Tony Dewael, Bel'Export:

"We have to sell a lot of pears to sell out by the end of July"

The situation on the pear market is not that positive. “It is very disappointing,” says Tony Derwael of Bel’Export. “I don't know the exact reason, but I get the impression that the market is very slow and that the effects of corona are the opposite of the first lockdown. A few months ago people started hoarding and bought twice as much. Now it seems people are watching what they spend. Not just in Belgium and the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. Due to corona, it is quite possible that a recession is on the way and that is why people are spending their money sparingly. ”

“In addition, we also picked about 20% more pears this year. This is a lot more than we thought at the beginning of August. The rain in mid-August has made the pears grow. The fact is that if the pears are a measure coarser, you have 25% more production. I think size is one reason we picked more this year, ”says Tony. “20% is a lot. That's around 2 extra months sale that we have to get rid of on top of our regular 10 months. This puts some pressure on the market. Last year we were relaxed, because there was a shortage to come. Now we have to put a lot of volume away to be empty at the end of July. ”

On the other hand, according to Derwael, trade continues well. “The offtakes are normal for the time of the year. Despite the fact that the prices in the stores are higher than usual. At high prices you automatically get less consumption. On top of that, of course, there is the 20% extra pears, which certainly does not make things easy. In terms of quality, there is nothing wrong this year. A few pears were picked too late this year, but those volumes are pretty much off the market. I am also positive about the storage. In addition, the external quality is better than last year. That season we had roughening of the skin, but this year the pears look very nice. ”

“Another reason that there is more pressure on the market is that Italy will have normal production again this year. Last year they picked about 50% fewer pears. That represents 350 million kilos of pears, which is comparable to the entire Belgian harvest,” Tony continues. “It is difficult to say whether we will get another revival in the market. We hope so, of course, but when a recession arrives, I fear the worst. Fortunately, things look better for apples. The sales of apples will not cause any problems this season. In addition, our Belgian fruit is in the shops at high prices. All fruits are quite expensive, except for bananas. That's something I can't understand. ”

For more information:
Tony Derwael
Neremstraat 2
3840 Borgloon - Belgium
Tel +32 12 440 551

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