Western Europe: high volumes, low prices at the fruit market

Supply of summer fruit is enormous. Volume products such as stone fruit, melons, pineapple and apples are under significant pressure. Beautiful weather, reasonable consumption, but too much produce on the market, fruit traders lament. In addition, they say, the Ramadan doesn't help fruit consumption.

Consumption of melons, for instance, is pretty high, but there's just no way of processing the large supplies. One disadvantage mentioned is that in Almeria they're starting with Galia and Cantaloupe melons, which aren't all equally tasty, and are grown more on kilos than on Brix. When the better melons arrive then, customers aren't as likely to buy them.

Sales of plums are going reasonably well. Where peaches and nectarines are concerned, however, a big push is needed. Traders say they're going crazy from the huge supply on the market. For the smaller sizes (28-32), 3 Euros is a 'golden price'. The bigger sizes, selling for 4.50-5 Euros, do fetch good prices. Sales of paraguayos are coming along swimmingly. Platinas are hardly present on the market at the moment, so prices of those remain steady at a level of 7/8 Euros.

The cherry market is dealing with supply from numerous producing countries. Whether it's Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Belgian or Dutch. Customers can say exactly how they want it. Therefore, a good view of the price and market is impossible to give.

The grape market doesn't have it easy either. Chilean ones are on offer, but these are quite pricey. For the Italian Victoria Black Magic a price of 9, 10 Euros needs to be made, but the quality isn't always as should be expected. The big wave of Egyptian grapes is also not up to scratch when it comes to quality, and making a decent price seems impossible.

Pineapple sales are difficult as well. The good sizes are still selling reasonably well, but as soon as they're smaller, you're looking at prices of 5 Euros. Avocado sales are good at 7/8 Euros, and the mango market is also not complaining with prices around 6/6.50 Euros.

Citrus sales are, against the tide of summer fruit, reasonable. The South African oranges are sold at a price of about 11 Euros, but prices of 12/12.50 for the Navels are also fetched. The mandarin market is reasonable, and there are far too few lemons, and they are terribly expensive at a price of 23/24 Euros. The market for limes is decreasing. They're coming from a level of around 10/11 Euros, but are sold at around 7.50 Euros now, which still isn't a bad price by any means. Grapefruit, on the other hand, is doing very badly with prices of around 8 Euros.

With imported top fruit, things are going equally pear-shaped. Sales of pears are bad, and apples are a difficult market as well, with the bicolour apples as a low point. Import from South America, Africa and New Zealand overlaps with the old European harvest, which is still abundantly present. As a result, the traders aren't hoping for a rebound, because the wait is for the new harvest. Pushing and clearing is the word on the street.

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