“The prices on the strawberry market have recently risen sharply," says Gaston Opdekamp. He is the Director of the Belgian company, Coöperatie Hoogstraten. “We were already at a good level last week. Prices were around €5 per kg. This week, however, the average price was €8.80 per kg. The top 2AEE Elsanta sortings were going for €10.50."
These very high prices are in contrast to certain - low - price setting in the distribution sector. "We do day trading for the most part. We have also seen prices rise sharply. Two things can explain these prices. There are a substantial shortage and high demand on the market. The United Kingdom has been strong on the market recently. But I am seeing strawberries selling in Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium itself too," says Gaston.
“The modest strawberry volumes are a result of the very dark period we have been experiencing in recent weeks. As a consequence, there were fewer fruit settings. This is partly the reason for some of the production shifts," continues Opdekamp. “The Southern countries are also not in production yet. Morocco and Egypt will be the first countries on the market. Price/quality will play a role then too. People will pay for quality. If the quality is poor, we will have no competition."
Coöperatie Hoogstraten expects up to 350 tons of strawberries next week. This is in line with previous years. "Considering the current situation, I do not expect a drastic drop in prices next week. We assume these prices will set the tone," concludes Gaston.