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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Far East "screaming" for navels from South Africa

While there is acute interest in South African navels, particularly from the Far East, some exporters warn against pushing prices to artificial levels that cannot be maintained. In areas unaffected by navel splitting, like Mpumalanga and Limpopo, exporters tell FreshPlaza that their phones have been ringing off the hook for the past couple of weeks, as importers from the Far East look for alternatives to Eastern Cape navels. Exporters from the Western Cape, where navel damage is estimated at around 17 to 20% of the crop, similarly report that the Far East “is screaming for navels”. Large volumes for the Far Eastern markets are still in transit and only 2% of the total shipped navels have been for Hong Kong and China and 9% have landed in Southeast Asia thus far. This region drives a growth in navel demand. At this point, it is difficult for exporters to give an accurate picture of the prices for navels in those markets. An exporter sounds a cautionary note in this regard: “There is a danger that with the strong demand from the Far East, which has high quality requirements, a decision can be made to send lower specification navels to take advantage of the situation. What can then happen is that this fruit goes unsold or is eventually sold at such a discount that it pulls down the prices for high specification fruit.” “The demand for navels is very healthy, prices will certainly be higher than traditionally, but you have to send high quality fruit to the Far East. There is similar strong demand from the EU, Russia and the Middle East,” says Carel van Rooyen, director of Impala Citrus. “However, perhaps prices won’t reach the levels that some anticipate. For us, it’s about getting the right price, not necessarily the highest price.” Navels from Schoonbee Landgoed, in Mpumalanga, are expected to reach the Chinese market this week, and while the market is generally reacting well, it’s too early to give price indications for navels in that market, says Gert Upton, marketing manager.

Source: Freshplaza