Retail and food service sector trade remains buoyant. Colder weather forecast for the next week should drive home consumption. One year on from the invasion of Ukraine, there is still huge concern around the outlook and the cost of input materials and energy. It was announced this week that the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme will be extended, to 31 May 2023, and enhanced, including by reducing the threshold for qualification from a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs to 30% increase (to apply retrospectively from 1 September last year), and by increasing from 1 March the level of relief from 40% to 50% of eligible costs.
In the U.K. it is reported that growers appear to be more confident and some increased prices have been paid this week for very best quality.
Across Europe, prices in the fresh market are stable and good export movement to the Mediterranean continues with renewed interest for reds from Portugal. Trade to Eastern Europe is still being restricted by high pricing and transport costs.