Israeli grapefruit is being shipped to the UK four weeks ahead of the usual start to the season to address shortages from Mexico and South Africa.

The first imports of grapefruit from Israeli fresh produce supplier MTEX UK were shipped this week. The fruits will arrive four weeks ahead of schedule after a low production season in South Africa and a slow start to the Mexican grapefruit season left the UK market short, said MTEX general manager Marius du Plessis.

Near-perfect growing conditions in some Israeli production areas had also brought the Israeli crop forward. "I would expect the next four weeks to be exceptional after that, indications are that the supply picture will return to a more normal situation," added du Plessis.

Marsh, a type of white grapefruit, will be the first fruit to arrive, followed by Sunrise pink grapefruit.