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"Not much demand for purple pointed cabbage from our customers":

Price of Portuguese pointed cabbage dropped slightly as Spanish start their harvest

The Portuguese pointed cabbage season is in full swing and has been smooth and steady up until a few weeks ago, says Valter Coelho, general manager for Portuguese fresh produce exporter Valfresh: "Here in Portugal, the pointed cabbages season export is normally between January and end of May. Our company has been exporting since January, mainly to Holland, with programs defined in advance and before the season starts. It continues at a good pace, although, in recent weeks, there has been a price reduction due to Spain having also started its season. In terms of quality, and particularly this season, we have superb quality."

Purple pointed cabbage is one of the trendy products, but in reality, the product did not see much demand last year, Coelho explains. "This season, we didn`t do purple pointed cabbages. Last season, we did some trials, and they went well in terms of quality, but as there isnĀ“t much demand from our customers, we chose not to do it this year. The purple-pointed cabbage has a lot of potential, but in terms of volume, it does not fit our objectives. This product still has a way to go, like promoting it to the end consumer, so that we can move forward with consistent volumes."

Valfresh has a smooth season as their orders had been set well in advance, eliminating risks for the most part, Coelho states: "In Europe, we only have Portugal and Spain with good volumes of pointed cabbage at the moment. We have a planned production of around 2 million kilos, which is entirely destined for the Dutch market. No impacts on our export capacity or major competition from other markets are expected until mid-May. The biggest challenge that occurred with the current crop is the product originating from Egypt that arrives in European markets at much lower prices and puts a lot of pressure on the market to reduce prices."

Coelho feels that the pointed cabbage from Portugal is in a very good position compared to the competitors in the market. "The quality of our pointed cabbages this year is at the same level as previous years. It is a product that we have mastered very well, and we manage to have a very consistent supply in terms of quality every year. This is due to the western region of Portugal, which has a very temperate climate with mild winters that allow for consistent and regular quality throughout the entire crop cycle. In terms of quantities, this year, we've increased our acreage by 20 percent, leading to more production."

Only recently, when the Spanish volumes came onto the market, prices for pointed cabbages started dropping a bit. However, Coelho expects prices to increase again shortly: "Looking at prices, we started the season very well, with a good appreciation of the product. In the last two weeks, we've seen consistent price drops as Spain has also started to harvest, and with more volume available on the market, prices have naturally dropped by around 20 to 25 percent. But the expectation is that the price will increase again in two weeks as the volumes available, particularly in Spain, will be smaller."

For more information:
Valter Coelho
Tel.: +351 263 595 009