Prices remain high on the strawberry market. These were noted in the run-up to Christmas. Many of these strawberries are sold in programs. Limited supplies are being traded on the free market. These strawberries are also well priced. Imports from the South now need to pick up. Expectations are good. All this is according to what was heard at the 2020 Strawberry Day.
Earlier, there was still talk of a challenging market with low prices. That was at the beginning of December. There is currently also quite a lot of product from Egypt on the market. Prices, however, rose as Christmas approached. That was because consumers in the Netherlands and Belgium are usually willing to pay more for locally-grown strawberries at that time. This benefits Dutch and Belgian growers.
Johan Van Alphen of Special Fruit visiting Coöperatie Hoogstraten, where Marcel Biemans and Peter Rombouts were manning the stand.
Good weather, good import expectations
Last year, prices peaked at around €12/kg in the second week of January. Things were no different this year. Prices of €6 or €7/kg for Class A strawberries are not considered impossible at the moment. Now it is a waiting game to see what the market will do. Supplies from the South will increase soon.
Last year, the cold weather in Spain delayed the start of the strawberries supply from there a little. This year, weather conditions were good in that country. Import expectations are, therefore, good too. At The Greenery, they will, for instance, start with imported Sweet & Sunny strawberries on Monday.
Here, The Greenery's soft fruit team is almost ready to call it a day. In the photo are Rob van der Weele, Marin Robbertsen, Arno Renne, Klaas de Jager, Johan de Jongh, and Sjraar Hulsman
What does the lack of cold mean for spring cultivation?
It has, thus far, not been really cold in Spain. That has also been the case in Belgium and the Netherlands. That is bad for winter coat sales. But, if these high temperatures continue, they may be bad for something else too - the Dutch and Belgian farmers' spring strawberry productions. After all, strawberry plants need a bit of cold.
Johan Van Alphen certainly did the rounds. He also visited Veiling Zaltbommel. Here he is with Henk Bekkers, on the left, and Arthur Elsen, on the right. Veiling Zaltbommel started with Elsantas from Portugal in December. This will run through until the end of April/beginning of May. Soon, the Gariguette 'tasty strawberry' will be added to their range too.
On the whole, the mood among the growers and sellers at the Strawberry Day was good. An increasing number of growers are also focusing on (lit) greenhouse cultivation. The high prices are certainly a boon for lit cultivators. They can at least cover their higher costs.
Harrie Jonker, Martin Wakker, Matthias Timmer, and Hans Lodder of FruitMasters, who will go into production with their growers from midway through March.
Peaks and troughs characterize the strawberry market. However, it is sometimes said a stable kg price of €4 or €5 might be better for the market. The market instability makes it difficult to make long term predictions. The weather is even more unpredictable than supply and demand. Weather conditions always have a huge effect on the strawberry market.
The ISFCF and Strawberry Days' photo report will follow tomorrow.