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Luis Contreras, Special Fruit:

"Significant quality variations depress blueberry prices"

The blueberry market is currently experiencing a significant influx of extra volume. "Due to the additional supply in the market and the wide range of product qualities, we are seeing a decrease in prices at the moment," says Luis Contreras of Special Fruit.

"The market is experiencing an increase in volume from Morocco due to the peak weeks of the harvest," he continues. "However, the season is expected to end relative to 2023. Meanwhile, Spanish growers are also harvesting their mid-season varieties and expect to work towards a flatter peak in week 20 to 21 compared to previous years. Portugal has been harvesting from the south for a while, but soon the north will also add more volume to the market. So, gradually, more and more supply is coming in, which is driving the price down."

"We ourselves will continue to receive blueberries from Morocco until the end of May, but we could extend this with fruit from the Moroccan Fez with its autumn varieties Top Shelf and Blue Ribbon. From Spain, we expect to be able to sell blueberries by mid-June. In contrast to last season, it seems that the fruit in Europe will arrive earlier than expected. Local fruit from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany is expected to start from week 24, while Serbia and Romania are considering the first harvests by the end of May."

However, the trader indicates that there are still some ifs and buts to consider. "We need to be cautious given the weather conditions. While some growers are optimistic about a 20% extra volume in this season's harvest, we have received several reports of damage to flowers and formed berries due to low temperatures, frost, and hail. So we need to be cautious in estimating the volume and be aware of climate changes. Yet, it looks like we can achieve good volumes during the summer, but vigilance is always good," Luis concludes.

For more information:
Luis Contreras
Special Fruit
Europastraat 36
2321 Meer, Belgium
+32 33 17 06 60
[email protected]

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