"The tomato market seems to be relatively normal at this time of year - but if the hospitality industry would have been functioning normally, the price levels would have been a lot higher. Paprika was trading for slightly more for a short time; now the prices are dropping gradually," Daniel Schury - Managing Director of Franz Schmitt LLC, vegetable specialist at the Munich wholesale market - outlines the current price development in the vegetable category.
During the German season, the company purchases cucumbers almost exclusively from the nearby Gartenbauzentrale Main-Donau eG. "Tomatoes are sourced from Germany, Holland or Belgium, depending on variety and availability. In the case of peppers, we continue to rely mainly on Dutch produce, as German production is usually insufficient or too variable in quality to supply our wholesale and food retail customers. All in all, in times of Corona one can see an increased demand for regional products, such as German courgettes, which have been available since the beginning of the month."
Managing Director Daniel Schury of Franz Schmitt LLC
Abundant supply of goods
The supply could be ensured smoothly across the entire fruit vegetable category, adds Schury. "Cucumbers have largely been available in sufficient quantities so far, except for a small gap a few weeks ago when everyone had their planting change. There were a few days of somewhat less product." There wasn't much pressure on the price of paprika from Spain until a few weeks ago: "The Dutch product was considerably more expensive at that time. As soon as the Dutch product availability expanded, the price level was adjusted downwards accordingly. In my view, this helped to ease the overall market situation. In this sense, we see a good supply situation - there is no shortage."
In the case of tomatoes, the Dutch product performs very well, especially in May, observes Schury. "In terms of volume, May is clearly the month with the largest volume of Dutch tomatoes, after that it tends to get less and the pressure on prices generally decreases accordingly". Meanwhile, other countries of reference are coming to the fore again, such as Italy for cherry tomatoes. "Cherry tomatoes were very cheap until recently, but now there's a price premium."
Turnover balances out
All in all, the dedicated fruit trader was quite satisfied with the current market conditions. "Of course, we, too, have felt the drop in sales in the wake of the gastro closure. Because of the increased turnover in the weekly market trade and food retail trade, the bottom line was more or less the same."