In the shadow of the Italian and especially Spanish stone fruit season, French stone fruit exports are also gradually gaining momentum. In week 24, the first batches of the popular apricot variety Orangered hit the market. "Unfortunately, we have mainly smaller calibers available, but in terms of taste the goods are okay," says Erdal Dogan, wholesaler at the Cologne wholesale market and managing director of FrüchteKick Ltd, which is based there.
In the meantime, the France specialist has also been able to obtain further apricot varieties from its regular partner JMB Fruits. Dogan: "We also offer our customers Lady Red and Ladycot, especially the latter variety already has very nice coloration in the early range."
French apricots of the popular Orangered variety.
High quotations, low export volumes
The exceedingly high quality of French produce is also reflected in pricing, according to Dogan. "Italian offers are currently available at kilo prices around 1.40-1.50 euros: In terms of price, this is sometimes not even half of the French Orangered quotations, which are usually around 2.90-3.00 euros/kg. It is currently very difficult to get large-sized apricots from France at an acceptable price, but this is not only due to the price, but also to the tight supply situation in general."
In addition, the lion's share of domestic apricot yields is still traded on the French domestic market, Dogan continues. "Only a small portion ultimately goes for export, mainly to Belgium and the U.K., where much more is typically paid for the commodity." Accordingly, he says, the French apricot has become a specialty in the German market over the years.
In addition to Orangered of the JMB brand, FrüchteKick GmbH also sources French apricots from established supplier Henry Lamotte
French peaches and nectarines as of week 26
Nevertheless, Dogan expects an average season in terms of volume, "about similar to previous years." The same applies to peaches and nectarines from France, he said: "First batches have already been exported, but we still decided against the first goods due to skin defects and weak coloring. We expect to now be able to offer the first peaches and nectarines in week 26-27."
Summer slump ahead
In general, Cologne wholesale market traders are now preparing for the traditional summer slump, Dogan confirms. "In the past few weeks we have still been busy, but from now on people are slowly starting their summer vacations. Experience shows that demand can still be maintained to some extent in the first half of the vacations, but from August onwards it becomes very quiet."
Images: FruechteKick Ltd.