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Germany dominates European asparagus growth

The sunny days in the second half of March meant that the German asparagus harvest in 2012 began early. According to German traders early asparagus is not nearly as widespread as in the Netherlands, where you see more and more early asparagus. In most of the German regions the greater numbers of expected from week 14 and 15.

2011 was also an early year for asparagus. The growth conditions were optimal for almost the entire season in Germany, producing 103,000 tons of asparagus and a record harvest was achieved. The area was 23,000 hectares increased slightly compared to 2010. The German Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) expects that in 2012 the asparagus acreage in Germany will rise again slightly. In Lower Saxony, the biggest asparagus producing state in Germany, approximately 26,500 tons of asparagus was harvested according to the Bureau of Statistics in 2011. That was 10% more than in 2010.

The big supply last year, had a positive effect on the consumption of asparagus in Germany. Especially in April 2011, consumers bought more fresh asparagus than ever before. German households in 2011 bought 1.94 pounds of fresh asparagus per household, nearly 7% more than in 2010.

While the very export-oriented production in the southern European countries continues to decline, in Europe there are currently only two growing asparagus markets: Germany and Britain. In Germany, predominantly white asparagus is produced and consumed. Among growers and consumers in Britain it is the more popular green variety. Germany has always been an important customer for Dutch asparagus, but the total Dutch exports to Germany in the last decade have been in decline despite a remarkable increase in 2011. The expectation is that the export of asparagus will not go back to the previous level. The German asparagus acreage has grown and so Germany has become increasingly self-sufficient.

Publication date: 5/10/2012


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