Trade Wars

Canadian cherries return to the French market

For the first time in five years, France will allow the return of Canadian cherries to the country.

In those five years, France did not allow stone fruits due to the approved use of dimethoate in Canada, regardless of whether Canadian growers avoid using it. However, the French administration said the European Union regulation lowering the MRL for dimethoate on cherries was published on May 27, 2020 but entered into force on December 16. She added that in view of the measures taken at EU level, it was not necessary to review this French emergency measure.

In five years, France has banned stone fruit from Canada due to the approved use of dimethoate in Canada, regardless of whether Canadian growers avoid using it.

In those five years without Canada, Robert Borley of AMS Export LLC said he searched for late season cherries in areas such as the UK and Denmark. “We have had some success with subsequent regions in the UK, which completes the end of covered production in Belgium, but most of the success comes from Denmark,” Borley said. “Our Danish supplier has hydro-cooling facilities and can produce high-end late-season varieties until August, especially this season when the cold spring has delayed the harvest. “

Affect demand?
Borley adds that Canada’s return may have an impact – but probably only minimal – on these growing regions due to the increased risk with MRLs set at the limit of detection and pressure on cost prices. “However, Canadian cherries can extend sales until September for customers who appreciate it,” he says.

In Canada’s 2021 cherry crop, some sugars are already just under 20 ° brix, but continued weather and sun will dictate the sugars.

The type of reception that the fruit will receive is to be determined. “There was less demand for high priced imported cherries after August 15 in France. Unfortunately, we believe that the days of shipping multiple LD7s per week to our sister company in Paris may be over, as may the desire to risk stockpiling products or shipping full shipments of ocean freight, ”he said. Borley said. That said, thanks to France’s own cherry production which has been nearly wiped out by the frost, there may be a higher demand for higher priced cherries later in the season. “Let us not forget that the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada means that there are no customs duties to pay, which France has never benefited from until now” Borley adds.

To meet this demand, a harvest of Canadian cherries is better than that of 2020. Some sugars are already just under 20 ° brix, but continued weather and sun will dictate the sugars.

Entry early July
Borley notes that early season cherries began harvesting in the southern Okanagan Valley in Canada and began arriving in Canadian markets in mid-June. “We expect export production to be ready in early July,” Borley said, noting that there were rains in June that followed dry April and May.

However, recent temperatures in Kelowna, British Columbia, have risen by about 46 ° C during the day and over 30 ° C at night. Some growers had covered the crops to protect themselves from the heat, but this is only a small percentage of the harvest. (One of AMS’s Rainier cherry growers used blankets, giving AMS hope to have Rainier from mid-July to early August.)

Robert Borley (left) says AMS has select customers who request Canadian cherries every season.

Canada already experienced a mini heat wave at the end of May and many early varieties have suffered from this current more intense heat. The coming rain will be welcome and help bring the temperatures down, but the early cherries will suffer more and there are concerns about a heat wave in July and how collectively it all affected the unripe fruit.

The waist seemed small this season and with this heat it might be even more affected.

Concerns about shelf life
Altogether, this means that the shelf life of cherries is likely to be affected for many orchards. The availability of ocean freight may be further reduced due to increased risk.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the June decline in Denmark was high in some orchards and varieties, which could allow good grading and thus recover some of the lost yield. This despite the coldest April in the country in 60 years. “The increased production with our producer in Denmark should also promote good availability after the cold and frigid spring,” Borley says. “The season in Belgium is also later than usual, but the recent hot weather can speed things up. Belgium begins in earnest in early July. The country will switch to varieties such as Kordia and Regina and are expected to finish later than usual, possibly in early August.

Canadian cherry export production is expected to be ready in early July.

At the same time, Spanish production is expected to end at the end of the month and France’s limited volumes will run until mid-July. The UK is also in production but is focusing on its own retailers. “We think Denmark and Canada will have a big role to play in August, maybe early September,” Borley said.

As for prices, Canadian cherry export prices still appear to be strong, supported by demand from Asia and the recent trade wars between China and the United States. “This has not helped the export volumes of Canadian cherries to the EU to increase. But we still have select customers who request Canadian cherries every season, ”Borley explains.

For more information:
Robert borley
AMS export
Phone. : +44 7711 582100
[email protected]