The global pineapple market has seen some ups and downs recently, with lower production in the main country of origin, Costa Rica, affecting other markets. In the Netherlands, reduced pineapple planting in Costa Rica has resulted in higher prices, benefitting larger growers. In Italy, the market is described as "strange" due to low demand and an influx of summer and autumn produce. Meanwhile, Spain has witnessed an increase in pineapple imports, with notable growth in 'other' pineapple presentations. In North America, the supply of pineapples from Costa Rica is steady, though demand may be softer. In Costa Rica itself, production is rebounding in time for Christmas. Panama is experiencing a rising demand for pineapples, while Ecuador's pineapple production is gradually increasing after a recent dip.
Netherlands: Lower planting in Costa Rica causes higher pineapple prices
In general, large volumes of pineapple are not available from Costa Rica. "Due to the poor prices in recent years, many (smaller) growers have disappeared and therefore less has been planted," says a Dutch importer. The larger growers that have remained have planted normal volumes. This results in better prices on the market. For the common sizes 5 and 6 the price is around 12 euros, for size 7 11.50 euros is paid, for size 8 the selling price is around 9.50 euros, the price of size 9 is 9 euros and of size 10 8.50 euros. Due to the crop timing, we naturally expect a bit more volumes around the Christmas period, but otherwise there are no crazy things in store. The high colour pineapple is currently selling between €12.50 and €15 for sizes 5/6/7/8."
Germany: Pineapple market 'unspectacular'
The pineapple market can currently be described as 'unspectacular'. "There is no outstanding marketing pressure to be observed and the marketing of the ship's goods is running smoothly. Only the qualities are sometimes a bit restrained. Mostly "gold goods" from Costa Rica are offered, as well as standard goods from Ecuador. The latter is somewhat cheaper in the sale,“ a wholesaler says.
Similar to other exotics, pineapple sells well, especially during the cold season. "From the end of November, demand usually tends to go up, with 6/7 calibers in particular finding good favor at the wholesale market. The slightly smaller product (8-caliber), on the other hand, is particularly suitable for food retailers." The MD2 is still by far the main variety, although during the Santa Claus period, Sweet Cayenne flyers are also well received.
Italy: ‘Strange’ market for pineapples currently
It is currently not a very good time for pineapples. A major wholesaler in northern Italy says that the best, top quality product is currently (beginning of week 41) selling at 1.30-1.40€/kg. These are not very high figures, but the market is strange. Due to the weather, there are still many summer products, but autumn products such as apples and pears are also making their way. Demand for pineapple is low.
The types of pineapple on the market are green pineapple, pineapple ripened on the plant and pineapple imported by air. Most of this is green pineapple transported by ship. Approximately 70% of retail sales are held by retailers; many greengrocers don't buy it for fear of having unsold stock and losing money.
According to the GfK Consumer Panel, pineapples are bought by almost 8 million Italian families. The increase in the price of pineapple, compared to a consistent quantity, does not help to support pineapple sales in this inflationary period.
France: pineapple prices on the rise
The French pineapple market is currently on an upward trend. The average price is currently €3.60 per kg this week, slightly higher than the €3.50 per kg recorded last week. This rise is due to a slight increase in demand. Overall, during the first six months of 2023, sales volume increased by 5%, compared to the same period last year. The outlook for pineapple sales in France is therefore positive, as demand should continue to grow in line with a growing appetite for exotic fruits.
Spain: Imports from Spain increase
A detailed analysis of pineapple imports in Spain from January to July, consulting the latest data from the Customs and Excise Department of the Tax Agency, reveals an increase in imports of 11.4% in volume and 9.9% in value compared to those carried out in the same period of 2022.
In the first seven months of the year, 99,060 tons were imported, compared to 88,950 in the same months of 2022, for a value of 81.87 million euros, while last year, to date, they totalled 74.49 million of euros.
Taking into account the different tariff codes, there is a notable decrease in imports in the 'dried pineapple' category, which has fallen from 323.98 tons between January and July 2022, to 160.58 tons this year; The volumes of 'fresh pineapple' have shown a slight contraction of 2%, while the bulk of the imported volumes included in the category of 'other' presentations have risen by 14.5% to almost 84,000 tons.
North America: Supply of pineapple from Costa Rica back to steady levels
The supply of pineapple is steady right now. One shipper reports seeing a lot of product on the market leaving pricing as good, aggressive, promotable pricing. While some product is coming out of Mexico, the majority is from Costa Rica.
Compared to last year at this time, supply and pricing look relatively similar. Demand is a bit less but that could also be because consumers are now tightening their belts somewhat and watching what they spend.
This level of supply may look similar to last year at this time but it’s a different picture from even a few months ago. Towards the middle to the end of the summer, pricing was in the high $20s and it’s now back into the low teens. That was primarily due to a shortage out of Costa Rica at the time.
As for pricing, it’s also likely to stay steady.
Costa Rica: Production recovering in time for Christmas
The country is recovering in production after lower volumes following the natural flowering period that usually leaves a big gap according to a producer. The volumes dropped in general in the whole industry. The recovery in production is coming in time for the Christmas season producers here say. They say demand in Europe is not high at the moment, with supply also not high. Prices are also not as high as expected, but they are stable.
Panama: Demand for pineapples on the rise
Panama is preparing to take advantage of the window starting from end November to February as they see lower supply from other big supplying countries to the U.S. and Europe. Producers in Panama say the current demand for pineapples is on the rise with the largest exporting countries that do not have enough supply to meet the current demand. They expect the demand for pineapples to be peaking from the end of November to February.
Ecuador: Production increases again
Pineapple production is starting to increase again after lower production in recent weeks. They are also seeing lower demand in key markets, hoping it will improve at the end of this month as their production is starting to pick up again.
Next week: Global Market Overview Oranges!