It is the beginning of November, and the storage facilities are closed. "Growers are not prone to easily opening storage warehouses. If they do do so, they will have to pay a storage fee", says Dutch top fruit exporter, Jan Oskam.
He indicates that apple exports will be difficult. Pear exports should go somewhat smoother. Although, according to him, this is not a structural problem. "Last year the apples sold well and pear sales were a bit disappointing."
Kees Oskam with Elvira Schipper and Lisanne and Erik Oskam during Fruit Attraction
"However, this year I expect us to have a hard time with apple exports. Dutch apple sales will mostly have to rely on the local market. We will have to count on especially the pears. Currently, various European destinations are vying somewhat for our pears, albeit in small quantities. Pears are going to Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, France, and Spain. Sales are fairly broadly distributed", continues Kees.
"The price level for both apples and pears is reasonably stable. It is, however, relatively low", says the trader. Yet, he does not see this as a negative factor, per se. "It is actually better if prices are slightly lower now. In this way, we can lay a foundation for the Spring. It is still a matter of conjecture as to whether storages fees will have to be paid. We could possibly benefit from this period. In my view, we must not try to drive prices up too quickly. We must, firstly, preserve the continuity."
The extreme weather also stood out for this trader, based in the Dutch town of Vleuten. "Last week we had 40mm of rain. I would prefer to have that every other day. Countries in the south-east of Europe were hit pretty hard. Here in the Netherlands, however, the temperature is still at an unusual 15-16 degrees. This, after a few extraordinary months. A little more rain would do our orchards good", he concludes.