Weekly Product Updates

W8 Strawberry Update: Egypt's Frozen Strawberry Exports to China Soar Tenfold, Spain's Huelva Region Struggles with Declining Strawberry Production, and Moroccan Strawberries Contaminate Spanish Markets

Fresh Strawberry
Germany
China
Published Feb 29, 2024
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In W8 in the strawberry landscape, Egypt has become China's largest supplier of frozen strawberries for the fifth consecutive year, with over 80% of the market share. From 2018 to 2022, Egypt's frozen strawberry exports to China increased tenfold, reaching nearly 35 thousand tons from Jan-23 to Nov-23. Meanwhile, Spain's Huelva region faces declining strawberry production due to high temperatures and humidity, limiting the fruits to local markets or potentially France or Germany. On February 14, 2024, "Norovirus GII" was detected in Moroccan strawberries entering Spanish markets, causing serious health concerns.

Egypt's Frozen Strawberry Exports to China Surged in 2023

Egypt has become China's largest supplier of frozen strawberries for the fifth consecutive year, with over 80% of the market share. From 2018 to 2022, Egypt’s frozen strawberry exports to China increased tenfold. In the first 11 months of 2023, Egypt exported nearly 35 thousand tons of frozen strawberries to China, an increase of 9% YoY. China mainly exports to neighboring Asian countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, as well as distant markets like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. The peak season for Egyptian fresh strawberries is from December to February. Egyptian exporters can anticipate several peaks in Chinese consumer demand, including the Lunar New Year and non-traditional Chinese holidays. The market potential in mainland China is quite significant, similar to Hong Kong, where traders import about 6 to 7 thousand tons of fresh strawberries annually.

Spain's Huelva Region Grapples with Strawberry Production Decline

Due to high temperatures and humidity, Spain's Huelva region faces declining strawberry production. The region's cold days, rain, fog, and sudden temperature rises create an ideal environment for fungus spread, limiting the fruits to local markets or potentially France or Germany. This is reducing profits and causing concerns over increased water supply cuts, which could lead to the end of the season being brought forward. The province of Huelva has over 11 thousand (ha) dedicated to cultivating red fruits, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Norovirus Detected in Moroccan Strawberries in Spain on February 14, 2024

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) detected "Norovirus GII" in Moroccan strawberries entering Spanish markets. The strawberries were distributed and are thought to have been purchased by consumers in the Netherlands, even though they were discovered during border screening. Spanish health authorities have classified the contamination as a "serious danger." A member of the Caliciviridae family, Norovirus is the primary cause of acute gastroenteritis in Europe, affecting all age groups and causing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and watery diarrhea.

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