The current pineapple summer is vastly different from last year's market situation. This is according to Mark Tweddle, Director of the Jupiter Group.
"There is a gap in the supply. This gap is due to the fruit's natural flowering. This was in combination with El Niño's climate-changing effect. This weather affected the entire Costa Rican region. These factors caused an imbalance in supply and demand," says Mark.
"Ecuador and Panama were able to fill this supply gap to a certain degree. But they were also affected by the unusually hot weather and nutrient-poor water. These are typical of El Niño."
Mark Tweddle on a farm in Costa Rica
"These factors resulted in smaller fruit and decreased availability. Day trade prices for large sizes reached the €13 to €15 level. We have not seen these kinds of prices in many years. The American market wants lots of big pineapples. At the moment, only 50% of our supply meets these demands. This demand is making for huge pressure on the European supply. It is also causing less availability and high prices for the large sizes, " Mark explains.
Hugo Vermeulen and Mark Tweddle
"Fortunately, this situation is changing. In general, supply is increasing. From week 38, most of the regions will have the projected volumes again. We expect the imbalance between supply and demand to correct itself too. We think we will soon see the same prices are those in the first four months of the year. We have good, high-quality availability from our plantations in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama," concludes Mark.