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Sauerkraut and red cabbage are scarce

The production of sauerkraut and red cabbage is in danger this year. According to Federation of Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industry Association (BOGK) in Bonn farmers and processors all over Europe expect large losses of crops. Depending on the cultivation areas the yield is about 55 percent below expectations. In Germany the most dominant cultivation areas are in Dithmarschen, northwest of Hamburg, around Stuttgart and in Niederbayern. This is caused by the long period of inappropriate water supply, it was too wet in the north and too dry in the south.

In these German cultivation areas the offer is lower than demand:
  • Dithmarschen about 40%
  • Nordbayern between 40% to 55%
  • Niederbayern and Württemberg between 30% to 40%
  • Rheinland about 20%
As a result the farmers can’t meet the contract obligations with the processing industry. They in turn adjust their processing to the current situation. In other words: The production of red cabbage and sauerkraut is limited.

The situation is exacerbated due to the unusually high demand for white cabbage in Eastern Europe, mainly Hungary and Poland. As well as the increase in the demand for red cabbage, since almost the entire harvest in Austria is lost.

Importers have to compete with the processing industry for the limited supplies. While at the end of the harvest there usually is some surplus, this year there is a huge disproportion between supply and demand.

Increased prices for cabbages is a consequence. At the moment price for white cabbage is three to four times higher than the contract prices. And the readily available red cabbage is two to three times more expensive.


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