Turnover of Belgian VBT auctions over 800 million

The global turnover of all auctions connected to the VBT was € 805.8 million in 2014 and was in line with 2013 with this (€ 800.6 million). It should be noted that the VBT was able to count on the membership of Veiling Haspengouw again in 2014, which distorts a comparison of the total VBT auction turnover slightly.

Taking this abstraction into account, both the turnover of vegetables and fruit saw a general decline in 2014. In the vegetable sector a decrease of 3.4% was noted compared to 2013, whereas the fruit sector had to deal with a reduction of over 8%. However, when the turnover of Veiling Haspengouw is taken into account in 2014, the fruit sector realised an increase in turnover of 7.5% compared to 2013. The realised turnover was also undoubtedly influenced by the trade embargo on fruit and vegetables from the European unions announced on the 7th of August by the Russian Federation.

Turnover of the auctions

Click here for an enlarged photo of the turnover
On the 1st of January 2014, BelOrta and Veiling Borgloon fused. The fused cooperation that continues to operate under the name BelOrta, ended 2014 with a turnover of € 336.3 million. When this figure is compared to the sum of the turnover of the separate cooperations in 2013, there is a decrease in turnover of over 5%. In the vegetable sector the unexpected - considering the Russian embargo - increase in turnover of their main product, tomatoes, was not able to compensate for the lower turnover of a number of other important vegetables, such as lettuce, chicory, cucumber and peppers. Over a fifth of the total turnover was realised in the fruit sector, where the turnover of apples and pears strongly brought down the total turnover of the fruit sector compared to 2013. The soft fruit, however, did do well at BelOrta in 2014. Despite a lower volume of strawberries, the turnover increased by 5%. The fusion auction, the largest auction for soft fruit with stalks, also had an increase of turnover for this product, of over 10% compared to 2013, although the supply of it decreased in 2014 by a quarter.

Veiling Hoogstraten
The turnover of Veiling Hoogstraten was € 185.9 million in 2014 and is continuing its increase. The auction in the Noorderkempen once again performed better than in 2013 and 2012, with an increase in turnover of 11% and almost 18% respectively. Tomatoes noted a higher average price and realised an increase in turnover of almost 27%, despite the fears of the effect of the Russian embargo. The turnover of peppers remained almost stable, completely due to the increase in supply, as the average price was 25% lower than in 2013. As far as strawberries are concerned the higher volume (+6%) was reflected in the turnover (+6%).

REO Veiling
The REO Veiling noted a turnover of € 135.7 million in 2014 - this is around 13% lower than in 2013 and 2012. The below average price formation of leek, the main product in the auction, is the main cause of this. The lack of any synergy between the fresh market and the processing industry in other production regions hit the entire European leek sector hard. With the exception of tomatoes (+17%), other important vegetables also ended 2014 with a lower turnover than in 2013, such as lettuce, mushrooms and chicory.

The turnover of the Belgian Fruit Auction was almost € 93 million in 2014, which is 16% lower than in 2013 and almost 8% lower than in 2012. This decrease is mainly due to the bad prices of the top fruit, but the decreased volume of strawberries, cherries and small fruit with stalks also contributed to this. The price formation of apples was under heavy pressure in the first half of the year. The second half of the year was just as bad, due to the early national and European harvest combined with the Russian embargo. The prices of pear on the other hand increased in the first half of the year. The price formation at the end of the season, as with the new pear sales, was weak. As the demand recovered during the last few months of 2014, the pear prices were under less pressure.

Veiling Haspengouw

Veiling Haspengouw ended 2014 with a turnover of € 46.6 million, which is a decrease in turnover of 17% compared to 2013. As almost 80% of the total turnover is realised by top fruit, this is the obvious explanation. Both apples and pears were supplied in large volumes, but, in general, traded for below average prices, which meant the top fruit turnover had to process a decrease in turnover of 22% in 2014. What can be determined here is the other types of fruit, such as strawberries, cherries and small fruit with stalks realised a higher turnover than in 2013.

The turnover of the Limburgse Horticulture auction was € 6.8 million in 2014 and was therefore 10% lower than in 2013 and 28% lower than in 2012. This decrease in turnover is mainly due to the lower turnover of fruit. The higher supply of fruit (with the exception of strawberries - 24% and red berries - 22%) were unable to make up for this decrease. The traded volume for vegetables remained stable in 2014 compared to 2013 and an increase in turnover of almost 7% was noted.

Criée de Wépion and Ingro
The Walloon strawberry auction Criée de Wépion had a large increase in turnover (+41%) of € 1.1 million in 2013 to € 1.6 million in 2014. Besides the classic auctions Ingro, a producers organisation for industry vegetable growers, is also a member of the VBT. Ingro ended 2014 with a Value Sold Production of € 93 million, equal to 2013, but over 21% more than in 2012. The cultivation conditions were ideal in 2014 and made for a high supply. The main products are cauliflower, sprouts, leek, beans and carrots.

Source: VBT Annual report

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