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"Rony de Ceuster: "Weak week with All Saints ahead"

"Many Belgian vegetables very cheap at the moment"

At the moment the fruit and vegetable sector is in the transition phase from domestic to Spanish vegetables. Part of the trade is choosing the Spanish product and other are still buying Belgian and Dutch vegetables due to the low price. According to Rony de Ceuster it will be a weak week in Belgium. "This is due to the Belgian holiday All Saints coming up. There are a lot of people on holiday in our country, it's very quiet," he indicates.

Leek very cheap
"We could feel it coming last week, the orders were becoming a little smaller and everyone is slowing down. This meant that the prices stayed at a low level and some even went down. Tomatoes remained at around the same level, despite a smaller supply. Chicory and lettuce are weak. Leek is very cheap, this is due to a large supply and little export. It's really still too warm in Europe. The leek prices have dropped below 20 cents and it was even 15 to 16 cents in Roeselare today. Cauliflower is also being sold for low prices. There is still a large amount of product coming in, around 12,000 boxes arrived in Belgium today."

According to the trader the quality of the domestic vegetables is decreasing. "It is mainly noticeable in courgettes and peppers. The supply is getting smaller, but there is Spanish product on the market at the same time, which is keeping the prices low. There is still a price difference between the two. The domestic iceberg lettuce, for instance, is sold for 2 Euro per box and the Spanish variety goes for 2 Euro more. Despite the lesser quality, the domestic product is still interesting due to the lower price." According to Rony the wholesalers' switch to Spanish vegetables differs every year. "If they already have a programme running in Spain at the end of the Belgian season the prices of the domestic products stay low and our season dies a slow, painful death. If they still buy from Belgian, we sometimes get a revival." He doesn't expect a revival in the vegetable market any time soon. "As long as it doesn't freeze in Europe the market situation won't change."

The company Compra has been active in Sint-Katelijne-Waver since April last year. Compra is mainly specialised in buying and supplying Belgian fruit and vegetables. Most of their clientèle is located in Belgium.

For more information:
Rony de Ceuster
Compra BVBA
Kempenarestraat 64/2
2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver - Belgium
T: +32 (0) 15 569 202
F: +32 (0) 15 550 511

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