Belgium: Stalemate paralyses pear market

The pear industry is suffering from tensions that affect production. Growers are keeping their pears locked away as long as prices aren't getting higher. Market prices hover around 1 Euro, whereas growers’ prices are about 80 cents.

“They have had a lousy season last year and now growers want to scrape the bottom of the barrel,” says a Belgian trader. “So they keep sitting on the produce until prices go up. They want 10 cents more, as far as I can say. It’s all about the customer: is he willing to pay extra? Chances are the growers will continue to wait. Soon, other regions will roll out their crop and our customers will move on.”

Said trader finds himself between a rock and a hard place. “Nobody is giving in,” he says. “It’s definitely a stalemate. Growers are betting Russia will take the pears, but Russian buyers are already looking at Poland. This could affect the market in a big way.”

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