The current pineapple market isn't wild. "In fact, it's stuck on repeat. Good sizes (5, 6, 7) go for around €8. The smaller sizes are selling for €7 to €7.50. Mind you, that's the cost price for getting pineapples delivered to the Netherlands. So you won't get rich from pineapples at the moment," Miguel Gonzalez of MG Fruit observes. This company relocated at the beginning of this year. They're now in the Dutch Agricultural cooperative, Kivits-Goes', new building.
"The many delays haven't done healthy price settings any good either. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns play a role. But, I think for the pineapple market, the problem lies deeper. There's simply not a healthy balance between supply and demand. "Consider, say, watermelons. They're also missing out on sales to the hospitality industry. But they've been selling for between €1.30 and €1.40 for weeks now. And in the winter."
China has banned Taiwanese pineapple imports. According to this experienced importer, this may well affect pineapple trade flows. "Europe and the United States remain Costa Rica's top destinations, by far. They're trying to get pineapples to China. And a few containers will undoubtedly go there. But it remains a logistically difficult task," he explains.
The Galia, yellow, and Cantaloupe-melon market's nothing special either, says Miguel. That's in contrast to watermelons. "It's going to be interesting to see how things go on that market. The Central American melon season started far too late. We usually get the first volumes in early February. This year, however, the real volumes are only coming in this week."
"That's a month late. And the first watermelons from Morocco will arrive in early April, quickly followed by Spain. It's therefore going to be quite a challenge to sell the melons from Central America in four weeks. We need good weather for that. Especially since the hospitality industry's still closed," Miguel concludes.