According to Jackie Boussier it is calm at export company Boussier in Borgloon as far as top fruit is concerned. "The apples are very calm and it's hard to find good quality in the pears," he summarises. "The trade in apples is really calm, against our expectations. This is partly due to the fact that almost nothing is heading to Russia. The political situation there has a huge impact on the market. The Belgians and and Dutch are also bothered by the large production in East Block countries."
A lot depends on Poland
According to the trader this has been a problem for years, but is particularly noticeable this season. "The production in Holland and Belgium is smaller than in other years and that in the East Block countries, is larger. A huge amount is being grown in Poland and cooling houses are being built en masse. Because there are already less apples, the Belgian growers want to sell slowly. They want to get as much out of it as they can." He indicates that the prices are between 35 and 45 cents at the moment. "That's the price for the good apples. Last year it was higher. It was 55 to 60 cents. It's difficult to gauge how it will go. A lot depends of Poland this year. They are still selling, but there is no pressure on the market for them. They want good prices too."
Little hurry to sell
"This means that little is being exported from Belgium at the moment and it is mainly being sold to the wholesale stores. The apples from the East Block are also being sold to wholesale stores en masse in various European countries. They are beginning to compete amongst themselves and this is causing problems in the trade." Boussier says that the Belgian growers are in no hurry to sell. "They don't want an oversupply on the auctions. Not much will change in the trade for now. The most difficult part is that we haven't been informed enough on the situation in Poland and the rest of the East Block. We know that the harvest is large, but not how much stock there still is and what will happen. The export will remain quiet for now and we will see how much Poland can sell in the next three months. We need to find new sales markets."