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China’s banana imports soar

Chinese banana prices begin to stabilise

Banana imports reached a new record volume in May 2019, with a volume of 227,200 in one month alone. This soaring demand for bananas in China is attributable not only to a growing middle class but also to the popularity of “Western” products like smoothies. In 2018, China overtook Japan as the main overseas market for Philippine bananas, and now receives over two-thirds of the Pacific island’s banana exports. Banana cargoes are also on the rise from Mexico and Cambodia.

The most imported fruit to China in value terms in 2018 were cherries ($1.3 billion), an increase of 69.4% from the previous year. Next came durians ($1.1 billion, + 9.4%), bananas ($0.9 billion, +54.8%), and grapes ($0.6 billion, down 0.3%). In volume terms, bananas lead the way (1.5 million tons, +48.7%), followed by durians (0.4 million tons, +92.5%), and oranges (0.4 million tons, +9%).

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Drop in EU imports of Chinese garlic

Drop in EU imports of Chinese garlic

Europe continues to diversify its sources of garlic, meaning that China’s garlic exports to the EU continue to fall. Between 2017 and 2018, shipments to the EU fell by 27.5%, from 45,703 tons to 36,021 tons. This figure hides a deeper truth: between 2016 and 2018, the greatest fall in Chinese garlic exports was for shipments to the Netherlands (by far the largest market for Chinese garlic). Shipments to the UK and France (the next two largest markets actually increased between 2017 and 2018.

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Rocketing lemon and small citrus imports to Spain from outside EU

Concerns have been raised in Spain as a result of the country’s rising imports of citrus fruit from third countries. While arrivals of oranges fell in 2018 by 11% to 83,031 tons, lemon imports rocketed 78% to 71,835 tons, and receipts of small citrus soared 361% to 7,709 tons. In the framework of the Better Regulation Agenda, the EU Commission conducts economic and environmental impact assessments prior to any trade negotiation to identify possible problems and the best course of action.

The Commission applies strict sanitary and phytosanitary requirements to imports of citrus from third countries. Citrus fruits from South Africa are subject to the specific import requirements of Decision (EU) 2016/715. Products imported into the EU must meet the same quality requirements as products originating in the EU. Imported products are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary controls for which the national administrations are responsible. From the end of 2019 onwards, a common regime for official controls will be put in place to ensure a standardised and harmonised import control system.

Most EU trade agreements provide for safeguard measures in cases where imports of a specific product increase as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry or disturbances in the sectors or markets of agricultural products. At this stage, the Commission has no evidence that third country imports caused injury or created disturbance in the EU citrus market, which would have justified applying safeguard measures. The Commission regularly monitors imports of citrus fruit from third countries to detect any possible market disturbance in the EU market and respond appropriately.

 

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New EU regulations for mango imports

New EU regulations for mango imports

The EU will introduce new regulations governing the imports of mango. The new directive will take effect from 1st September 2019. According to the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP), importers must act now to ensure compliance. The new rules are a response to high numbers of interceptions of mango imports due to the presence of fruit fly (non-European Tephritidae). On 21 March 2019, the new rules were officially adopted as Commission Implementing Directive (EU) 2019/523, amending Annexes I to V of the EU Plant Health Directive 2000/29/EC. The new directive came into force on 31 March, and will be applied from 1 September 2019

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Valencia’s citrus farmers call on EU to combat effects of rising imports

Valencia’s citrus farmers call on EU to combat effects of rising imports

President of the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA), Cristóbal Aguado, and general secretary, Juan Salvador Torres, met in Brussels with Joao Onofre, head of the fruit and vegetables unit of the management General of Agriculture of the European Commission, and with Jesús González-García, specialist in citrus fruits of the same department, to highlight the disastrous consequences of the increase in the citrus imports from third countries resulting from the EU’s commercial agreements. The meeting was also attended by Daniel Acevedo, director of commodities, trade and technology of COPA-COGECA.

The Valencian agricultural leaders delivered a document, based on official data from the Ministry of Agriculture, in which it can be seen that during the last six years – between 2013 and 2018 – the main countries exporting citrus fruits to Europe have increased their shipments by 40%, especially Egypt, with an increase of 88.8%, and Morocco (112.8%). South Africa remains the country with the highest volumes sent to the EU markets.

The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, affirms that “after the intense campaign of mobilizations that we have carried out to denounce the disastrous exercise that the producers are suffering, now we are already immersed in the negotiation process and that is why we are here, before the representatives of the Commission to show them with figures in hand that the commercial agreements signed under conditions of clear competitive disadvantage for European productions and without applying the minimum criteria of reciprocity required place us in an increasingly complicated situation. The growing pressure exerted by tangerines and foreign oranges, both at the beginning of the campaign and already mediated since January, is having devastating effects that will go further in the coming years.”

Indeed, Aguado told the representative of the Commission that “in South Africa, 10,000 hectares of late tangerines have been planted, which will produce some 600,000 tons in the coming years and whose main destination will be Europe, where they will overlap with ours just as we begin the season.”

Likewise, and in order to prove the competitive disadvantage and the comparative grievance implied by the commercial treaties, the leaders of AVA-ASAJA delivered a document detailing 19 active materials for treatments against pests and diseases, whose use is prohibited in Europe, they are authorised in countries that introduce their citrus fruits to the community territory.

During the meeting, the representative of the Commission undertook to carry out a detailed study in order to properly assess the impact that these preferential agreements with third countries are having on European citriculture, a study that is the necessary previous step to establish future safeguard clauses.

Citrus Imports to EU

Country

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Var. 2013/18

South Africa

645.085

578.728

654.731

672.470

741.890

813.318

+26%

Egypt

179.890

184.654

199.280

269.120

286.633

339.648

+88,8%

Morocco

123.588

167.972

204.663

224.807

275.719

263.103

+112,8%

Turkey

207.881

240.862

241.151

266.584

210.590

325.616

+56,6%

Argentina

254.314

161.936

171.003

251.361

199.521

232.062

-8,7%

Total

1.410.758

1.334.152

1.470.828

1.684.342

1.714.353

1.973.747

+39,9%

 

Source: AVA-ASAJA based on data from the European Statistical Office Eurostat

 

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Europe imports 19% less pepper from abroad than it did ten years ago. Intra-European imports have grown by 36%

Europe imports 19% less pepper from abroad than it did ten years ago. Intra-European imports have grown by 36%

European Union: Europe imports 19% less pepper from abroad than it did ten years ago. Intra-European imports have grown by 36% in the same period.

Spain: It is the largest producer and exporter in Europe, with more than 700,000 tons per year, and the second in the world.

Mexico: The largest exporters in the world. In 2017, it exceeded one million tons sold abroad (1,037,394). 29.6% of all the pepper exported in the world is Mexican.

United States: The country purchases 95% of the pepper that leaves Mexico and is the seventh producer worldwide. It is the largest importer in the world.

China: The Asian giant is the largest pepper producer in the world by far (44.5% of global total). Almost all the product is for internal consumption. In 2017, it produced more than 18 million tons.

Holland: Of the Europeans, it is second only behind Spain in terms of production and export. It is a world leader in performance, with 280 tons/ha., and the world’s third largest exporter.

Germany: The country leads imports in Europe and is second in the world. 61% is bought from Spain and 10% from outside the EU. Germany imports 20% more than it did in 2010.

Morocco: With 114,531 tons exported in 2017, it is the African country that sells the most peppers abroad, albeit not the largest producer.

United Kingdom: It is the third largest pepper importing country in the world. Almost all the pepper consumed is bought from abroad. It is also third in the world in terms of performance (242 tons/ha. in 2017).

India: In 2017, it surpassed China as the world leader in pepper production surface area, with 848,000 hectares.

Israel: Exports have plummeted in the last four years by almost 50%. In 2017, 60,787 tons were sold abroad.

Indonesia: It is a world power in surface area (3rd) and production (4th), but not in exports. In 2017, it dedicated 310,147 hectares to pepper.

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Sofruce, ever ambitious

Sofruce, a family business headed by Grégory Cebrian, the grandson of its founder, continues to grow with a turnover of 87 million Euros in 2018.

Specialising in the import and export of fresh fruit and vegetables for more than 50 years, Sofruce has a long played a major part in the berry industry, but the scope of Sofruce’s activities has broadened in recent years and now rests on 3 major pillars, berries, citrus and tomatoes.  In this context of strategic development Fabien Lefebvre has now joined Sofruce in the capacity of Managing Director, “We have big ambitions for Citrus, in particular with regard to the Moroccan clementine, where we see a market potential of 35 000 tons.   Similarly we are seeing double-digit growth in tomatoes, notably in the small segmentation tomato where we have become indispensable.” Of the berries the strawberry is still the leader with 18 000 tons sold in 2018, the main focusses for development are now raspberry and blueberry.   Sofruce is also a major player on the melon market starting from the month of March.

“Maria” the platform for producers

While Sofruce offers its clients “tailor-made” solutions out of Perpignan and Rotterdam, Grégory Cebrian created a new company in 2018, Maria, the purpose of which is to organise the “complete direct shipment of productions”.  Strengthened by this unique offer Sofruce has concluded some exclusivity agreements with two of its long-term partners, COPAG (120 000 tons of citrus and 40 000 tons of early vegetables to Morocco) and Rosaflor (300 hectares to tomato greenhouses and melons in Agadir and Dakhla).  “Our added value lies in our in-depth knowledge of international markets.  With customer satisfaction at the heart of all we do, we also lend support to our producers.   Selection of variety, crop rotation, we get involved far up the chain with the aim of guaranteeing optimal remuneration for our producers, positive social impact and a continuous improvement process”.  Other partnerships are currently in development, in particular in Spain and Morocco, but also from complementary origins, “in order to select the best match of soil and variety and to give us a longer marketing schedule”.

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Global tomato trade grew 4.6% in 2017

Global tomato trade grew 4.6% in 2017

The world’s tomato trade was worth US$9.16 billion in 2017, a 4.6% rise from 2016, but a drop of 0.9% from 2013. The EU imported $5.8 billion worth of the total (63.4%), followed by North America (28.5%), Asia (7.4%), Africa (0.3%), Latin America (0.3%) and Oceania (0.1%). In terms of countries, the US was far and away the world’s number-one importer of tomatoes in 2017, with volumes received totalling around US$2.5 billion – an increase of 2% on 2016. The next largest tomato importer was Germany, with imports remaining flat at US$1.48 billion. The fastest-growing markets since 2013 is Belarus (+229.1%), Spain (+120%), France (+17.7%) and Canada (+10.3%). Four countries recorded falls in imported tomato volumes: Russia (-49.4%), Belgium (-23.4%), the Netherlands (-10%) and Sweden (-1.7%).

 

 

SOURCE: EU

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EU imposes stricter regulations on imported foods

EU imposes stricter regulations on imported foods

The EU has tightened controls on imports of certain foods. On 8 January, the Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/35 amended Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the increased level of official controls on imports of certain feed and food of non-animal origin (Text with EEA relevance.)

The measure affects the following products:

From the Americas:

1)  Aubergines from the Dominican Republic are tested for ‘pesticide residues that can be analysed with multi-residue methods’ (hereinafter, multi pesticide residues’) at an increased level of 20%; and 2)  Sweet and other peppers and yardlong beans from the Dominican Republic are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Acephate, Aldicarb, Amitraz, Diafenthiuron, Dicofol, Dithiocarbamates (including maneb, mancozeb, metiram, propineb, thiram and ziram) and Methiocarb (at an increased level of 20%).

From Africa:

1) Sweet peppers from Egypt are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Dicofol, Dinotefuran, Folpet, Prochloraz, Thiophanate-methyl and Triforine (20%);

2) Beans from Kenya are tested for multi pesticide residues (5%); and

3) Peppers (other than sweet) from Uganda are tested for multi pesticide residues (20%).

From Asia:

1) Goji berries (wolfberries) from China are tested for residues of Amitraz (10%);

2) Tea, whether or not flavoured, from China is tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Tolfenpyrad (10%);

3) Okra from India is tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Diafenthiuron (10%);

4) Peppers (other than sweet) from India are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Carbofuran (20%);

5) Chinese celery from Cambodia are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Phenthoate (50%;

6) Yardlong beans from Cambodia are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Chlorbufam (50%);

7) Peppers (other than sweet) from Pakistan are tested for multi pesticide residues (20%);

8) Peppers (other than sweet) from Thailand are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Formetanate, Prothiofos and Triforine (10%);

9) Coriander leaves from Viet Nam are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Dithiocarbamates (including maneb, mancozeb, metiram, propineb, thiram and ziram), Phenthoate and Quinalphos (50%);

10) Basil (holy, sweet), mint, parsley and okra from Viet Nam is tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Dithiocarbamates (including maneb, mancozeb, metiram, propineb, thiram and ziram), Phenthoate and Quinalphos (50%);

11) Peppers (other than sweet) from Viet Nam are tested for multi pesticide residues and for residues of Dithiocarbamates (including maneb, mancozeb, metiram, propineb, thiram and ziram), Phenthoate and Quinalphos (50%).

 

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German fresh fruit imports total US$6.8 billion in 2017

German fresh fruit imports total US$6.8 billion in 2017

In 2017, Germany imported fresh fruits worth US$6.8 billion, according to USDA data. Imports from the US, amounted to around US$1 million. The majority of imports, excluding bananas, originate in other EU countries, with Spain, Netherlands, and Italy being the top EU suppliers.  On a value basis, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Turkey were the top non-EU suppliers in 2017.  Ecuador and Costa Rica mainly ship bananas; while Turkey’s top export to Germany consisted of sweet cherries. The main imported products in terms of value are banana, grape, apple, orange, peach and nectarine, lemon and lime, clementine and avocado. The top five fruits produced in Germany are apples, strawberries, plums, cherries (sweet and sour), and pears.