>>namibia back in the pilchard business...Spain feels impact of chinese strawberries...Good quality grapefruit from turkey...


Details are awaited of this year's Namibian pilchard quota, expected to be just above last year's 25,000 tonnes.
Four years ago, fishing was banned in order to rebuild stocks. Pilchards have returned in healthy numbers, allowing fishing to be maintained, much to the relief of the government and the local industry.
New season prices, which will be announced next month, are set to be 5%-10% higher in order to cover inflation in tinplate and fuel.
Morocco, the other main producer, has a plentiful supply, so prices should be stable through the summer.



Opening prices for Spanish strawberries will be announced shortly at prices likely to be similar to last season's.
But packers say there must be increases to reflect rising fuel and tinplate costs.
Of growing concern to Spain is the impact of Chinese product, which has established a bigger market share globally as a result of low prices.
One importer said: "The quality is different. The fruit is smaller and firmer but full of flavour."
Unlike for mandarins, there is no EU import quota system for Chinese strawberries. The Spanish will be monitoring the effect of China on its industry if they start to lose market share in Europe.
Currently all own label canned strawberries business in the UK is placed with Spain. This accounts for the majority of retail sales.



New season grapefruit prices in Turkey are 20% lower than they were last season, when the crop was disastrously small and of poor quality. In 2005, much of the finished product showed a higher than normal percentage of small or broken segments of fruit.
Prices now appear to have stabilised in spite of expectations they would fall further.
Packing will finish in a couple of weeks' time, with forecasts of good quality fruit being available throughout the Turkish season.


Stock recovery
Threat from China
Grapefruit prices fall