In the Netherlands, the good weather is currently making for a substantial asparagus supply on the market. "This beautiful spring weather is benefitting asparagus consumption too. There's even more enthusiasm than in other years for this product, especially at Dutch retailers," says Will Teeuwen of Teboza. "Demand for peeled asparagus is rising significantly, thanks to increased demand from the hospitality and foodservice sectors. But retailers are also running more promotions with peeled asparagus this year."
"However, our neighboring countries, particularly Germany, are taking less Dutch asparagus than before. I can't quite figure out why. It's a shame, though, because although most of the asparagus we grow is consumed locally, exports are very welcome. Especially given that German per-household asparagus consumption is even higher than in the Netherlands."
"That definitely affected the last two weeks' price developments in the day trade. And then you have to ask yourself whether the current auction prices are a reference for market prices. After all, that concerns volumes for which there are no customers. I think you have to ensure you have buyers for the quantity you cultivate," says Will.
"Also, there are far fewer auction buyers than, say, 20 years ago. The current clock prices, in my opinion, give a distorted picture and don't reflect realistic market prices. There will still be nice volumes on the market for the next two or three weeks. Then, acreage will dwindle fast. Quite a few hectares will already be going out of production in the coming weeks."
"This year's demand for green asparagus, which we cultivate in Spain, is excellent too. We're selling significantly more of these, and prices are at a good, stable level. However, that crop has been very challenging. The bad weather in Spain affected our plots too," Teeuwen explains.
"A lot of rain and cold weather isn't ideal for growing green asparagus. We're going to keep harvesting until early June. We'll get the kilos in the end, but the focus has now shifted to much later in the season. That's why we'll have overseas green asparagus for longer at the beginning of the year to serve our customers."
"That generally makes it an entirely different year than the last few years. But perhaps, that changeability is what makes and keeps this profession so great. Where's the fun in following the same script every year? And because our company focuses wholly on growing asparagus, we can respond quickly to developments," Will concludes.