The dry summer soon made it clear that there would be considerably fewer storage carrots available. "Last year, part - with emphasis on a 'part'- of this product was brought into cold storage under too-hot and dry circumstances", says Kees Heegsma. He is from the company of the same name in Lemmer, the Netherlands.
"These batches were not in good condition. The carrots were discolored and became limp. A cold storage facility is, of course, not a hospital. So, their quality has not improved. Well-positioned processors or those working with their own crops are now processing these batches first. This means that, currently, not much trade is happening."
Carrots are at around the EUR0,26 price level. "You cannot buy good carrots for this price at the moment. At the end of the season, the prices were at EUR0,24 for carrots straight off the land. For carrots that have been put into storage, transportation and storage costs have to be calculated. So, you can add another six or seven cents to the price. Growers that decided to store their carrots will, therefore, not do business for less the EUR0,30", he continues.
In the short term, Kees does not expect any major movement on the market. "The poorer-quality batches are currently being quickly worked away. However, from February, I expect there will be extra bought in. The price will, therefore, rise. Compared to the previous year, there were significantly fewer carrots harvested in the Netherlands."
He goes on to say that, "In Germany, lower storage volumes are also being reported. These figures are at 25-30% less. In that country, they closely monitor cold storage stocks. I think the situation in Belgium is not much different. As a result, trade expectations have been strengthened considerably."
The carrot market is, therefore, calm at the moment. However, Kees expects the regular carrot market to become more active in the next few weeks. "There is a limited amount of organic carrots available for the free market. This is because, last year, the organic carrots were largely already sold straight off the land", he concludes.