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Jan Vermeiren, Exofi Fresh Market

“Trade in exotics is currently at a transition phase"

“Trade on the exotics market is quiet at the moment. Citrus is currently more in the picture and exotics are in a transitional phase", says Jan Vermeiren of the Belgian company, Exofi Fresh Market. “Slightly fewer Hass avocados were sold this year than previous years. There is sufficient supply and prices for ripened Hass is at around EUR11-12."

"This price is lower than the that for the previous five years. Then, the price was at the EUR15-16 level. Green avocado prices are reasonably attractive. A 4kg box is going for approximately EUR7. The green Bacon variety from Spain is currently on the market", he says.


The trader has seen the consumption of avocados increase rapidly over the last few years. "We see avocado sales growing by between 10 and 15 percent every year. In Belgium, people have only been using avocados for about five years. Whereas, in Spain and France, avocados have been well-established for 20 years now", Jan continues.

"It is, however, a bit strange that the supply of Hass avocados has only increased for a year now, given its popularity in recent years. For six years, this was not the case." In the past, all Hass avocados were sent to the United States. Prices were good there. Transportation costs were also lower than to Europe. Nowadays, ever-increasing volumes are being sent to Europe.

Mangoes are currently in a difficult phase. "There was a 20% increase in production in Malaga, Spain, this year. However, the problem is that there, they mainly grow the Osteen, which is popular in Spain. Belgians, on the other hand, are fans of the Kent variety. It is hard to find this variety at the moment. We are currently flying them in from Brazil. Mangoes are expensive at the moment. This is because there is little supply from Brazil. The season has also not yet started in Peru. Nevertheless, we do expect this to be resolved over the next few weeks", Vermeiren says.

The market for Kenyan products, such as peas and green beans, has been relatively stable the whole year. "There are fewer price fluctuations. This is thanks to our permanent programs with three regular shippers. Before, we used to often have shortages. Now, this only happens in extreme cases", explains Jan.

Pineapples, just like the products from Kenya, have been quite stable for the entire year. This is with regard to supply. The product that is scarce at the moment is fresh figs. The Turkish season is over and the season in Brazil only starts in about three weeks. "We are trying to plug the hole with figs from Peru,” says Vermeiren.

Another product that has become very popular is sweet potatoes. "In the past, we used to only get sweet potatoes from the States ", he goes on to say. "Now, there is a lot of product from Spain. This has its advantages. Transportation distances are shorter as well as cheaper. So, we prefer the Spanish product."

"Sales of sweet potatoes have doubled over the last three years. This just goes to show how much popularity this product is gaining. Pomegranates are also gaining popularity. Sales of all the products that contain antioxidants are booming”, concludes Jan.

For more information:
Jan Vermeiren

Exofi Fresh Market
112 Werkhuizenkaai, warehouses 25-26
B-100 Brussels
+32 (0) 22 43 12 49
+32 (0) 475 860 980  

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