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Unusually high demand for fresh Egyptian strawberries ahead of the season opening

The eagerly awaited Egyptian strawberry season is about to begin. Elsayed Elgohary, strawberry producer and owner of Marvel Farm, shares his insights on the season kick-off.

Elgohary told FreshPlaza, "The campaign should start soon. The first harvests are already made, but the quality is not yet at its best, which has prompted the government to delay the launch of the campaign. We will have exportable strawberries available by the second week of November."

The grower is anticipating a successful season, which is already shaping up with unusual demand. Elgohary says: "We can see that Egyptian strawberries are eagerly awaited. We are receiving much greater demand than usual for fresh strawberries, particularly from Europe. This is mainly due to last season's experience, as we had no complaints from our customers, who were very satisfied with both quality and price. The increase in demand is also due to the weather problems affecting the volumes in Spain and Morocco. There will be a gap in the market that Egyptian producers will fill".

In Egypt, weather conditions have been favorable for strawberries, says Elgohary, "Temperatures have been a little higher than necessary, but still adequate. We've had some crop losses of a certain variety, but that's not linked to the climate but rather to the quality of the plants."

However, the Egyptian strawberry acreage has decreased compared to the previous season, adds the grower, "Due to the large increase in production costs last season, many growers have converted their acreage to more profitable crops. I estimate this reduction in acreage to be around 10-15%, but it won't necessarily translate into lower volumes as we've had better weather this season."

The season is marked by a novelty, as varieties that were in trial last season are now being produced on a commercial scale. Elgohary explains, "Fortuna continues to top the podium in terms of volume, followed by Sensation and Festival. But there will be more volumes of the Felicity variety, which was in trial last year. Many new American varieties are also currently in trial and are of great interest to growers, such as Valiant, Royal Royce, and Vector. Valiant is advancing rapidly and is on track to become the first variety produced in Egypt."

As for prices this season, Elgohary announces an inevitable increase: "Prices have not yet been fixed, but there will certainly be an increase compared with last season since production costs have increased ridiculously, by over 50%. Growers who sell to exporters in Egyptian pounds will, therefore, increase their prices. But exporters may use the devaluation of the EGP against the dollar to keep prices under control."

In light of high demand, Elgohary expects the Egyptian fresh strawberry campaign to be extended, "we usually export until the end of January or early February, but I expect calendars to continue until the end of March this season due to high demand," he concludes.

For more information:
Elsayed Elgohary
Marvel Farm
Tel.: +201002496633
Email: [email protected]