Thai pack down 30% Both South Africa and Swaziland are about to start their summer pack of pineapple, most of which is pre-sold. When the orders were placed in September as part of the annual negotiations involving Thailand as well, the African producers were unaware there would be a shortfall in Thailand due to adverse weather. The Thai pack is down 30% according to sources in Bangkok who expect some short deliveries against existing contracts. The prices agreed for South Africa and Swaziland now seem low. UK buyers have been replacing the Thai shortfall with Swaziland product, now up 10% over opening levels. All new business will be at the higher levels but the effect on UK trade will be minimal due to most buyers having placed contracts last October. Meanwhile continuing devaluation of the South African rand has made offers of peaches attractive to European traders in spite of the duty. In particular, irregular slices are in demand for the many value labels widely used by UK retailers as loss leaders. l Delays on shipments of mandarins from China have given rise to concerns they overestimated their pack potential. UK buyers have been topping up from Spain as they hear of more activity by EU traders likely to be affected by non-delivery of Chinese product. Prices have risen over the last week in Spain with some canners reducing their quantities on offer. A leading canner said: "We believe the shortage in China is real as we have had several enquiries from German importers who rely on Chinese product." {{CANNED GOODS }}