The Egyptian grape season has started, but it came a tad late, meaning there’s a lot of work ahead of the Egyptian growers. One exporter states that margins are extremely tight this year, due to increasing costs.
May Salem, general manager for Egyptian grape and pomegranate exporter FinBi, states they are busier than usual due to a later start of the exports this season: “The grapes volumes are good at the moment, especially the fertility of the Sugarone. We have contracts pending with top exporters. The pack houses are extremely busy, as most of the varieties came so close together. We are harvesting about twenty tons daily of the Flame grapes right now, and this week we will start our Sugarone too.
As costs for running the operations are increasing, there’s less profit to be made for grape exporters this year, Salem explains. “Margins are extremely tight this year, as some production costs rose two to three times as high as last year, but selling prices did not move up much. The Russia – Ukrainian war, together with the increasing costs of packaging and shipping, are not helping to improve sale prices.”
Despite grapes being exported a bit later, demand and volumes are solid, Salem says. “The demand is good especially on quality bunches as well as clear products of pesticides. It’s becoming challenging year on year in terms of costs, managing supply and demand, meeting quality, and adjusting to currency fluctuations. Thankfully, this season the volume is better than last year for all our fruits, both grapes and pomegranates.”
“Our most important markets this year will mostly be in Europe, with Germany, Holland and the UK on top of the list. Exports from a Egypt started late but strong. We all hope demand remains high for a few more weeks.” Salem concludes.