Last week saw a strong rebound in both the fruit and vegetable markets on good uptake across most commodities during the month end period. Vegetable prices closed last week moderate to sharply higher across the board despite a substantial increase in volumes across markets. The biggest weekly gainers in the vegetable market were lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots with increases of 31.6%, 21.8%, and 17.3% respectively week-on-week (w/w) at R13.15/ kg, R6.79/ kg, and R2.75/ kg.
Except for mangoes, prices were mostly higher across the fruit complex due to the combination of a reduction in volumes and strong month-end uptake on markets. Mango prices fell sharply by 14.6% w/w to R35.94/ kg but were still up by a whopping 162% year-on-year (y/y). Grape prices retained the recent uptrend largely on the back of limited seasonal availability. Weekly grape prices increased by almost 60% w/w at R61.12/ kg, which is 115.5% higher relative to the same week in 2018. Avocados reversed earlier losses to finish the week up 13.3% w/w and 59.2% y/y at R14.19/ kg. Tight volumes helped push banana prices higher to R7.32/ kg, which is up 10.9% w/w and 58% higher y/y. See table 2 for further details on other fruit commodities under review.
The yearly price trend shows a consistent uptrend across the fruit market while most vegetable were moderate to sharply higher except the carrot category which was sharply down by almost 12% y/y, see figures A and B. Seasonal supply tightness for some of the fruits will continue to influence price direction in the short to medium term.
On the export front, weekly apple export sales for week 25 reached 1.596 million cartons which is 88% higher relative to last year. The UK, the Far East Asia, and Africa collectively accounted for the biggest share of 73% of the total at 35%, 21%, and 17% respectively. For the year-to-date, the cumulative total apple exports reached 17.50 million cartons, which is up 8% y/y. In the pear market, weekly exports surged 40% y/y to 339,264 cartons, bringing the cumulative year-to-date figure to 12.55 million cartons which is 1% above the 2018 levels. So far, Russia, the EU, and the Far East Asia accounted for the largest share of 71% of the total at 17%, 36%, and 18% respectively.