The number of Egyptian companies participating at the current international exhibition of “Fruit Logistica” is 98, Abdel Hamid El Demerdash, chairman of the Agriculture Export Council (AEC), estimated, said. The companies will display 67 Egyptian products, with the aim of attracting more European and Asian market customers.
In statements to Daily News Egypt, El Demerdash explained that the Council works with companies to identify important markets. It aims to set mechanisms for opening these markets in coordination with the Central Administration of Egyptian Agricultural Quarantine and agricultural quarantine in the targeted countries.
“The council is currently preparing to open up to six new markets for eight products and has already opened up 15 markets for 28 producers in the last two seasons,” he added.
He noted that there is cooperation with Egyptian commercial representation offices abroad to open six new markets for eight Egyptian products, all of which will be exported starting next season.
He pointed out the futility of evaluating agricultural exports in the first season of entering markets, especially as agricultural exports always take a long time to prove themselves to consumers and gain their confidence.
“I cannot speculate how Egyptian agricultural exports to the targeted markets will look like over the upcoming period, but the council always works to identify obstacles before signing contracts with customers, which is what it tries to do in the current round of the Fruit Logistica exhibition,” El Demerdash said.
He added, “Determining the form of sale in the markets, and the expected form of the season, always depends on international crop needs on a seasonal basis. This is controlled primarily by climate changes, thus showing price indicators and the amounts that can be traded.”
This season, the council is interested in opening up to the markets of the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, China, Vietnam and Brazil, to exports potatoes, citrus fruits, grapes, peanuts, onions, grapefruits, dates and pomegranates.
The council opened 15 markets the last two seasons (Indonesia, Uruguay, China, Canada, Taiwan, East Timor, India, Myanmar, Turkey, Serbia, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, Japan and South Africa).
Those markets allowed the entry of 28 products from Egypt, most prominently garlic, potatoes, citrus fruits, potato seeds, grapes, medicinal and aromatic plants, dates, beets, mangoes, onions and strawberries.
El Demerdash said Fruit Logistica is the largest fresh-produce tradeshow in the world, followed by “Fruit Attraction”. Such exhibitions help Egypt to expand its products to East European countries, in particular.
He noted that Egypt’s exports to Europe increased over the seasons. During the last season, quantities rose to 1.16m tonnes, representing 27% of the total amount of agricultural exports, and to $769.3m, representing 34%.
He pointed out the importance of the exhibition in identifying more customers to increase the volume of export contracts, in addition to meeting with existing customers to see if they had changes in the required business policies or specifications.
He explained that Egyptian citrus fruits are the strongest in general, as they continued to occupy the first position and grew 5.8% in the last season, to rise to 1.8m tonnes at the value of $716.5m, compared to 1.7m tonnes in the preceding season.
Citrus fruits are cultivated in several parts in Egypt. First, there is Al-Behera, with productivity of over 2.040m tonnes, followed by Al-Sharqeya, Al-Ismailia and Al-Qalyubiyah, whose combined production is 4.269m tonnes.
El Demerdash pointed out that Egypt’s citrus fruit productivity decreased this season, between 18% and 20%, attributable to climatic changes that affect fruits. He added that “this supports a strong improvement in prices as demand increases or remains steady compared to last season.”