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Slave Spaseski from Openica Ltd at the Berlin wholesale market

"Catastrophic price situation for German onions"

The marketing of German ware potatoes is going very smoothly at the moment. "There have been several price increases recently. This in turn has contributed to the farmers' reluctance to sell. This is because they are speculating there will be further price increases in the coming weeks. Personally, I am also expecting a further price increase by Christmas, although I cannot categorically rule out that the pain threshold has slowly but surely been reached," says Slave Spaseski, potato wholesaler at the Berlin wholesale market and managing director of Openica Ltd, which is based there.

There are generally fewer ware potatoes available for the German market, the potato merchant continues. "A lot of produce is currently being exported from Eastern Germany and Lower Saxony. The potatoes are shipped to Eastern European nations like Hungary and Romania. This is having a corresponding impact on the supply situation on the local markets."

Slave Spaseski (2nd from left) and team during's wholesale market visit in February 2023

According to Spaseski, the current marketing situation for onions is even worse than for potatoes. "The prices of German produce are catastrophic; sometimes 50 percent higher than last year. Red onions have recently risen considerably; they are now selling for €0.70-0.80/kg. I don't see any quality problems so far, although we often don't even realize how much has already been sorted out before the goods reach us."

Christmas specialties
Although potatoes and onions tend to be part of the fixed shopping basket, it can also be a little more unusual at Christmas. Spaseski: "French shallots are traditionally very popular at Christmas. Meanwhile, we also offer Annabelle potatoes from Cyprus. These are so-called winter potatoes, which are incomparable to the usual early potatoes that are offered in spring. The sales volumes are also considerably lower. Nevertheless, it is a great addition to our range and we are trying to carry the season through to the start of the actual Cypriot early potato harvest in March/April."

Sweet potatoes and garlic can be found at the Openica stand as well. "The sales volumes of sweet potatoes are increasing from year to year. Although the tuberous vegetable is now also being grown in Germany, we mainly rely on Beauregard and Covington from the US and Egypt. The latter currently dominates the market."

The wholesale company's product range is rounded off by garlic in a wide variety of forms. "We continue to source fresh garlic from the Netherlands, while dried garlic in 5-kg containers comes from either China or Spain. Although we are occasionally offered French goods, unfortunately they are too expensive," Spaseski concludes.

For more information:
Slave Spaseski
Openica GmbH Kartoffeln & Zwiebeln
Großmarkt Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 390 392 71
Fax: +49 30 390 392 73
Email: [email protected]

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