Weekly Product Updates

W2 Global Strawberry Update: Egypt Achieves Record-Breaking Strawberry Production, Peru Concludes 2023 Season Positively, and Morocco Grapples with Increased Demand Amid Challenges

Fresh Strawberry
Published Jan 19, 2024

Egyptian Strawberries are Breaking Records and Strengthening a Global Market Position

The Egyptian strawberry sector is experiencing unprecedented record-breaking success in the ongoing season 2023/24. The region's acreage, dedicated to strawberry cultivation, reached 70 thousand acres, contributing to a significant increase in production. Favorable factors, including ideal climatic conditions and competitive production costs, are enhancing Egypt's position in the global market. Producers at Fruit Farm are expecting to export a higher quantity of strawberries than the previous season 2022/23, with an expected total production of over 500 thousand metric tons (mt). Known for popular varieties like Sweet Sensation and Festival, Egyptian strawberries are meeting high-quality standards. The sector's ability to adapt to market demands and massive investments in infrastructure, from cold storage to packaging, ensures freshness during transport. Egypt's strawberries are now present in over 50 countries, including major markets like Belgium, Germany, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After the fresh strawberry season 2023/24, frozen strawberry exports are projected to reach approximately 200 thousand mt, demonstrating the industry's adaptability and ability to meet global demand.

Positive Conclusion for Peruvian Strawberry in 2023 with Urgency for Varietal Shift

Peruvian strawberry exports for 2023 totaled 33.83 thousand mt, valued at USD 60 million, marking a significant 22% year-on-year (YoY) volume. Which has 17% YoY value growth compared to the 2022 season. Despite challenges, including irregular production and climatic sensitivity, the demand-driven positive performance is evident. The shift towards day-neutral varieties is highlighted to mitigate climate impacts. The United States (US) remains the primary destination, facing complexities due to domestic production challenges and the entry of Egyptian strawberries. European markets present positive growth, with a 33% YoY volume increase and double the value. Guatemala emerges as a surprising third-largest importing region, witnessing a remarkable rise in both volume and value. The market anticipates a continuing upward price trend in the first quarter of 2024.

South Korea's Rural Development Boosts Strawberry Quality and Sustainability Initiatives for 2024 Season

The Rural Development Administration (RDA) in South Korea is actively engaging in agricultural initiatives, particularly focusing on improving strawberry exports and efficient agricultural by-product management. Following a visit to strawberry farms in Nonsan, discussions emphasized the need for technology development to enhance fruit firmness and color. Farmers stressed the importance of disease-free strawberry seedlings, addressing challenges from previous temperatures and flood damages. The RDA plans to establish a specialized complex to meet export standards, aiming for Southeast Asian markets. The RDA is committed to addressing field challenges promptly, ensuring a smooth export process for farmers.

The US Anticipates Early Strawberry Season, Sparks Research on Winter Varieties

In the US, early strawberry season is expected in the Arkansas region, with ripening reported before Christmas in Jackson County. Cultivating over 200 acres annually, the state typically plants strawberries from September to October, using row covers for temperature control. Warm weather prompted early growth, impacting dormancy. Research by the experts explores the reactions of new varieties to winter weather, leaving half the plants uncovered for observation. Nationally, the US harvested approximately 56.3 thousand acres of strawberries in 2022, contributing to a USD 3.2 billion industry. The Arkansas findings could provide insights into regional strawberry cultivation challenges and opportunities.

Moroccan Strawberries Demand Surges, Amid Cultivation Area Decline and Water Scarcity Concerns

Moroccan strawberries are in high demand globally despite a 1 thousand ha cultivation reduction in 2023/24, particularly during the festive season. A Larache-based producer noted exceptional demand and satisfactory export volumes, with peak harvest and demand expected in Feb-24. Good quality strawberries lead to significant exports to the United Kingdom (UK) and France, highlighting customer satisfaction. However, regional producers are reducing strawberry cultivation areas in favor of blueberries due to challenging strawberry campaigns in recent years. The impact of drought on Moroccan agriculture, particularly in Larache, is starting to be felt, raising concerns about water scarcity.

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