imports for 2020/21 are forecast to rise by 29% to 22,500 tons due to steady consumption growth and lower domestic production. Since the Chinese pear import ban in June 2017, South Africa has remained the top pear exporter to India, with 72% market share in 2019/20, followed by the US (13%), and Spain (5%).  South African Packham pears are at a competitive advantage as they can be stored longer than other imported varieties, thereby extending their availability.

 

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Growth of US fruit imports stalls

Growth of US fruit imports stalls
Photo by Dirt to Dinner

US fruit imports were rather flat in 2020, with the exception being for fresh citrus and  frozen fruit,  according to new  USDA data. Overall imports of fresh, frozen and processed fruit rose by less than 1% Y-O-Y to US$19.9 billion in 2020. This contrasts with the significant annual growth recorded by the  category since 2010, when imports were as low as US$10.4 billion. There were falls in imports of avocados (-12% to $2.3  billion), bananas (-2% to $1.9 billion), blueberries (-5% to $982 million),  strawberries (-2% to $819 million), and apples (-18% to $110  million). Citrus imports rose  by 11% to $1.4  billion, driven mainly  by growth in mandarins and oranges. Table grape imports were also up, +4% to $1.7  billion,  

In terms of sources, shipments from Mexico and Chile were both down 3%, to $8.2 billion and $1.9  billion, respectively, while fruit imports from Guatemala fell by 2% to $1.9 billion. By contrast, Peru registered a 17% increase in shipments to the US ($1.7 billion), and imports from Costa Rica climbed 2% to $1.1 billion.

 

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Russian grape imports to dip slightly

EU grape crop shrinks
Photo: Eurofresh Distribution

One of the world’s leading importers of table grapes, Russia’s 2020/2021 imports of table grapes are projected to decline slightly to 280,000 tons, due to the continuing decline in Russian consumers’ purchasing power, according to a report by the USDA.  Nevertheless, in the June-August 2020 period, Russia imported 70,070 tons of table grapes worth $80.6 million, up 20% from the same period last year, which was a record. Supply from countries, such as Turkey, Uzbekistan, Egypt, which sell more affordable product, is going up. Even during the off-season, Russians continue to buy table grapes from the South Hemisphere for events and special occasions. Local production of table grapes covers only 7% of domestic demand and most are sold through the retail sector.  

 

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Rise in apple imports to Russia

Rise in apple imports to Russia

Russia’s apple imports are set to increase in 2020/21 due to a drop in domestic production, according to a USDA report. Many commercial pear growers are replanting their orchards to apples to take advantage of the growing demand. Russia is the world’s largest apple importer in volume terms. In the 2019/2020 campaign, imports were down 5% y-o-y to 750,572 tons, but were up 15% in value. The three main suppliers of apples to Russia are Moldova (31%), Serbia (19.6%), and Azerbaijan (9.6%). In 2020/2021, Russian apple imports are forecast to increase by 8% due to the significant decline in domestic production. In the period from July to August 2020, imports were up by over 20%, and this trend is expected to continue in the off season, as local production is less available during the winter and spring season.

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Chinese increase potato consumption but frozen imports fall

Large French potato crop

 

China’s MY2020/21 fresh potato production is projected up 3% to 99 million tons, mainly due to expanded acreage. According to Chinese customs data, China’s 2020/21 frozen french fries (FFF) production is forecast to rise 10% to 330,000 tons in response to increased domestic demand.  China’s MY2020/21 FFF imports are predicted to drop 10% to 96,000 tons, following importers concerns regarding testing for Covid-19 on imported frozen foods.

According to the 2020 China Agricultural Outlook Report, over the next ten years, China’s potato production area will increase by an average of 0.4% annually. In addition, thanks to increased yields, potato production is expected to increase by an average of 0.9% annually for the next ten years.

China’s overall potato consumption remains stable but a slight increase is forecast over the next decade. The processing sector accounts for about 10% of China’s total fresh potato consumption.  About 12% of potatoes are used for seed potatoes, 5% for feed, with storage loss accounting for 13%. 

China’s 2020/21 FFF imports are forecast down 10% to 96,000 tons. This drop comes off the back of a 26% fall in imported volumes in 2019/20. The US was the largest FFF exporter to China in MY2019/20, although its market share has fallen from 66% to 44% due to price competition from the EU. The next largest importers, Turkey, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and Germany together accounted for 52% of China’s FFF imports in MY2019/20.   

 

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First Arrivals of Apples from Serbia to India

First Arrivals of Apples from Serbia to India

                                                                                                                                                                              Press Release

In association with COPA- Cooperative of Pannonian Apples, Serbia’s leading apple exporter, to bring a premium variety of apples from Serbia to India for the first time

Mumbai, Nov 2, 2020: Biting into crisp, juicy and delicious apples is an experience one wants to enjoy every day! Once again, in its bid to delight apple lovers, IG International, India’s largest fresh fruit importer has entered into an association with COPA- Cooperative of Pannonian Apples, Serbia’s leading global apple exporter, to get the taste of Serbian Apples in India for the very first time.

Serbia is a large producer and exporter of quality fruits and vegetables, and many Agricultural goods. Serbia has vast orchards and has large cold storage facilities Which enables exports of even frozen fruits and vegetables.

COPA is a newly founded cooperative created by merging Južni Banat and ATOS FRUCTUM, two Serbian companies dealing with the production of apples. It was founded with the desire to offer top-notch Pannonian apples to foreign markets.

Mr. Tarun Arora, Director – IG International Pvt. Ltd, said, “IG International has always been at the forefront of bringing the best quality of global and exotic fruits to India. Driven by our commitment to offer the best to the palate and diets of Indian fruit enthusiasts, we are pleased to now source Apples from Serbia for our Indian customers. The move is aimed at meeting and exceeding the expectations of Indian consumers in terms of taste, quality and value.We look forward to welcoming the first arrivals”

Mr. Taizun Patheria -Hon. Consul of the Republic of Serbia, said, “The Honorary Consulate of Serbia, presents its compliments to IG International Mumbai and are happy to announce that the first export of Apples from Serbia is expected to reach India during mid-Nov.2020.

IG International has led the way, with Mr.G.C.Arora (Chairman) visiting Serbia to take This forward and have now successfully made the first Import from the Serbian producer COPA, Belgrade.

We wish IG International greater and greater success and The Honorary Consulate of Serbia, avails itself of this opportunity to renew IG International Mumbai and its staff, the assurance of its highest considerations.”

About IG International Pvt. Ltd. (IG)

IG International is essentially a group of 14 companies and has 50 years of experience behind them. They supply the demand for the best quality fresh produce. Importing fresh produce is their core activity.

With time, IGIPL is now the leader in the industry of imported fresh fruits. IGIPL now handles fresh fruits in volumes of 3500 – 4000 sq feet3 refrigerated containers. The produce comes from 22 countries from all across the globe. 28 wholesale outlets from all across India manage the distribution of goods. With time, IGIPL is now the leader in the industry of imported fresh fruits. IGIPL now handles fresh fruits in volumes of 3500 – 4000 sq feet3 refrigerated containers. The produce comes from 22 countries from all across the globe. 28 wholesale outlets from all across India manage the distribution of goods. Their fleet comprises 50 refrigerated trailers and 50 refrigerated trucks. Each of the trailers has 40’ reefer containers.

 

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China’s fruit imports fall while exports rise

China’s fruit imports fall while exports rise

 

China’s fruit imports were down 8% in the first half of 2020, according to data released by the China Chamber of Commerce. Total fruit imports reached 3.64 million tons. However, the value of fruit imports rose 14% to US$6.33 billion, due in large part to escalating shipping costs during the pandemic. Meanwhile, China’s fruit exports for the first six months of the year were up 25% to 1.35 million tons (US$1.98 billion). The top ten fruit categories by import value accounted for 84% of the total value of imports. The main imported product was fresh durian ($1.5 billion, +68%), followed by fresh cherries ($1.23 billion, +34%), fresh grapes ($610 million, −2%), bananas ($520 million, −15%), mangosteens ($450 million, −12%), fresh dragon fruit ($360 million, +85%), fresh longans ($200 million, −6%), fresh kiwifruit ($180 million, +0%), oranges ($150 million, −27%) and plums ($140 million, −24%).

The  top-ten exporters of fruit to China in the first half of 2020 were Thailand, Chile, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Ecuador, Indonesia and Egypt.

In the first six months of 2020, China imported 946,000 tons of bananas. The main countries of origin were the Philippines (431,000 tons, −24%), Vietnam (197,000 tons, +21%) and Ecuador (192,000 tons, −12%), with imports from these three countries accounting for 87% of total banana imports.

 

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AvoBravo: an innovative project for Russian consumers

AvoBravo, an innovative project for Russian consumers

“It was a risk to launch the AvoBravo project because we did not know if Russian consumers were willing to buy read-to-eat avocado. But we took the risk, and AvoBravo brand was born,” said Daria Mironenko, import manager at Eurofrut (Russia). “We started to sell ready-to-eat avocado to restaurants and to end consumers through our website, and we found out that the demand is high: customers agree to pay more when they are sure the fruit is of high quality and ripe enough to be consumed at once.” AvoBravo carefully controls oily matter before the products are shipped. In addition, to protect its reputation, the company always exchanges fruit if clients are not satisfied with it. It took some time to gain a name in the marketplace. But now the project has been recognised, and restaurant chefs recommend the company.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all businesses,” said Mironenko. “However, we did not stop ours for a single day. Before long, the restaurants resumed their service through home delivery, and the number of online purchases grew considerably. Russian consumers wanted to treat themselves to tasty healthy food, and our client numbers have risen. And they have remained loyal to us even in the post-pandemic period.”

Eurofrut supplies avocado only in Saint Petersburg for now, but plans to expand to other regions as well. The company sources its fruit from different countries, and is constantly adding new origins and looking for new suppliers. During this period in which it is impossible to travel abroad, the company is participating in virtual expositions, such as Macfrut Digital in Italy.

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Stemilt Cherries exported from the US to India find popularity among Indian consumers

Stemilt Cherries exported from the US to India find popularity among Indian consumers

IG International has received an outstanding response for the export of Stemilt cherries from Wenatchee in Washington, the United States to India. The venture has been a success and has induced a taste and liking among Indian consumers for the fruits that had earlier been considered exotic. The sales have exceeded the expectation of all involved parties and the demand for Stemilt cherries is higher in Indian markets.

Before the finalization of the program, IG International saw an element of risk into it, and forecasting the sales was a matter of uncertainty. One of the driving factors for going ahead with the venture was the higher inclination that Indian consumers are showing towards fruits.

Stemilt Cherries: An immunity booster

Consumption of fruits is frequently associated with higher immunity and weight management. The demand of fruits has been higher across the country through the times of lockdown, wherein consumers were extra cautious regarding the health and well-being of their family and themselves.

Access to rarer varieties of fruits, such as Stemilt cherries induces variety for consumers’ platters. Having some sort of variety among fruits can be especially useful for consumers who do not have much of a taste for certain fruits.

Similarly, an advantage that comes with the consumption of Stemilt cherries is that it is easier to make them a part of baked foods, such as cakes and biscuits, and they can be used for pastries as well.

There are essentially numerous ways in which Stemilt Cherries can be a part of the diet for one’s family and oneself. One can consume them as a part of salads, milkshakes, and corn flakes.

IG International: Among the top importers of fresh produce in India

IG International is a conglomerate of 14 companies and has 50 years of experience behind them. The brand has proved its mettle in the arena of the import of fresh produce to India. It is a brand synonymous with quality and is dedicated to ensuring that the consumers get access only to the best quality and fresh produce. They procure produce from 22 countries and feature a procurement capacity for 32 fruits. This makes them among the most reliable corporate vendors across India.

IG International currently handles fresh fruits in volumes of 3500 – 4000 sq feet3 refrigerated containers. They have 28 wholesale outlets across India for the distribution of the products.

Beyond imports, IG International is a specialist in third-party logistics and temperature-controlled warehousing. They have facilities in Mumbai, Amravati, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Theog. Their fleet includes 50 refrigerated trucks and 50 refrigerated containers.

Stemilt cherries find numerous takers in the hospitality industry

A section of consumers for Stemilt cherries is from the hospitality industry. Sweet taste and distinctive colors of Stemilt cherries deliver a strong branding proposition for numerous high profile bakers. They are coming up with new recipes for using Stemilt cherries for their sweet and savory dishes. The bakers are also recreating the much loved age-old western recipes that use Stemilt cherries to best suit the preferences of Indian consumers. The success of the venture for import of Stemilt cherries to India leads us to believe that we will be using the product more frequently over the days to come, at bakeries, fruit marts, and outdoor diners.

Stemilt cherries are a chef’s delight

Professional chefs have been delighted to use Stemilt cherries for their recipes. Budding chefs at home have been equally responding to the variety, primarily because of the number of dishes that can be created using the cherries.

IG International has proactively marketed the product over social media, highlighting its nutritional value, immunity-boosting properties, and great taste.

Several top chefs across India, such as Chef Ajay Chopra and Chef Vicky Ratnani have collaborated with IG international and have used moon cherries from Stemilt for their recipes. This is an inspiration for all exotic food lovers to try out the cherries and create exquisite desserts and snacks using them. This lets consumers experience the taste of American meals right from the comfort of their home back in India.

The two chefs have come up with some exciting dishes using Stemilt cherries, which can be accessed over Instagram handles and hashtags such as #WhoIsTheCherryChief, @chefajaychopra, and @vickythechef.

A Mystery Box Challenge

IG Fruits, a subsidy of IG International has been creating engaging posts for the viewers, highlighting Stemilt cherries. They came up with the mystery box challenge over, wherein the ingredients of a dish made using Stemilt cherries were shown over a post, and the viewers were asked to guess the name of the dish. Winners were announced on 27th August and won gift hampers from IG Fruits.

In a similar challenge, the chefs have posted some nice recipes with images over Instagram. When viewers try out the recipe and send its images in response to the post, they stand to win gift hampers from IG fruits. Viewers are further offered a discount from IG fruits, to buy Stemilt cherries for the recipe.

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Taiwan’s love story with fruit remains undiminished

Taiwan’s love story with fruit remains undiminished

 

Taiwan is expected to import up to 15,000 tons of peaches and nectarines in 2020, mainly from the US and Chile, according to USDA data. Taiwan’s own domestic peach and nectarine crop is forecast to be up 18% to 19,000 tons in 2020 thanks to generally favourable growing condition and orchards reaching maturity. Taichung and Taoyuan remain the largest producing regions, accounting for almost 80% of domestic production. Taoyuan mainly produces early sweet varieties, including honey peaches at the higher altitudes.

The Taiwanese are among the world’s largest fruit consumers. Wholesale chains have a strong preference for imported products because of their competitive prices compared to domestic production. Both the local sweet peaches and the honey peaches are considered premium fruits due to their taste and appearance. The honey peach is a local variety that stays on the tree until the end of the season when the weather gets colder and the sugars increase rapidly and the acids decrease. They often sell for ten times the price of regular peaches in retail.

Still, both the imported and domestic peaches from Taiwan are highly dependent on consumer whims. They will not hesitate to buy the most price-competitive fruit, but are not brand loyal. Total fruit consumption therefore continues to grow, but there is little loyalty to a particular variety.

Meanwhile, cherry imports are slightly higher than last year, at 12,000 tons, with few negative Covid-related effects observed on consumption patterns.

Photo: USDA