The first ship to transport South African grapefruit to Japan arrived at the Port of Durban the weekend before, one or two weeks ahead of the normal schedule.

“Usually the grapefruit we get would be ripe in June at the beginning of June. However, this year’s is expected to arrive a little later,” says an exporter.

Hoedspruit began its harvest of grapefruit earlier. They usually begin following Easter, but this year, since the start of April, grapefruit were ripe.

In week 14 1.3 million grapefruit cartons were packed. 61% were shipped to European Union, 17% to Asia (32 percent last year in the YTD) and 15% went to Russia (which reached 3.3% at the time of writing in 2022).

“In Japan the market is unfulfilled,” an exporter comments. “Normally the fruit would be from Florida as well as California However, this year, there’s much less.”

As in other countries there is a sense that it is the Japanese economy is also under pressure. “Its not an explosion, in spite of the fact that there is a shortage of goods and services.”

Grapefruits that have been shipped to Europe as well as China are floating on the sea.