HORTICULTURE: BIWEEKLY INSIGHTS - Report No.3 2018

05 March 2018
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The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently announced that the OFF (Oriental Fruit Fly) was detected in Grabouw (Western Cape), in a protein-baited trap. Commercial fruit at threat amongst others include: mangoes, guavas, citrus, papayas, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, cherries, grapes, passion fruit, peppers and tomatoes. It is said that the fruit fly could have dire consequences for food security, yield reduction and even job losses, if not properly controlled. However, Hortgro has confirmed that a programme managed by Fruit Fly Africa (FFA) implemented the national action plan immediately after the first OFF was caught. FFA also confirmed that all growers and pack houses in the region were notified and an area of a 5km radius of the trap was placed under quarantine. Going forth, fruit trading may continue in compliance with established additional risk mitigation procedures.

Vegetable trends on all Fresh Produce Markets in SA

Higher prices expected

Potato weekly prices went down by 5.4% to R3 111/ton as a result of higher volumes in the market. Volumes improved by 8% w/w to 18 700 tons. In the weeks to follow, prices are expected to trend upwards as a result of strong demand expected in the market.

Higher volumes pushed prices down-wards
Tomato prices went down by 13% w/w and reached R 5 960/ton due to an increase in market volumes. Volumes increased by 6% w/w to 4 550 tons. Prices are expected to trend upwards in the coming weeks as a result of strong demand expected in the market demand.

Onion prices are bullish
Onion prices trended downwards week-on-week due to higher volumes in the market. Onion prices decreased by 4% w/w and closed at R4 970/ton. Market volumes reached 6 720 tons, up almost 11% w/w. Prices are expected to increase as a result of strong demand expected in the upcoming weeks.

Carrot prices expected to increase
Weekly carrot prices trended downwards due to high volumes in the market. Carrot prices reached R2 790/ton, down by 12% w/w. Volumes supplied went up by 12% w/w and reached 2 430 tons. High market demand may put an upward pressure on prices.

Fruit trends on all Fresh Produce Markets in SA

Average weekly prices and volume movements in fruit

  • Pear volumes went down by 4% w/w and reached 962 tons, while prices also decreased by a slight 2.1% w/w to R5 930/ton. Market volumes are expected to improving in the coming weeks and may lead to a downward trend in prices.
  • Apple prices went down 8% and reached R7 840/ton as a result of volumes increasing by 5.2% w/w reaching 2 200 tons. In the coming weeks volumes are expected to continue increasing as the harvest season is in full swing and this may put pressure on prices.
  • Banana prices came to R2 670/ton, 5% lower w/w, as a result of improved market volumes. Volumes amounted to 5 330 tons, up almost 4% w/w. Market prices are expected to trend downwards as volumes increase.
  • Orange prices went up by 16% w/w while volumes also went up by 10% to 138 tons w/w due to strong market demand. Smaller volumes are expected in the market, as citrus is out of season.

Pome Fruit Exports

Pome fruit crop estimate

  • By the end of week 7, 222 564 cartons (12.5kg equivalent) of apples have been exported (YTD), this is about 13% lower than the same time last season. Pear exports YTD (628 203 cartons) is 24% higher than last year's YTD export volumes.
  • The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has forecast Southern Hemisphere apple production and exports to remain stable this year, while pear volumes are expected to drop. The apple crop is expected to be 5.3 million tons while the pear crop is set to fall
    15% to 1.1 million tons.

Stone Fruit Exports

Stone fruit volumes exported

  • No apricots were exported in week 7, and cumulative volumes are down by 8% at 655 640 cartons this season YTD.
  • Nectarine shipments amounted to 235 230 cartons (2.5 kg), 6% higher than the same time last season. Most nectarine exports were destined for the UK (59%) and Europe (31%). Exports are expected to slow down around end of March as the as harvest comes to an end.
  • Peach exports volumes shipped in week 7 reached 17 888 cartons (2.5 kg), just 8% lower than last year’s YTD volumes. Exports were mostly destined for the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Peach volumes expected to slow down further in the few weeks to come.
  • Plum exports came to 681 906 cartons (5.25 kg), down 12% compared to the same time last season, 53% of the exports were shipped to Europe, other major imports include the UK (26%) and the Middle East (13%).

Sources
Hortgro.
AMT Trends The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA)


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