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Pieter Devos, Devos Fruit:

"Poor quality remaining pears disturbed the market"

The top fruit season has already seen most of its stock arrive. According to Pieter Devos he cannot complain; "However it is not easy and overall it has been pretty quiet. Demand has not been high so we have a challenge with the pears. During the last pick there were naturally pears of a lesser quality going to market, which has made the situation a little uneasy. We could not simply send out the really good pears at a higher price. Additionally, we have noticed that the market in Moscow is still closed which makes the situation difficult."

Picked too late
"Two or three weeks back there was some talk of oversupply and little demand. It was still warm weather and many soft pears were picked too late and the market was not promoted. Pears have come in from all over. I think that by the end everybody has picked more than was estimated. I think that now a great deal of the pears have cleared and we are back to working with the better quality ones. We try not to sell the pears but the problem is when the pears are on the market, they must be sold. The quality difference is very big between the good and the bad but the price difference is not always seen. Trade is difficult. Customers quickly refer to the 'cheaper' but poorer quality. We can make a difference with our good quality, but that is a challenge."

Volume increased within weeks
According to him it is presently a quiet period with small volumes. "The harvest is over and many growers then take a break. I expect that within two weeks they will be back and then there will be more volume on the market. If it goes well, demand will also increase otherwise it does not look good. We can hold the prices stable today because there is limited availability but if amounts double tomorrow, then it will have to be cleared. We are presently selling in The Netherlands, France and Scandinavia, in Russia just tiny amounts, and Spain also started this week. It is really a market price so there is a lot of work to get better prices. There is a lot of poor quality product being deposited now."

"I think prices today are too low. Compared to last year when we thought is was a bad year, it then became a very good year. The problem with conference pears is the smaller size is too cheap to make a good average price. The large pears are still doing well, and make around 60 cents, but the smaller sizes average around 30 to 40 cent. That is a very big difference." 

For more information:
Devos Group BVBA
Wijndriesstraat 12
3460 Bekkevoort - België
Tel.: +32(0)1677 97 58
Fax.: +32(0)1677 93 58

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