This year's Egyptian strawberry season started with high prices. This was as a result of the high, albeit forced, prices established for the Dutch lit-cultivation strawberries. The market, therefore, dropped to an unprecedented low in November/December.
It has since picked up again. Lucien de Wit of Luba Fresh in the Netherlands takes stock, saying "The Egyptian strawberry window is becoming increasingly small. This ever-decreasing window is due to lit cultivation. In the past, clients went full out for Egyptian strawberries between 10 November and 10 January. This has started later and later in recent years."
"Prices started picking up again about ten days ago. This was desperately needed. I have seldom seen it as bad as it was earlier this month. Something still has to happen to compensate for these low prices. Even though the prices are currently at a good level."
Lucien expects a good demand until at least the first week in January. "After that, it depends on when Spain comes onto the market. If large volumes of Spanish strawberries come onto the market, Egypt must ensure they are off the market. Airfreight is simply too costly then."
The importer notices that Christmas always makes for extra demand for strawberries. "Egyptian strawberries are certainly still very popular on the German Christmas markets. They are often dipped in chocolate. The softer Dutch varieties are less suited to this."
"We cannot get the volumes we need to fill programs at the moment. If I were to get double as many strawberries as I am, these would be divided up. But, unfortunately, there are too few flights available. There are also the necessary delays. I am, however, expecting daily supplies until 20 January," De Wit concludes.