Belgian importer of Spanish vegetables:

"EU: "Large shortages of broccoli and courgettes"

The Spanish vegetable season has already been going for a while, but because of the colder weather the vegetables do not grow as well in the production areas, such as Murcia and Almeria, Allicante. Recently Almeria also had flooding. At the start of the season supply was large because of the warmer weather and now one talks about the opposite. "It is very busy in the vegetable trade," a Belgian trader explains. "It is a fact that there is a shortage of various products, but the demand is large."

"The largest shortages are with broccoli and courgettes and it does not look like this will change soon. Production is just low and that is the result of various factors. The most important one is the colder weather: during the day it is not too bad, during the nights and mornings temperatures are low. Nothing grows as well as at the start."

Towering prices
"With courgettes there is of course the problem with the New Delhi-virus, which has been spreading quickly the whole season. The results are clear. There is a shortage and prices are extremely high. In addition to a shortage of courgettes and broccoli there is also a lot less iceberg lettuce. Three weeks ago the market was flooded with it and now one has to search for it. The shortage is immediately noticeable in the price. Courgette on Monday was about 13 to 13.5/5 kg. Iceberg lettuce was
Euro 10. Broccoli was extremely expensive at a price of 19 to 20 Euro. The question remains whether the prices will still increase further. Last week it was still lower. The difference could be one or two Euro. I wonder how long people will pay these high prices. With the holidays there is demand, therefore I do not expect a change in the situation quickly. Prices will not decrease for the time being. The only vegetable, of which much is available, are peppers. They are sufficiently available and therefore not so expensive."

According to the importer this is a good time for the trade. "Nevertheless one must be careful to continue serving one's existing clients. Of course one can now sell broccoli to everybody, but one should supply those people who are also there when the product is cheap first of all. It is difficult to predict what will happen. However, what we know is that nobody can fight against nature."

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