The Spanish full soil vegetable supply is off to a difficult start. "There is cold weather and shortages," Ruud de Koning sums up the situation. He is from Brassica Trade in Dirkshorn. This town can be found in the Dutch province of North Holland.
"This is resulting in good prices. Broccoli is selling at around €2-2,50 from Spain. The price depends on its specifications. Cauliflower is going for about €10-12."
According to the trader, prices are not expected to fall in the coming weeks, either. "Of course, you never know. But frost is expected in Spain next week. I, therefore, do not think supplies will begin smoothly."
"I expect the trade shortage to remain, certainly for the next two weeks. Demand is not very wild now. With these prices, you get the expected drop-outs."
Broccoli is not such a big item at the moment. However, in the summer, we supplied a lot of this product to countries in Southern Europe. But that has also, unfortunately, become a fighting market," says Ruud.
"The low supply is partly due to the extreme weather that hit Spain in September. Farmers also started earlier. A lot of broccoli had been rained out here, in the Netherlands. Many Dutch growers had issues with blemishes because of the late placement."
"This meant a lot of fields had to be milled. This was a blow for many farmers. The season had been reasonably good. It is expected that quite a few growers will again stop farming this year. The quality requirements are only becoming stricter," explains De Koning.
There is not only a shortage of broccoli and cauliflower. The supply of endive and spinach is also problematic. "Italy experienced extreme weather too. Alternatives are, therefore, limited. Carrot trading is still going relatively well. The trade in white and red cabbage is very quiet."
Brassica Trade supplies both exporters and wholesalers. These, in turn, deliver products to retailers and the processing industry. "Most of our full soil vegetables end up in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Eastern Europe," concludes Ruud.