Bardini+Keller: Weather problems in Costa Rica lead to higher price

"Fresh pineapple prices some 6 percent higher than two months ago"

Seasonal exotics and citrus fruits are flooding the market at this time of year. At the same time, fruit varieties that are commonly available all year round, such as pineapples and bananas, are currently somewhat more in the background. Especially with regard to the pineapple market, in recent weeks the situation has been anything but calm, certainly when it comes to pricing. Stormy weather in the main growing region of Costa Rica has led to significant price increases, says Felix Gehrer, buyer and seller of Bardini+Keller AG, working out of Gossau.

The Swiss importer -who is trading throughout Europe- purchases his pineapples directly from Costa Rica throughout the year. The common Extra Sweet fruits are shipped in particularly large quantities. "Prices have been under pressure, especially over the last two months. The important growing areas were hit quit hard by storms, which is clearly visible with regard to this particular fruit." Around Christmas time, sales of these are not expected to rise significantly; they more often go down a little. "We deliver a lot of goods to company caterers and these businesses are often closed between Christmas and the 3rd of January."

Long-term pricing
Overall, prices have increased with about 6 percent since October, says Gehrer. Even in the long term, the long-standing wholesaler expects that there will be considerable price increases. "Next year, logistics costs will also increase significantly For instance port fees and diesel prices are probably increasing significantly. Overall, shipping will become more expensive throughout Europe. We ourselves and certainly the consumers of those pineapples must expect prices to rise by about 8%."

Both fresh pineapples and fruits without crown are being sold, which are sometimes processed further into convenience products. "This segment is currently growing significantly," explains Gehrer. While caliber 8 is most in demand in the fresh section, the larger grades (caliber 5 and 6) are the sizes that are most often used for processing. Pricing is different as well: "Prices for industrial goods are largely fixed by static contracts. However, we expect weekly fluctuations in the fresh market."

Avocados and mangoes from Peru
Bardini+Keller AG celebrated its 60th anniversary this year and has made a name for itself in terms of fruit imports over time. Nevertheless, the company has had to reinvent itself over and over again in order to remain future-oriented and competitive, says Gehrer. "Regarding avocados, we have set up our own production in Peru, as a next step we start the production of mangoes. One of our employees is currently on site to inquire about the possibilities there."

For more information:
bardini+keller ag
Lagerstrasse 4
9200 Gossau SG
Tel. +41 (0)71 388 08 88
Fax +41 (0)71 388 08 89   

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