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Nico Schaft, 888 Fruit Company, France:

"Chinese chestnut prices under pressure, but Nashi pears are very pricey"

The coronavirus pandemic is placing a lot of extra pressure on many companies at Rungis, the Parisian wholesale market. "In March, our turnover even increased by 30 to 40%," says Nico Schaft of 888 Fruit Company. "Our advantage is that we mainly supply wholesalers, supplemented with supermarkets in Paris. All of them have been busy. The impact of the second wave is, indeed, somewhat less. Apparently, people are somewhat acclimatizing."

"But, we're chugging along nicely. We now have Chinese chestnuts again. Unfortunately, prices are under considerable pressure. Some importers are selling these at cost price. Last year, Chinese chestnuts prices were excellent. So, everyone started importing again. Even though Chinese chestnuts cost nothing compared to European chestnuts. Chinese chestnuts are going for €1,40/kg. French chestnuts cost between €3 and €3,50/kg."

According to Nico, sweet chestnuts are a great festive season product. "Now that it's getting colder, more and more people are buying chestnuts. The European target market appreciates the sweet chestnuts, but Asians also like them. The Chinese don't roast their chestnuts; they cook them. We also have fresh tamarind from Thailand on offer at the moment. It's a limited product, but we're its largest European importer."

There is a Chinese item that's currently very well-priced - Nashi pears. "Arrivals are very limited. Those that do come in have a five to six percent dropout rate. Their prices are still rising. Two months ago, they were going for between €10 and €11. Now, we're already at €15 to €16. But, these fluctuations are always occurring. TOV prices, for example, dropped by one euro in a week. Chicory, however, is very expensive again," Nico concludes.

For more information:
Nico Schaft
888 Fruit Company
Rungis, France
Tel: +33 (0) 145 603 640
Mob: +33 (0) 609 814 815
Email: [email protected]

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