Benny Cuypers, of BelOrta:

"The demand usually falls in June, but asparagus prices remain at a good level"

Many eagerly await the asparagus season every year. For them, the moment when these seasonal vegetables can start to be harvested is always a highlight, but "the white gold" season isn't a long one. By June, volumes slowly begin to dwindle, and this year's season already appears to be nearing its end. "The peak in the production has already passed. We have about three more weeks and then it will be as good as over," says Benny Cuypers, of BelOrta.

"Overall, the productions have been a little smaller than in other years due to the weather being chilly and dark for quite a long time. Moreover, in the last few weeks, when the daytime weather improved, the nights have been cold. As a result, we have not had top productions this year. However, the quality has been fine thanks to this colder weather. The crops have been able to grow steadily; however, proportionally fewer blue asparagus have been delivered as a result."

Still, the cooperative's sales division head certainly doesn't consider this a bad season. "I think we can be satisfied with the pricing over the whole season. Due to the limited volumes and the ever sustained demand, prices have remained at a level that everyone could be satisfied with. Especially now, that the productions are starting to decrease, we see that prices are again increasing somewhat."

So as far as sales are concerned, there wasn't much to complain about this season. "Traditionally, asparagus pretty much sells itself on the domestic market. It is a seasonal vegetable par excellence, and everyone looks forward to its arrival, so they usually sell like hot cakes, especially when the productions are a bit disappointing. Moreover, it is well promoted by retailers."

"It has also gone well with exports. We have had good sales in Germany, France and southern Spain, and now the campaign will slowly dwindle. Based on past data, we can expect both the supply and demand to drop a bit in June, but we will probably be able to keep getting nice prices until the end of the season."

For more information:
Benny Cuypers
Mechelsesteenweg 120
B-2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium
+32 (0)15 55 11 11      

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