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Egypt’s apple imports hit 6-year low, but EU quickly finds alternatives

As Egypt faces the consequences of the pound’s devaluation, a food crisis and other economic woes in 2022-2023, it has cut down on its apple imports, according to EastFruit. The country bought the lowest amount of apples from the EU in at least six seasons during the first four months of the current marketing year.

Egypt imported a mere 28 thousand tons of apples from the EU between July and October 2023, which is almost 60% lower than in the same period last year and takes just a fourth of the volumes in July-October 2021! The country’s apple imports for the whole of last season barely reached 160 thousand tons, and Egypt lost its place as the top importer of apples from the EU.

 

The situation has worsened this season not only due to the lingering effects of the economic troubles of 2022-2023, but also due to new challenges, such as the blockade of logistics in the Red Sea. The Yemeni Houthis’ actions in the region have already halted the export of Egyptian oranges to Asia, and the Egyptian farmers have stopped harvesting, fearing a price crash. Moreover, Egypt will see an additional drop in revenues from the transit of ships through the Suez Canal, which will further strain the country’s currency inflows.

Meanwhile, the EU countries have not been seriously affected by the reduced demand from the Egyptian importers, as their apple exports have remained fairly stable. The EU exported 270 thousand tons of apples in July-October 2023, which is even higher than the same period of the previous year.

 

Read also: How Egypt is breaking into EU with mango and guava exports. Shipments triple over past 5 years

 

The EU countries have made up for the loss of demand from Egypt by increasing their supplies to the South American market, the European countries that are not part of the EU, and some other destinations. For instance, Brazil imported 50% more apples from the EU than in July-October 2022, and Colombia’s imports grew by 70%. Among the European countries, Switzerland (+82%) and the United Kingdom (+8%) also saw a rise in apple imports from the EU, with the latter becoming the main buyer of this product.

 

Another key area for the growth of apple exports from the EU in July-October 2023 was Asia. The EU countries not only strengthened their positions in the traditional markets of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, but also increased their apple exports to India 9 times, due to the poor harvest of these fruits there. Besides India, Kazakhstan and Mongolia also recorded a significant increase in apple imports from the EU.

EastFruit

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