Last week most apple shipments from South Africa were still destined for the UK, but the focus is now increasingly on Africa and the Far East and Asia as EU and UK retail and industrial programmes.......
Pink Lady colouring not great but strong demand from Europe South Africa: Golden Delicious brings stability to apple season
The last Pink Ladies from RA storerooms are being packed by Kromco in a year that inverted the usual 60:40 proportion of Pink Ladies to Cripps Pink. In a season with not enough cold units for good colouring, much of South Africa’s reduced Pink Lady volumes with 40% block colour are going to the Europe and the UK where there is a large demand, even if in some instances South African volumes weren’t enough to cover European and UK supermarket programmes and the importers had to supplement from other producing countries.
“At the start of the season, with a few cool days, we thought the colour would be good but this year the colour on Pink Lady isn’t great,” explains Leardt van der Burgh, marketing manager at Kromco. “We’ve had to cut back on our retail programmes and there is a bit of a shortage in the European market which can have a positive effect on prices. Pink Lady is a sought after item in Europe.”
“The effect of the freeze in April and May in Europe caused a fair bit of damage, especially in Italy, Holland and Poland. Poland in particular has a big influence on the Russian and Middle East apple market and I think in the 2018 season this could create opportunities for us.”
In fact, despite pessimism earlier in the season, this year already is turning out to be a stable apple season for South African exporters, especially regarding Golden Delicious. “Last year Goldens were our biggest concern but this year we pack Goldens every week and as soon as they are packed, they move out. This flow is what’s bringing about stability,” explains Van der Burgh. “At the start of the season everyone was sceptical about the African market and Goldens and the effect of our fluctuating currency but the currency has since stabilised somewhat.”
He goes on to say that the price for apples obtained in the Russian market is now on par with the African market, coupled with larger demand from Nigeria and the reliable market of Bangladesh, and it results in a steady movement of Goldens, still South Africa’s largest apple variety.
In South Africa there is a focus on the impact of domestic political decisions and the credit downgrades on our economy, Van der Burgh notes, but factors like Trump in the White House and Brexit has had a substantial negative influence on the Rand. “However, everything considered, things aren’t looking bad. UK demand which took a dip in previous seasons is picking up nicely again. That said, consumers worldwide are under pressure.”
“The South Africa apple industry put a lot of effort into developing markets in the east, particularly markets for small apples because as an industry our apples tend to be on the small side. Markets like Africa, Russia and the Middle East are good in that respect, as well as newer markets like Bangladesh. In India the market for our pears, specifically Packhams, has grown tremendously.”
Given the particular climatic conditions of South Africa, and the Western Cape in particular, growers need to focus on the varieties with a prospect of successful cultivation. Van der Burgh, who sits on the Kanzi Board of South Africa, uses this variety as an example of one whose production practices still need to be fine-tuned for South African conditions. “The question remains: can we produce the Kanzi as well as Europe does? Pink Lady we are able to produce very successfully.”
Kromco will market pears for two more weeks and all of its apple varieties until the end of the year, with the exception of Royal Gala, of which volumes will run out in four or five weeks, limited by available volumes and strong demand. ... See MoreSee Less
After extensive maintenance the presorting plant is up and running with the first apples from the 2017 season. Here we are sorting Royal Beaut, a high colour strain from the Royal Gala variety. ... See MoreSee Less
The Western Cape received some much needed rain during the last week. According to News24 this is however not enough to make a difference in the drought stricken region.
"The rain does not make a difference to dam levels, because it is just too little. Dams with such a large capacity need at least 100mm of rain to see a difference in water levels," forecaster Stella Nake said.
The city has received 24.4mm of rain in the past 24 hours.
In Villiersdorp, where Cape Town’s Theewaterskloof dam is situated, 32.4mm of rain fell. Stellenbosch received 39.4mm of rain. ... See MoreSee Less
Kromco is one of the largest deciduous fruit packing facilities in the Western Cape province of South Africa. We specialise in the packing and marketing of quality apples and pears for both the local and international markets. The Kromco brand is well recognised and respected in the global fruit industry.
Kromco is owned and supplied by 14 GlobalGAP accredited producers from the Elgin, Grabouw and Villiersdorp areas. They adhere to the SIZA (Sustainability Initiative of South Africa) ethical trade protocols which ensures sustainable supply to our customer base.
Our focus is on delivering the best quality produce and is supported by state of the art facilities and internationally recognised accreditations like an A+ BRC rating. We believe in the value of our employees and creating a safe, sustainable working environment. Kromco currently holds a SIZA A rating and a five star rating with the NOSA health and safety system, thus ensuring the highest level of ethics and health and safety achievable.
We are focussed on satisfying market demands and our facilities was designed to create flexibility for this purpose. Facilities include some of the latest presorting technology available for apples, nine separate packing lines and the latest in controlled atmosphere cold storage. Flow wrap packing lines are the latest addition to our facilities, and confirms our commitment to following market trends and adding value for our customers.
Kromco’s dedicated marketing team ensures a high level of customer service. This is supported by highly experienced production-, technical- and logistics teams that will deliver each order on time and to customer specification.
We are passionate about our community and play an active role in community well-being through a well established corporate social responsibility program. Kromco currently employs 250 permanent staff and provide seasonal employment to an additional 700 people from the surrounding areas. ... See MoreSee Less