"When it comes to supply, the Medjool date market is currently very stable. South Africa and Namibia are in production. The dates are just a little smaller than usual. Date demand rose in recent weeks due to Ramadan. But this increase in demand was shorter-lived than last year. In contrast, prices are in line with 2019," says Laurent La Morella of the Belgian wholesaler, Lorre. In addition to the new harvest, there are also last season's Medjool dates available. These are from Israel, the US, and Mexico.
Laurent La Morella
Belgian markets have been closed due to COVID-19. Since then, Laurent has sold more small pack dates. "Market vendors mostly take 5kg boxes, while retailers and smaller store owners prefer smaller packaging. The hygiene measures also contribute to people buying packaged products rather than products that have to be scooped."
"This crisis caused supply problems for us for about four weeks too. When China went into complete lockdown, many containers were stuck in its ports. This created a container shortage in the rest of the world. The packed dates were also delayed since warehouses were closed for a while. The situation has since normalized. We have to, however, wait and see how this virus behaves in certain countries. These are those that are in or are coming into, production. If it flares up there again, there is a big chance those countries will go back into lockdown," concludes Laurent.