Covid propels Asia’s digital growth
At the Asiafruit Congress (Asiafruit, 17 November) it was noted that the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated online sales in Asia. About 185 million households in the region bought food products via e-commerce platforms for the first time. Asian consumers appear to be cautious about returning to physical shops after the pandemic. Although younger generations have been the engine of growth in online retailing in Asia, the percentage of online shoppers aged over 50 will be higher by 2025. However, e-commerce accounts for only a small percentage of the overall food market in Southeast Asia.
Global orange market
During the lockdown in March, demand for oranges went through the roof, a market development from which the southern hemisphere benefited the most (Fresh Plaza, 11 December). Towards the end of the year, the market in Europe and North America has stabilised and demand is not as high as a few months ago. This slowdown has been a cause for disappointment in Spain, where they had initially expected the high demand to be maintained. In North America, many wholesalers appear cautious about purchasing due to the uncertainty in the market. In China demand has also declined, causing prices to fall. The latest South African orange season has been excellent, with 52.4 million boxes (15 kg) of Valencia oranges packed this year, 42% of these going to Europe (37% in 2019). Southeast Asia and the Middle East both accounted for 16%.