The Dutch greenhouse vegetable season is coming to an end and the Spanish season has started again. Commercial manager Henri Schockman of Levarht provides an update per product on the recent season and the current market situation. "The end result will differ considerably between the Dutch trading companies. If you are focused on retail, then you have had a good year in terms of sales. If you have a spread in sales between retail, food service and overseas markets, as is the case with us, one branch has the other compensated, but if you only have a focus on the last two channels, then it was problematic. "
Peppers: Good start, difficult summer and positive ending
“Last year we saw that Spain entered the market very early with peppers, which resulted in a very annoying price formation because there were two large producing countries on the market at the same time. This year the Spanish supply follows a more normal pattern and Spain is slowly emerging on the market as the Dutch supply is steadily declining. This week the market is not as it should be, but the past period has been better than last year. Looking further back, we saw two difficult months in June and July, after a good start, then the last part of the season was a lot more positive. All in all, we can certainly not complain about red and yellow peppers. The green pepper season went reasonably well and the market for orange peppers was even above average, although this was certainly partly due to the shrinking acreage. The warm period in early August did have a significant effect on the production, but qualitatively it was an excellent pepper year. "
Cucumbers: Bizarre start of the Spanish season
"The Dutch cucumber season got off to a very difficult start in the Netherlands this year. When the Corona virus struck in northwestern Europe, we saw a weak period after the first panic purchases in the hoarding weeks, which lasted until week 26/27. It wasn't until week 30 that cucumber prices rose and they have not fallen back afterwards. Normally we experience the necessary price pressure with the arrival of the Spanish cucumbers, but this year Spain has had a bizarre start with very high prices. There is still supply from the Netherlands, but less than we are used to and that creates a demand market, with Spain also keeping up with stock. "
Tomatoes: Disastrous market for beef tomatoes
According to Henri, the tomatoes were in the corner where the biggest blows fell. "In particular, the sale of loose tomatoes, which often find their way to the food service, has been disastrous. The loose tomatoes have been particularly troubled by this. In recent weeks prices have increased somewhat due to lower production, but that does not make the season good anymore. Currently the market is even under some pressure again now that imports from Spain and Morocco are increasing. All in all an extremely bad season. The season for vine tomatoes has also been difficult, although it was not as disastrous as the loose tomatoes. The market currently has a better balance due to the mediocre production, prices are better now, but it was certainly not a good year. You see that in recent years the supply of Spanish tomatoes gets going later than for instance the cucumbers and peppers."
Aubergines: Difficult start, good tail Dutch season
"The Dutch aubergine season started with difficulty in terms of production, but unlike in other years, good productions followed in the spring with good pricing. A number of things came together nicely, such as the good weather in Northwest Europe, the productions and the extra demand as a result. At the beginning of the summer, production was still good, but prices fell and consumption was also disappointing. The tail end of the season is good again. Production in the Netherlands is falling and the Spanish season isn't starting up too fast, so that ensures a market that is nicely balanced. All in all, a better aubergine season than last year. "
Traditionally, Levarht is active in the Spanish greenhouse vegetables to continue a number of lines to its customers in Europe, but also for sales to the United States and Canada when the traditional cultivation ends there. "Our advantage is that with our cultivation location in Mexico we have contact with those customers and can also respond quickly to developments in Mexican production. This year the air cargo capacity for these exports is a limiting factor. Normally there is quite a bit of trade with passenger aircraft, but those routes have come to a complete standstill because of the Corona measures," Henri concludes.