Growing demand and short supply resulted in strong returns for South Africa-grown Forelle pears in the closing months of 2019, according to IG International.

The Mumbai-based importer-exporter said the fruit was selling for US$20-US$23 per carton during the latter part of last year.

“There is always a supply shortage from week 40-50 from South Africa and during that time whoever packs Forelle/Vermont pears makes 100 per cent returns in Indian markets,” IG International said in a press release. “Most South African companies do not have stock from week 40-50, so it’s very limited and due to that the returns from India are very high.”

IG International said the Forelle programmes it ran directly with its retail partners were particularly successful.

“Supermarkets love it, the taste is just liked by Indians so much,” the release added. “The best part is the shelf life of the pear which makes it durable at the shelves of the supermarkets.”

IG International believes up to 1m cartons of Forelle could be sold in India this year (2020).

“Considering high demand and exciting growth prospects, India has the potential to become the most important and most shipped market for this variety from South Africa,” the company said. “Exporters will have a great opportunity to obtain high returns if [the fruit is] harvested and shipped at the right moment.”