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Lychees, a good season underway.

  • Lychees, a good season underway

    by Market Insider

    Tuesday, 09 Feb. 2016

    The marketing season of lychees has been progressing positively in the last weeks of 2015 and beginning of 2016, proving that the efforts made in previous years provided results.

    The Southern Hemisphere summer was rather favourable for the flowering and fruit-setting of litchi orchards across the Indian Ocean sources (South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, Mozambique and Madagascar) bringing expectations of abundant and relatively early production like last season even if the deterioration of the weather conditions in September and October scaled down the first forecasts.

    Madagascar, Mauritius and South Africa kicked off the marketing period rapidly followed by Mozambique and the Reunion: the first shipments went into the market in week 46, i.e. one week later than in 2014. Rates gradually sagged as the supply was developing. Fresh fruit, on the stem or trussed, maintained higher overall price levels than sulphur-treated fruits whose rates saw a steeper downturn dipping also in the first half of December under the effect of a substantial supply and demand on the rise though still hesitant.

    With the arrival of the first sea-freight litchis in week 51, incoming air-freight shipments of sulphur-treated litchis decreased enabling prices to stabilise; conversely, rates of untreated litchis from Mauritius and Reunion saw a distinct recovery thanks to more dynamic demand in the run-up to the end-of-year holidays.

    Madagascan sea-freight litchis enjoyed good market conditions with falling rates favouring festive promotions of the product at attractive retail prices. The Madagascan fruits, boasting good quality but irregular sizing, were widely circulated via the large European supermarket chains. The boost to demand provided by the festivities meant that the cargo of the first inbound ship was rapidly sold while the second schcduled ship, which docked in Europe in week 52, sold fairly fluidly though less rapidly than the first ship.

    In parallel, the European supply was topped up by some South African shipments which sold at higher prices given the distinctly smaller quantities and larger sizing; the South African produce was aimed more at the traditional distribution systems.

    The lychees are now reaching the last peak of the winter season, the period of the Chinese New Year, this year favourably early in the calendar.

    Source: Fruitrop

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