“The avocado market is remarkably firm. That wasn’t always the case in recent years. Price levels of ready-to-eat Hass avocado are around 15 euro, supply is limited, both for overseas and from Spain. Larger volumes are expected in the coming weeks, but Ramadan starts around 5 May, and demand for avocado steadily increases because of that. The green avocados, or greenskins, are also fairly expensive. We have greenskins from Peru available, and Reed from Spain, Pinkeron from Kenya and Fuerte from South Africa,” says Jan Vermeiren of Exofi. “Yet demand is bigger than supply, and prices are even as high as 9 euro in Belgium, depending on size and variety.”
Mexico vs Trump
“Whether decisions of president Trump will affect supply of Mexican avocados to Europe and Asia is difficult to say, but I don’t think so. It’s still uncertain whether a wall will soon be built between the US and Mexico. Should the supply of Mexican vegetables to the US be boycotted, there will be a problem for Mexican exporters who export to other regions. I’m personally quite optimistic and think things are never as bad as they currently seem,” Jan continues. The importer thinks Trump’s actions are more likely to be propaganda. “I’d be surprised if Mexican avocados couldn’t enter the US anymore. Guacamole is on the menu there every week, I can’t imagine Mexican tomatoes and avocados suddenly wouldn’t be wanted in the US anymore. I therefore don’t expect a sudden increase in volume of these Mexican avocados to Europe in the short term. But with Trump one never knows whether it’s serious or not.”
French kiwi fruit
Exofi’s assortment of fruit and exotics actually doesn’t feature any new products. However, some peaks can be seen in sales. Sweet potatoes, particularly the red-fleshed ones, are selling better and better. “We’ve just finished our Spanish season and will now be sourcing in the US and Honduras. Sold amounts continue to rise. French kiwi fruit of Sikig was very beloved this year, prices were historically high due to a smaller production in France. The French kiwi fruit has a much better flavour and sugar content than its counterparts from Italy and Greece. The supply of Sikig kiwi fruit ended on 12 April this year. Exofi now sells the very firm and tasty kiwi fruit of the Japienou brand, and we can guarantee supply until 10 May. That’s more or less the date when the first real Zespri kiwi fruit from New Zealand will be supplied,” Jan says.
“We’re now also selling the final leafy clementines of the Fidels brand and the murcott variety. We think we’ll be able to do a few more weeks with supply of this variety, which tends to be new. The flesh of murcott is less red than of nadorcott, and its flavour can be compared to that of Orri. Spanish grapefruit is also reaching its end. The Starruby is limited in stock and expensive, but our season was a major success,” Jan explains.
“Regarding the daily supply of French beans, there happened to be some problems in recent weeks. Because of the dry weather in Kenya, supply of beans and legumes wasn’t sufficient. From now on, we’ll just have to wait and see what the Easter week will bring. Extensive experience shows scarcity around Easter, just like with Colombian passionfruit. That’s the case nearly every year. We’d therefore advice our customers to place their orders in advance. The pineapple market is fairly stable, and it’s more a case of not enough supply. Sales are going well and prices for the sweet gold pineapple are considerable,” Jan concludes.