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Perry Verstraaten, wholesaler de Blaeij:

Price fluctuations making it difficult for strawberry sales

Right now exporters are having a harder time than wholesalers, says Perry Verstraaten from De Blaeij (a wholesale company). "I am hearing a lot of bad things about export right now. We still serve the same customers, that continues as usual. Although trade has been quite slow for us the last few weeks. But in general you can see that it is getting better."

Extreme situation with hard fruit
He says that with hard fruit especially there is talk of extremely low prices. "This year we have had a big, perfect (in terms of quality) harvest." De Blaeij customers are not very interested in hard fruit right now. A lot of people are not going to the stores to buy apples and pears right now, they are plucking them themselves. Also, more and more fruit growers are selling right at their company. Some are brining the fruit home for free. That is also not improving the situation." He expects the interest in hard fruit to increase again. "Fruit that is not saved will first have to be taken off the market. After that there may be more that will be kept in storage." According to him the prices are really low. "Since last week the price for pears has increased a few cents, but that is not much. There is also not much happening with apples. At auction they were around 17 cents. Now the best apples are close to 50 cents. The breed of apples does not matter that much. The price of most apples is similar."

Perry Verstraaten, in the beginning of 2013 in Evergem

Strawberry prices are fluctuating a great deal right now. "Every week the price changes quite a bit. One week they are 1.25, and the next week they are 2.80 or more. Monday (October 6) the price was low: 1.45. That is difficult to convey to customers. There are some retailers that have just stopped their strawberry sales. But there are still plenty of strawberries being supplied. There is always more to be picked."

He thinks it is a good development that other products are being added in again. "The new citrus season is beginning again. We have just started with the Satsuma's and they are doing well. The price is reasonable, around 10 Euro for a box. If they taste good, then they will be sold. In a few weeks we will have the good oranges available. We are looking forward to that."

For more information:
Perry Verstraaten
Groothandel de Blaeij
Lange Reksestraat 8
4538 AZ Terneuzen (Nederland)
Brugse Steenweg 7/40
9940 Evergem (Belgiƫ)
T +31(0)115-613234
F +31(0)115-694943
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