Bangladesh supermarket

A deluge of Brazilian apples is anticipated to make a bad market situation worse in Bangladesh over the coming months, according to a leading importer.

“Huge quantities” of the fruit are en route by sea to the country, and further volumes continue to be loaded at source, says Mirza Rashid of Ambish Trade International.

So large is the predicted Brazilian volume that the Bangladesh fruit market could be oversupplied with apples for the rest of the year, he adds.

This South American influx comes on the back of a Chinese apple glut caused by congestion at Bangladesh ports, Rashid explains, speaking in early March.

Considerable quantities of Chinese apples have been stuck quay-side waiting for discharge since the start of the year, he says, and are now being released all at once.

To make matters worse, a recent clean-up operation by Bangladesh city authorities of street hawkers temporarily deprived the country of its main wholesale distribution channel, Rashid adds, which has left importers with huge volumes of fruit on their hands and limited means to sell it.

“Recently, [the street vendors] started their businesses again and the market has started to move. But importers are having to sell their [Chinese] apples at a loss,” he says.

The import situation isn’t much better for Egyptian oranges, according to Rashid. The deal started off well, but deteriorated rapidly after “random supplies” flooded the market.

“The beginning of 2018 has not been so good for importers for any imported fruits,” he says. “Importers are waiting patiently for a good market.”

Rashid blames new importer agents, wishing to make a fast buck, for much of the current and impending import market disruption.

“As always our company is very careful to sell only what is needed, and always tries to keep the market steady. But the small new agents don’t want to sell carefully to keep the market stable,” he says.