Extra Global is aiming to increase its agricultural crop exports by about 10% this season to reach EGP 44m.
Ahmed Farahat, chairperson of Extra Global Company for Exporting Agricultural Crops, said the company is working on exporting three main crops: citrus, potatoes and onions, with total quantities of up to 5,000 tonnes per season.
He explained that the company is working on exporting some other products, such as grapes, lettuce and pepper, but in small quantities.
He expected that citrus exports will increase this season, which appeared evident with the beginning of the export season. The results of the potato and onion business are expected to improve as well. He said that although citrus fruits were ready for export on 10 November and almost 30 days before last season, the quantities already exported are about 40% lower on average, due to the lack of maturity (colouring processes) for the technical specifications required by foreign markets.
He expected that the citrus export season will improve significantly at the price level compared to last season, with the support of declining global production and, of course, in Egypt, as initial indicators point to Spain’s production falling as much as 20%. Spain is the largest producer around the world.
He considered that the decline in production and the stability or increase in demand will guarantee better prices than last season, which will see companies make better profit margins and offset the depreciation of the FX rate.
Farahat explained that the decline in the exchange rate and the continuation of the increase in domestic production costs due to the continuation of economic changes and increase in fuel prices weaken the Egyptian crops’ ability to compete abroad, but the higher export price will make up for that.
He added that the company’s exports go to the markets of Russia, Europe and some Asian countries. Russia and Eastern Europe acquire 45-50% of the company’s exports annually, and the other quantities are distributed amongst the rest of the countries.
As for Africa, Farahat said the continent is a good market, but the company faces several obstacles in accessing it, especially logistically. “The company exports some quantities to Gabon, but it takes up to 43 days and a higher cost than to other countries,” he said.
He considered the Fruit Logistica Exhibition as a good opportunity to market the company’s products in different markets, to strengthen relationships with existing customers and to get exposure to new customers to improve annual contracts and, thus, revenues.