Price formations on the chicory market have been difficult in the last four or five weeks. "At the Belgian auctions, this sold for between €0.40 and €0.80. There was also a lot of competition from packed French chicory," says Sjan van Gorsel of Reijnpack, a Dutch chicory packaging company.
"Prices are, however, now picking up again. Auction prices rose well above the euro mark this week. The market is still somewhat erratic. One day there's plenty of demand, the next day, it's much less. But winter is coming, so we expect more stable sales. Price should then be able to remain higher."
"The harvesting season has begun. The first plots have been grubbed. That's not something that can just happen easily everywhere. Some fields can't be grubbed because of deviating roots. The yields per hectare are lower than in previous years. This might be a general problem across Europe. That could be favourable for price formations as the season approaches. This year has been very erratic for red chicory too. That price was often at dumping levels of €1.35/kg," Sjan continues.
"This week, it picked up again briefly to €6 to €7 per kg. This market is so unpredictable; it's almost impossible to anticipate. What worries us is the increasing raw materials and energy prices. Our cost price is rising significantly because of that. We hope our customers understand that prices. too, will have to rise. Not everyone does. We were certified for Planet Proof last year. This doesn't offer clients anything extra. But you have to incur considerable costs to become certified."
"Also, we've expanded our cold storage capacity. We can now cool most of our carrot stock on site. They're then right here, which saves a lot of transport movements. That's far better for the environment. And we're working on further automating our production process. By using robots, we can cut back on some jobs. That's also necessary because it's becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified workers. We keep moving because standing still is going backward," Sjan concludes.