A relatively empty European market provided some positives at the start of the 2017/2018 season for the South African stonefruit industry, which has been greatly challenged by severe drought conditions. Jacques du Preez, Hortgro trade and markets manager said: “It’s been a good season in general so far considering all the challenges we are facing, with good eating quality and sugar levels, smaller fruit sizes resulting from the drought and climatic conditions, and a later crop.”  While exports of apricots to all major destinations have dropped so far this season, shipments to the Middle East have bucked the trend and are currently 4% up year-on-year. – Fresh Fruit Portal

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