Piet Verbrugghe, Calsa:

“Mexican sprouts are a major competitor on the Asian market”

In normal circumstances Calsa regularly exports products to Asia, but it’s currently quite calm. Piet Verbrugghe: “Before New Year, we could transport better volumes of our most important export vegetables, such as sprouts, chicory and various types of lettuce, to Asia by plane. Since New Year, the sprout market in particular has been calm. We’re much more affected by Mexican competition both in Korea and in Japan compared to before New Year. The poorer and cheaper quality of Dutch and local sprouts are also causing a more difficult market.”

Belgian apple remains close to home
Regarding apples there’s not much to do on the Asian market either. “We’re not trading any apples to India this year. The reason is that we can’t offer volumes of quality product for a price acceptable on the Indian market. The US, among other countries, offers products that are both price-wise and qualitatively more appealing, in part thanks to the exchange rate of the dollar.”

The Belgian apple market is primarily lacking in volumes of medium-sized red apples. “We mostly had larger sizes of 80 and 85 millimetres left over from the harvest after the spring frost. There’s not much demand for these in India. The medium sizes of red apples in particular can be sold for much better prices in the Netherlands and Belgium than in India. After all, exporting to India involves more transport costs and higher packing costs, and there’s also the dollar rate to keep in mind as the eventual selling price. We’ll have to wait until next season to see what we’ll be able to do in India. If we don’t have frost this spring, we’ll feel positive.”

For more information: 
Piet Verbrugghe 

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