Laurent De Smedt, BelOrta:

"Good money for pears of all sizes; lousy apple prices"

This year, apples and pears are not performing equally well on the top fruit market. So says Laurent De Smedt, the head of this division at BelOrta in Belgium. "The pear market should pick up even more in the coming weeks. I hope the apple market's tide turns at some point."

"We've sold good pear volumes. We're ahead of last year's schedule, and the prices speak for themselves. Last week, the large sizes (70-75) were being auctioned for €1. The 65s at €0.95 and the 60s at €0.85. Even the small sizes (55) were getting €0.82. So, all the sizes were making good money."

This good pear market does not come as a complete surprise to Laurent. "European stocks were very low in the summer already. Italy, in particular, has few pears. Sales to Germany are progressing especially well. That country usually buys 1kg punnets. But, this year, they are also ordering plenty of packed pears in sizes 65, 70, and 75. So, that's definitely a bonus."

"Conference pears are going all over Europe. Italy and France are also participating well in the market this year. And China, despite the higher prices, continues to load our pears too. Sales of the blushed Fred pears have also been excellent," continues Laurent. "There are still limited available volumes, but demand increases every year. Initially, we sold these to Belgian retailers. We've, however, done the first tests towards Germany. Finally, our Migo pears have also all been sorted and sold."

Apple sales, on the other hand, have been more challenging. "Unlike pears, most of these sales are local, and we have limited exports. We have a larger volume of apples than last year, and the prices are underwhelming. The apples are of top quality, but the market just won't pick up. That, while, say, Jonagold, is now an excellent supermarket promotions item. Kanzis are, nonetheless, holding up. There is a shortage of the larger sizes in these," Laurent concludes.

For more information:
Laurent De Smedt, Head of the Top Fruit Division
BelOrta
Tel: +32 (0) 126 70 260
Email: Laurent.desmedt@belorta.be  
Website: www.belorta.be


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