Early Murcott Mandarin Variety Key to BGP’s Good Start in China

From September 5 to 8, the booth of BGP International, a Melbourne-based produce company, caught the eye of many attendees at Asia Fruit Logistica 2018 Hong Kong. Since its founding in 1992, BGP has strived to provide customers with high-quality fresh produce year-round through extensive cooperation with partners in Australia, the United States, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, and New Zealand. Now, the company has also expanded operations to California, the Philippines, India, and Egypt. Produce Report interviewed Neil Barker, CEO of BGP, to explore how his company has done in China.

Citrus has been a key category for BGP, with the company’s annual citrus volume exceeding 40,000 metric tons. Relying on oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit from the world's leading production regions to develop the Chinese market has proven a sound strategy which pairs well with BGP's own strengths. The company’s strategy for China focuses on a special Murcott mandarin, the very early Murcott variety Royal Honey Murcott, which was discovered and patented by Ironbark Citrus, a producer of premium Australian mandarins in Queensland. This variety matures one month earlier than other Murcott mandarins and possesses a skin texture and taste profile which appeals to Chinese consumers.

As an appointed partner of Ironbark Citrus, BGP enjoys the privilege of being able to promote the variety in China before fierce market competition kicks in. "Until now, every year when the sales season kicks off for Royal Honey Murcott, demand is always two to three times greater than the volume available, so we have to restrict access to only a small number of specially-selected importers to better serve the market.” Neil continued however, noting that, "because we started with these early varieties, we are in a good position to go on with our later Murcott varieties."

For a first-hand account of this highly sought-after variety, Produce Report also spoke with Jing Huang, Assistant to CEO for Fruitday, a major Chinese fresh produce e-retailer, who confirmed the popularity of the Royal Honey Murcott in China. “This will be our fifth year marketing this variety on our platform. In addition to maturing early, Royal Honey Murcotts also boast a good appearance, excellent taste, high brix, and low acid content. As a result, it has been received well on Fruitday and is a perfect fit for the Chinese market.”

According to Neil, production of Royal Honey Murcotts is expected to double over the next 3 years and BGP will be working to continually increase market penetration for the variety in China.

Besides sourcing from Australia, BGP were also among the first companies to bring Chinese consumers mandarins, grapefruit, and lemons from Egypt. "We also expect some increases in these volumes in the years ahead. To achieve this goal, our grower partners in Egypt and South Africa are planting new farms with varieties specifically developed for the Chinese and Asian markets," Neil remarked. In addition to expanding the existing supply chain volumes, BGP is actively exploring new fruit varieties as well, such as avocadoes, nectarines, plums, and peaches, to further add value to its business in China.

BGP has been exporting premium Australian fruit to China since the early 2000s. Over the years, the company has developed into a crucial supplier to many upscale supermarkets, online retailers, and wholesalers in China. As one of the forerunners in marketing China-grown produce around the world, BGP has operated an office in China for a number of years to facilitate its exports of apples, citrus, garlic, and ginger to India, the EU, and other Asian markets. BGP was also involved in the early shipments of Ya pears (a famous type of pear native to northern China) to Australia.

Source: https://www.producereport.com 

 

 

Export demand soaring - Cherry growers expect largest Australian crop ever

Cherry producers across Australia are looking at a bumper season, and early crop forecasts suggest this year's crop will reach new highs, making it Australia's largest cherry crop in history. Consumers might see a higher supply than usual this year, but growers are setting their sights on increasing their export numbers considerably.

Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said all production areas were recording a good crop, ranging from a light to heavy crop. The national record for the Australian cherry crop is about 15,000 tonnes.

"The forecast at the moment depends on how bullish you want to be … we would have to be starting this year at a baseline of 20 per cent higher than 15,000 tonnes, so it will be about 18,000 tonnes," Eastlake said. "Assuming we don't have any adverse weather events come through, I would be reasonably confident we hit that mark."

Riverland cherry grower Leon Cotsaris started harvesting early variety cherries at his orchard two weeks ago, and said growing conditions this year were great. "We had a fairly mild spring, which has been pretty good, although it's been very dry.”

He said fruit size and quality this year were good, but dependent on weather conditions in coming weeks.

Cherry Growers Association of South Australia president and Adelaide Hills grower Nick Noske said they had been expecting high yields last year, but many growers' crops were severely damaged by hail and rain.

Abc.net.au reports that despite a bumper crop, consumers might not see extreme price drops this season as growers look to export markets. Due to the reopening of the Vietnamese market and new market access to China last year, demand for Australian cherries is high.


Publication date : 11/6/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com

A stable market for traditional persimmons

A stable market for the Tipo persimmons in this ongoing campaign. The OP Granfrutta Zani markets 2000 tons. The marketing manager Raffaele Bucella discussed these factors.

“The harvesting of the Tipo persimmon is about to end. The campaign started extremely well. Then, it slightly slowed down due to the unusual temperatures. The off-season heat during October caused many problems both in terms of ripening and marketing. Yet, now it is recovering”.

Granfrutta Zani places persimmons mostly on the Italian MMR. Furthermore, the company exports to the two countries with the highest traditional persimmon consumption, that is Switzerland and Australia. Spain is exporting its tough pulp produce to Germany for instance.

Bucella, “We also have a few hundred tons of the tough pulp variety, which is the most appreciated by younger generations because of the ease of consumption. If everything goes according to plan, the marketing of persimmons will continue until halfway through December”.

With regard to prices, Bucella: “Persimmons usually do not change prices within a short time frame. Even though Spain has less produce than usual, prices will not increase. I think that this will be a stable campaign. I believe that sales will fall under the range expected by our producers”.

Info:
OP Granfrutta Zani
Via Monte Sant'Andrea
48018 Granarolo Faentino (RA)
Tel.: (+39) 0546 695211
Fax: (+39) 0546 41775
Email: buc@granfruttazani.it
Web: www.granfruttazani.it via www.freshplaza.com


Publication date : 11/1/2018

Australian lemon growers should export

Australia is seeing an increase in lemon plantings, as well as increase from new growers entering the industry, says Citrus Australia. With this increased growth, there is a push for lemon growers to export produce.

According to Queensland grower Michael McMahon from Abbotsleigh Citrus -part of the Nutrano Produce group- only 4% of Australian lemons are exported, and with 9% going into processing, 87% are sold onto the domestic market.

Nielsen Homescan Data shows that 50.6% of domestic shoppers buy lemons, last year, consuming 2kg of these a year. Sales spike during Easter in line with fish sales, and they spike again during Greek Easter, said McMahon.

Abbotsleigh Citrus has made a concerted effort to export more lemons in recent years and develop new markets to avoid the rising tide of Australian-grown lemons and to gain an advantage on exports from South Africa and South America.

The prices Abbotsleigh received in Indonesia for lemons recently was lower than the domestic market. “We still made a profit but we’re thinking long-term and investing in development of export markets,” McMahon told foodmag.com.au. He sees opportunities in China, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and the USA.

Hong Kong and Singapore are easy markets for most countries to access, while Indonesia can be unreliable due to quotas, according to Citrus Australia.


Publication date : 10/29/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Australia's citrus industry set for another record year but nurseries run short of tree stock

Citrus growers across Australia have good reason to celebrate, with prices and global demand predicted to hit new records.

Chairman for Citrus Australia Ben Cant said the industry was booming, with growers getting twice or three times as much for their fruit than they were five years ago, and exports were steadily increasing.

"We've seen returns in the vicinity of $700–900 a tonne on navel oranges this season," Mr Cant said.

"In 2012/2013 we were looking at $200–300 a tonne, which is about our cost of production … so now we see fantastic returns for growers."

Sunlands citrus grower Mark Doecke said it had been an exceptional season for growers as weather conditions, fruit quality, and crop quantity had been great.

"Citrus has to be picked when it is dry and above 12 to 13 degrees, so this year with harvest we had no drizzle and no rain," he said.

"I feel for my brothers in the dryland farming but, as far as citrus picking goes, it's been excellent for us."

Sunlands citrus grower Mark Doecke says they've had great season with good fruit quality, weather conditions, and fruit quantity. 

And as demand is outstripping supply, Australian exports are predicted to have increased by 10 per cent this year.

Mr Cant said last year's official figures for citrus exports were around $480 million and they were confident to be a bit over $500 million in exports this year.

"And we could see $550–600 million in export next year," Mr Cant said.

"We've seen positive improvements in all markets, Japan has been about the same but China and the USA are up and pretty much everything across the board.

"Certainly, the demand for navel oranges continues to rise across key export markets like China and Japan."

Chairman for Citrus Australia Ben Cant says citrus exports are predicted to have increased by 10 per cent this season. 


Growers benefit with first harvest under new import rules to China. After years of negotiations the Chinese Government recognised the Riverland region as a pest-free area for all horticulture commodities late last year, and the benefits were being felt by citrus growers this harvest.

The fruit-fly free recognition for exports to China means growers do not have to cold-treat their produce, which results in faster and direct shipment and cost savings for growers.

The Riverland's fruit-fly-free recognition for exports to China gives growers a competitive advantage. 

Chair of Citrus Australia SA Region Steve Burdette said it was their biggest competitive advantage where additional cost for cold treatment would not have to be paid anymore.

"The fruit is a lot fresher when you ship it and eating quality is a lot more superior," Mr Burdette said.

"It created a lot more demand for our fruit into China."

Mr Cant said reasons for the high demand from China was their rising middle class prepared to pay for quality and the recognition of Australia's citrus as a premium product.

Citrus Australia market access manager David Daniels said there was a 50–60 per cent increase of exports to China from South Australia compared to last season, but this number was based on a low tonnage figure.

"China is the number-one market across the country, but that trade is primarily captured by the Victorian exporters. For South Australia, Japan is still a very strong market," Mr Daniels said.

"Returns to growers are better than ever."

Ben Cant says demand for navel oranges is certainly increasing. (ABC Rural: Jessica Schremmer)
"I would have to say everywhere we go, growers are very happy, with some saying prices are better than they have ever experienced in their lifetime."

Mr Daniels said the global demand for citrus was high due to an undersupply from competitor nations, where growers struggled with pest and disease hitting their produce.

Citrus plantings boom but many nurseries are sold out of trees. As global demand for citrus is expected to be strong, thousands of new citrus tree plantings are going into the ground across the country. But many nurseries are sold out of stock and do not have trees available until early 2020.

Mr Cant said there was a two to three-year wait for nursery stocks.

"We are on a massive growth trajectory, people are putting in trees of the preferred varieties as fast as they can right now," he said.

Chislett Farms nursery manager Jonathan Chislett from the Mallee region in Victoria said demand for trees was very high.

"We're sold out for this year and next but have capacity for 2020," Mr Chislett said.

"I don't have the exact numbers but it might be a couple of hundred thousand trees."

Mr Chislett said it was the highest demand he had ever seen and, as demand increased, nurseries were increasing their capacity to accommodate for it.

Engelhardt Citrus nursery owner John Engelhardt, located in the Orara Valley in New South Wales said he sold out of stock in July this year and would not be able to supply growers until January 2020.

"There is a lot of demand for citrus trees as the growers are getting reasonable prices for the fruit and also the export markets seem to be lucrative," Mr Engelhardt said.

"We are increasing production but at a reasonable pace."

Mr Cant said they were concerned about the volumes of trees coming on board but would work hard on opening more export markets.


ABC Rural
By Jessica Schremmer and Nadia Isa

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-10-19/another-record-year-for-citrus-industry/10388240 

Record volumes of California grapes

The industry has set a new five-week record for shipments worldwide despite trade tensions
rom 8 September to 12 October the California table grape industry exported over 23m cartons, marking the most boxes shipped in this window on record.

“This year, unfortunately, there was a period of nearly three months when shipments to USDA were under-reported compared to prior years,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape commission.

“This caused confusion as it appeared that with excellent quality and a large crop, the volume wasn’t moving. Once the reports were updated, two things became clear: volume was moving all along, and the last five weeks set a volume record.”

Due to the voluntary nature of USDA daily reporting, data collected is typically lower than the actual reported volume.

“It is pretty easy to add 22 percent to the last five weeks of USDA data and see why the expectation is that the shipments will have blown away industry actuals,” Nave said.

Grapes shipping into traditional export markets were down only eight per cent in total despite some trade tension, while Nave reported volumes increased to other markets including Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

From September through to January, the industry typically ships around 60-65 per cent of its volume, according to Naver. Because of this, aggressive autumn promotions will be planned, and additional funding allocated to late-season product.

Major California grower, Sunworld, also reported a record crop for the season.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author:  Camellia Aebischer

 

U.S. - Larger California citrus crop expected but smaller Navel sizing

The 2018-19 California citrus crop looks like it will be larger than last year, but there will likely be some issues with sizing, according to an industry body.

California Citrus Commission president Joel Nelsen told Fresh Fruit Portal that it seems Navel oranges would be most heavily affected by a higher proportion of smaller sizes in the wake of the heat wave this summer.

But overall he said the season was shaping up well, with good fruit flavor and exterior quality expected across the board.

The first harvests will likely start this week, and initial volumes to be available in the market for Halloween in late October.

“The big issue for us this year is there seems to be more smaller-sized fruit,” he said.

“So that fruit 88s and smaller are going to be more difficult to market – we’re going to have plenty of 56s, 72s … but everything is shaping up well. The external quality looks good, and all the summer heat should bring us good flavored fruit, so there’s room for optimism.”

He said the smaller sizing could be across all citrus types this season, but as yet it was unclear.

“I know up in the San Joaquin Valley we’ve got an excellent crop of lemons, I know the mandarin fruit looks pretty good right now from a size perspective … So I think it’s mainly been the Navel oranges that’s been affected.”

He also pointed out that there has been plenty of surface water growers could access this year.

Timing-wise the season is running a little bit later than last year, with a lack of cold nights slowing color development.

“You can’t be picking green fruit when it comes to citrus. We haven’t had that many cold nights, so it’s all up to Mother Nature now,” he said.

The mandarin harvests should start around the same time as the Navel harvests, beginning with Satsumas, then moving onto Clementines and Murcotts.

While the U.S. Navel market is reported to be relatively healthy at the moment, a recent market report by Capespan North America noted the easy peeler market was much slower, with an abundance of Chilean mandarins available.

“We’ve seen an explosion of offshore imports into our domestic market and the pricing is chaotic. One could almost argue there has been some dumping in terms of price,” Nelsen said.

“There is an oversupply situation, and it’s difficult for the domestic producer to push back on that because our costs are generally more expensive than what the offshore producer has in terms of cost.

“But we think that with our consistent quality, meaning both flavor and exterior quality our fruit will knock that stuff off the store shelves.”

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Vietnam: Vinh Phuc province exports first red flesh dragon fruits to Australia

Last week, the first batch of red flesh dragon fruits from Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc province was exported Australia. According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, this is the first time Vietnamese red flesh dragon fruits have been exported to the Aussie market.

Australia is a choosy but promising market for Vietnamese farm produce. Exporters are advised to follow Australia’s quarantine regulations on cultivation areas, packaging, irradiation and pesticide residues right in Vietnam.

According to en.vietnamplus.vn, the export to Australia is expected to open up a chance for Vietnam to ship the fruit to the US and Europe. It took Vietnam nine years to negotiate and complete all the necessary procedures to export dragon fruit to Australia. Previously, Vinh Phuc’s red fresh dragon fruits had already been shipped to Japan and Malaysia.


Publication date : 9/25/2018

Source: http://www.freshplaza.com

Sharp uptick for table grape exports to Japan

Australian table grape exports to Japan rose by 30% year-on-year in the past season, making the Asian country its third-largest market, according to Weekly Times Now.

The sharp increase compares to a 3% rise in total exports during the 2018 season that ran from January through June. Returns to exports rose by the same level to AUD$384.7 million (US$272 million).

Australian Table Grape ­Association chief executive Jeff Scott said 10,882 metric tons (MT) were shipped to Japan this year, accounting for almost 10 percent of all offshore sales.

The increasing demand in Japan follows investments in promotional events in Japan and Korea before the season kicked off in early January.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work in Japan in terms of gaining market share,” Scott was quoted as saying.

“It’s a very mature market that recognises good quality and is prepared to pay for it. Korea is another market we’ve been working on and where exports have increased quite significantly.”

China remains Australia’s strongest export market for table grapes, taking 41,668MT, or 38 percent, while Indonesia is the second biggest market, ­accounting for almost 15 percent of market share with 16,149MT.

Scott said there was an annual trend of 8 per cent growth across all export markets over the past five years.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com

Trump's trade tariffs push Egyptian oranges to Shanghai fruit shops

The trade war between the United States and China is presenting opportunities for fruit distributor Sunmoon Food Co., as the company is now shipping navel oranges from Egypt, kiwis from Italy and apples from Poland into China for the first time ever. The produce is to fill the gap created when the Asian nation retaliated by slapping tariffs on U.S. fruit.

Sunmoon is not by any means a big company if one compares them to Fresh Del Monte Produce, for instance. Where the latter had a revenue of $4.1 billion last year, Sunmoon only had a turnover of $45 million. But the new business it’s doing in China underscores how the tariff tit-for-tat between the world’s two biggest economies is reshaping global trade flows. China imported $6.2 billion worth of fresh and dried fruit and nuts last year, up nearly ten-fold from 2015, according to customs data.

“As with any trade war or political upheaval, there will always be a certain re-balancing along the markets,” Gary Loh, Sunmoon’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “Companies like ours can take advantage of this and introduce new products into new markets.”

Sunmoon counts China as its largest sales market, where it can reach 900 million mouths through its partnership with Shanghai Yiguo E-commerce Co., an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate that owns more than half of the company.

When China raised tariffs on U.S. goods, Sunmoon responded by shipping navel oranges from a packaging house in the suburbs of Cairo to its warehouses in Shanghai. Other countries' oranges are being tested, like the ones from Israel, Morocco and Spain. These oranges are put out in the Chinese market with the chance of increasing shipments next year if the tariffs have not been removed.

Source: Bloomberg via: www.freshplaza.com


Publication date : 9/17/2018

 

Kiwi fruit claim costs New Zealand taxpayers $6 million plus in Biosecurity case

Taxpayers have so far spent $6 million to defend the kiwifruit claim case, and the Appeal Court hearing has yet to start. This will make it the most expensive primary sector court case on record.

In June, the 212 growers who joined a class action won a High Court case which found the Ministry for Primary Industries was negligent in allowing the disease Psa into the country in 2010. They are claiming $450m compensation.

MPI said it was taking the case to appeal because it sought to "clarify the scope for government regulators to be sued in negligence". It added the High Court finding had the potential to "significantly impact on the Ministry's biosecurity operations".

The claimants have filed a cross-appeal on the grounds that packer Seeka was owed a duty of care, contrary to the High Court finding, and that MPI was negligent in failing to inspect a shipment of banned kiwifruit plant material, infected with Psa, when it arrived from China.

The 12-week High Court case was funded by litigation funder the LPF Group, chaired by former Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson. As a funder of the class action, LPF Group is to receive a percentage of the compensation granted.

In response to an Official Information request, the Ministry for Primary Industries said the $6m figure did not include internal staffing costs, and it would not be possible to provide an exact figure for the total time spent by staff. The costs for consultants and experts paid directly by MPI was $400,000.

Source: stuff.co.nz via www.freshplaza.com 


Publication date : 9/17/2018