Denis Piper, Melzig LLC

First stone fruit arrivals: "Consumers are slowly getting tired of clementines"

The mood on the German market is slowly improving. After weeks of restrictions, the easing of Corona measures is now being discussed and the first summer fruits are bringing a breath of fresh air into the trade. "Consumers are slowly getting tired of clementines and are delighted with the arrival of the first stone fruit, mainly from Spain," says Denis Piper from Melzig LLC in Aschaffenburg.

"We now have the full range of stone fruit, from peaches, to apricots and nectarines, in sufficient quantities and prices are falling rapidly," he reports. "In the last week, prices have fallen by a good 50%. In addition, the traded units are larger; instead of 500g units, 1kg units are now seen more and more often".

A few days ago, crop forecasts for apricots were announced in Spain, France, Italy and Greece, with a significant drop, mainly due to the mild winter and other weather caprices in the major European growing areas. How will this affect the German market?

"At the moment it is not that bad. Apricots are basically a popular product, but the sizes and varieties are not yet ideal. Later in the season, however, we will feel the effects of such shortages," says Piper. In general, he says, there is a slight shortage due to warm winters and dry, hot summers. But that's not always a bad thing, he says: "Flooding the market is bad for everyone, for producers and for the trade. With balanced quantities, prices remain stable, so I'm not worried yet."

As far as the reference countries are concerned, Spain is still at the top of the list, but it has long since ceased to be the only player on the market: "Greece came out of nowhere a few years ago and is slowly making inroads into the European apricot market. This will certainly become more interesting in the future.

Another product that is firmly established in the trade these days is the melon: "The first watermelons are already on the market and we are already seeing Galias. When the weather is good, watermelons are clearly in the foreground, while exotic varieties are clearly losing popularity".

These days there is no way around strawberries and asparagus. The strawberry development is pleasing, after people feared the worst: "The prices for strawberries are only slightly above the previous year's price. At the beginning of the season, prices were slightly higher, but that was also due to the panic. Many producers were unsure how they could do their work without laborers."

Meanwhile, Piper sees favourable prices, despite the holidays: "Despite Easter and Mother's Day, prices are dropping. Dutch strawberries also play a big role here - when the prices of imported goods are low, German prices usually follow suit."

For more information:
Denis Piper, Verkaufsleiter
Melzig GmbH
Frischezentrum Aschaffenburg 
Magnolienweg 46
63741 Aschaffenburg
Tel  06021 / 15087-52  

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