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EU tomato production continues to fall

EU tomato production continues to fall

 

The EU’s 2020 tomato crop is forecast to drop 7%, as Spanish growers switch to producing more profitable vegetables. Polish tomato production is on the rise, however, following an increase in investments in glasshouse infrastructure. The other member states’ crops should remain relatively stable. As producers switch to smaller-sized varieties, yields are dropping; but this is compensated for by extended harvesting calendars. EU production of tomatoes for processing is projected to rise by 1%.

EU tomato exports are predicted to be down 7% from 2019, and 13% below the 5-year average. Although shipments fell by nearly 20% between January and April 2020, due to logistical problems caused by the pandemic, demand has since picked up. Meanwhile, EU tomato imports continue to rise (+3% on 2019 levels and 11% above the 5-year average). The main source is Morocco (71%), followed by Turkey (13%).

 

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Japan’s cherry crop rebounds

Japan’s cherry crop rebounds

 

Japan’s 2020/21 cherry crop is expected to recover from a difficult 2019/20 season, but unfavourable weather conditions are set to lead to a smaller peach harvest, according to FAS/Tokyo.  In 2019/20, Japan imported 4,152 tons of fresh cherries, worth US$40 million. The United States supplied 95.3% of all Japan’s cherry imports. Japan’s imports of sweet cherries are projected to increase by 1% to 4,200 tons from 2019/20 levels due to steady consumption and a recently reduced tariff for sweet cherries. Japan does not import sour cherries, and its cherry exports are negligible (approximately 1 ton).

Source: FAS/Tokyo

Japan imports no peaches and the US is the sole exporter of fresh nectarines to Japan. In 2019/20, Japan imported 186 tons of US nectarines. In light of the small shipping volumes and higher freight charges due to COVID-19-related flight reductions, FAS/Tokyo forecasts Japan’s 2020/21 imports to decrease by 14% to 160 tons.

In line with Japan’s 2014 national policy, Japan Revitalization Strategy, to increase agricultural exports to 1 trillion yen (approximately US$10 billion) by 2020, Japan has been gradually increasing fresh peach exports. Due to the higher price for Japanese peaches in foreign markets compared to Japan, Japan’s peach exports continued to increase even when peach production took a downturn in 2019/20.  In 2019/20, Japan exported 1,780 tons of peaches, worth about US$17 million. The main markets were Hong Kong (72.2%)and Taiwan (20.4%). FAS/Tokyo forecasts export volume to decrease by 15.7% to 1,500 tons in 2020/21 due to political instability in Hong Kong and high air freight charges due to COVID-19.

 

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EU records 8% rise in imports of organic fruits and vegetables

EU records 8% rise in imports of organic fruits and vegetables

 

The EU’s organic agri-food imports remained stable in 2019 at 3.24 million tons, despite sustained internal growth. According to a report published by the European Commission, a drop in imports of organic cereals was offset by rising imports of tropical fruit, oilcakes, soyabeans and sugar. Colombia and Kazakhstan are the new arrivals on the scene and have become major suppliers of organic products to the EU. The main importing EU Member States in 2019 were the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. Fruit and vegetables constitutes the second largest group of imported organic products, with 1.35 million tons arriving in 2019 (42% of total organic imports).

Tropical fruit, nuts and spices (66 %) account for the largest share, with bananas making up 85% of total organic tropical fruit imports. Imports of organic fruit and vegetables increased by 8% in 2019, with tropical fruit, nuts and spices up 13%, reaching almost 0.9 million tons. Organic tropical fruit, nuts and spices are imported mainly from the Dominican Republic (34%, 0.3 million tons), Ecuador (31%) and Peru (15%). Almost half of the imported organic citrus fruit is shipped from South Africa (46%), while other main suppliers of organic fruits are Turkey (25%) and Argentina (17%). About half of organic fruit juices imports come from Turkey and Mexico (both 25%). Middle Eastern countries are the main origin of organic vegetables, including Egypt (26%), Israel (22%) and Turkey (17%).

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IG International, having handled blueberries for three years now has brought the first shipment of blueberries from Chile to India, for the season 2020

IG, having handled blueberries for three years now has brought the first shipment of blueberries from Chile to India, for the season 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                         Press release

IG International, India’s largest fresh fruits importer has a strong base in the metro cities among its urban Indian consumers.

With regards to its intent to bring about the freshest produce to Indian markets, IG International has acquired its first shipment of Chile Blueberries for the 2020 season, to India. The organization intends to import 80MT  of these sweet and nutritious Blueberries for the 2020 Season. This healthy fruit has been remarked by fairly high consumption and subsequently high sales and will be retailed across metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Cochin. It will be made available at Foodhall and Nature’s Basket  and Star Bazaar outlets.It is now also available on the IG- ecommerce platform.       

Many studies have proven that these blueberries decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiac diseases, and overall mortality. They help in the improvement of bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, hair growth, digestion and brain functioning while also contributing significantly in the prevention of cancer, combating muscle damage and UTIs, and boosting energy and memory capacity, anti-ageing and mental health. Blueberries have been termed as the king of antioxidants and superfood due to their unmatched nutritional value. Blueberries contain iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese among the other flavonoids and enzymes while being one of the richest sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Among the top and recommended fruits and vegetables with the highest health and taste ranking per calorie intake, blueberries manage to be at the front line with an ANDI score of 132 owing to its nutrient density. Blueberries are gaining popularity as great dog-foods too for their low calories, high antioxidants, vitamins and fibrinogens.                                       

Being imported in varieties of Semana, Jewel, Star, Ventura, Emerald, Legacy, Duke, and Brightwell etc. by IG International, these blueberries are being sold at approx INR 2000 per kg.                                        

On the shipment of Blueberries from Chile, ​Tarun Arora, Director, IG International ​said, “It is so amazing to see that this superfood is acquiring a larger audience every season, especially among the Indian urban customers. IG International is known to abide by its motto which is to strive until we provide the best and its pristine form and Chile Blueberries are simply among the best in the world. We had been planning to cater to our Indian audience with this rich variant of the world’s best blueberries since long, and it feels great to have received the first shipment of this 2020 season. These sweet and exclusive blueberries will surely tantalize Indian taste buds and we are expecting a surge in the sales of this season after this shipment from Chile.”                                                                  

Mr. Hugo Salvestrini, the Chilean trade commissioner (Pro Chile office in Delhi), expressing his gratitude towards IG International said “It is so good to see a trade happening between the two countries. We are hoping for a great response from the Indian Customers. We are also expecting a rise in sales as compared to the previous seasons because of its increasing popularity and high demands.”                             

We are really happy to start trading blueberries with India. We are expecting a great response from the customers and we hope to keep growing with all of our products and especially with the Blues added- Mr. Federico Casas, Export Manager- Exportadora Reina Sur.

IG International currently imports 32 global varieties of fruits from 22 countries to India and distributes these to multiple cities through its nation-wide distribution network. IG International is importing around 80 MT of this sweet and nutritious fruit for consumption majorly in the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Pune, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Cochin, Patna, and Nagpur. The awareness, consumption and subsequent sales of blueberries are evidently increasing in the country. IG International currently holds a market share of 42% for the superfood with its diverse range of high-quality exotic fruit offerings while blueberry continues to stay at the top in the list of superfoods. The company’s primary customers for blueberries are supermarkets, restaurants and hotels.        

                             

About IG International Pvt. Ltd.:                                                  

With fresh produce procurement spanning 25 countries and handling capacities of over 32 varieties of fruits, IG International has established its mettle in delivering on the diversified tastes of the Indian markets. Dedicated to providing high-quality natural products to its consumers, IG International Pvt. Ltd. is India’s one of the largest fresh produce importers. Dealing with the core activity of importing fresh fruits from all over the world, IG currently secures the best of exotic fruits globally all year round to supply the demand for high-quality fresh produce in India.

​Exportadora Reina Sur:

Aiming to produce 1600 tonnes of blueberries, Reina Sur is ​a Grower-Exporter Company of fresh fruit with more than 12 years of experience in the industry. They mainly export blueberries, cherries, table grapes and stone fruits.

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First Colombian avocados land in China

First Colombian avocados land in China © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Colombian Hass avocados arrived in China for the first time on July 1st. Having set off from the Port of Buenaventura on May 28th, the 23-ton shipment landed in Shanghai and was released to importer Mr. Avocado. The protocol between China and Colombia was signed on December 13th 2019, and adds to a growing list of countries that can export avocados to the Asian giant, which includes the US, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand and Kenya (for frozen avocados).

In addition to testing for COVID-19, customs agents also conducted a full set of tests for pests and pesticide residues on newly imported fruits. Throughout the transit, the avocados were stored in refrigerated containers at 6 degrees Celsius. After clearing customs, they were transported directly to Mr. Avocado’s ripening warehouse.

Colombia is the world’s fourth largest producer of Hass avocados, and keeps growing. Avocado production area increased from 5,200ha in 2010 to 13,500ha in 2015, propelled by foreign investment.

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India’s retail sector consolidates under impact of Covid-19

India’s retail sector consolidates under impact of Covid-19

India’s agriculture-related imports grew 14% between 2013 and 2019, from US$22 billion in 2013 to $25 billion in 2019, according to USDA/FAS data. Its main imported agrifood products are tree nuts, fresh fruits, and prepared foods, 20% if which comes from the US. These imports are being driven by millennials, affluent professionals, brand-oriented importers, modern retail outlets, e-commerce channels, mobile e-commerce and trend-setting restaurants. Imported packaged and consumer ready foods are becoming widespread in gourmet stores, in small neighbourhood stores and on e-commerce platforms. India’s food processing sector continues to expand and is increasingly seeking high-value ingredients for new, innovative product lines. The hospitality sector is also growing, driven by consumer demand for a greater variety of high-quality foods and beverages

Covid-19 has had a dramatic effect on India’s food retail sector, leading to greater industry consolidation. India’s largest food retailer, Reliance, has teamed up with WhatsApp to expand its presence in the e-commerce market, connecting its Kirana stores to its online platform and supply chain. Recent media reports indicate that Reliance is close to acquiring Future Group’s retail business, which would further solidify its place as India’s dominant food retailer.

Photo: Emirates Business

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Vietnamese bananas land on South Korean retail shelves

Vietnamese bananas land on South Korean retail shelves
Photo: Vietnamnews

 

The Vietnamese Embassy in South Korea has held a ceremony to celebrate the arrival of its bananas in the lucrative market. The first of the fruit from Vietnam officially arrived at a branch of the Lotte Mart retail chain near Seoul Station on June 16. The Vietnamese bananas are grown in the Lo Pang highlands in Gia Lai province. Lotte Mart is expected to import approximately 1,600 tons of bananas from Vietnam each year to distribute to its 81 supermarkets across South Korea. Although Vietnamese banana has been exported to South Korea since 2014, it was not sold at large supermarket chains. In 2015, around 180 tons of banana (worth US$132,000) were exported from Vietnam to South Korea, but by 2019, the volume had reached 6,685 tons (US$4.2 million). The South Korean market is a lucrative one, with consumers spending over US$300 million each year on imported bananas. The Philippines is currently the largest banana exporter, accounting for 78.6%, followed by Ecuador (7.7%), Guatemala (5.2%), Peru (5%), Mexico (1.6%) and Vietnam (1.4%).

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Japan’s fruit imports grow despite higher prices 

Japan’s fruit imports grow despite higher prices 

Despite the current global logistics problems, Japan’s fresh fruit imports were up 1.3% in March compared with the previous year, according to Japan’s Ministry of Finance. The country imported almost 135,000 tons of fresh fruit in March 2020, despite rising prices. Japanese households purchased on average 5.61kg of fruit in March 2020, up 2.5% from the previous year. Meanwhile, expenditure increased 5.3% to US$27.

Kiwifruit recorded the greatest year-on-year growth, up 230% to 3,260 tons. This surge in demand is attributable to the earlier arrival of New Zealand fruit this year. There were also increases in most major categories, with banana volumes up 6% to 81,600 tons, pineapple up 6% to 12,200 tons and table grapes up 6% to 8,150 tons. Taking the first quarter of 2020 as a whole, Japan’s fresh fruit imports climbed 2% from the same period in 2019, importing 370,900 tons. 

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APHIS Authorizes Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit from China

APHIS Authorizes Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit from China
PRESS RELEASE

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorizing the importation of five types of commercially produced fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental United States. After thorough analysis, APHIS scientists determined that pummelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from China can be safely imported into the United States under a systems approach to protect against the introduction of plant pests. 

A systems approach is a series of measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks prior to importation into the United States. In this case, the systems approach includes importation in commercial consignments only, registration of places of production and packinghouses, certification that the fruit is free of quarantine pests, trapping program for fruit flies, periodic inspections of places of production, grove sanitation, and postharvest disinfection and treatment. This completes agreements on another Chinese commodity listed in Annex 11: Plant Health of the Economic and Trade Agreement between the United States of America and The People’s Republic of China, Phase One.

This notice of authorization will go into effect on the date of publication in the Federal Register, April15, 2020.

 

Source from: APHIS
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Russia to temporarily remove ban on imports of basic goods

Russia has temporarily lifted the ban on imports of basic goods. The measure announced by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin took effect on Friday 19th March and will last a month. “From tomorrow all restrictions on supplies of essential goods, including customs restrictions will be lifted for one month. We are introducing a green route for importers and large retail chains. A zero customs duty rate is set for the import of a number of goods, including medicines and medical devices,” said Mishustin, who underlined the importance of Russian industries increasing and accelerating the production of medical devices, which are now in high demand. 

Mishustin noted that the coronavirus pandemic has already had a serious impact on the export of goods and services. There are also a number of barriers in the domestic market. Speaking about the development of agricultural sector, the Prime Minister stressed the need to raise the income levels of rural residents. 

The Prime Minister stated that Russia has enough foodstuffs and the authorities will do everything to ensure that stores do not have empty shelves. “Many European countries now see feverish demand for food because of the spread of coronavirus infection. We have enough food products, we will continue to do everything so that our people can buy fresh products – bread, milk, meat – and the shops do not have empty shelves,” he said.

However, the European agricultural sector is uncertain what to make of the Russian government’s announcement. Meeuwes Brouwer of the Agriculture Council in Russia said, “We are currently verifying the news. The news published by Itar-TASS comes from a speech last week by the new Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. This speech was translated by the news agency. We are now investigating whether this translation has been placed in the right context. There is doubt about the term ‘essential goods’.”