Belgian leeks were very expensive last week. That is due to the issues the rainfall is causing in that country. "It's hard to harvest leeks at the moment, so there's much less supply, which drives prices up," begins Guy De Meyer of Demargro.
The abundance of rain caused problems for potatoes, carrots, and cabbage and hindered leek harvesting. "There's so much water on the fields that it's difficult to get the product nicely off them. And it just keeps raining, so the soil's slowly becoming oversaturated. Modern growers have vehicles equipped with caterpillar tracks, but still, the situation complicates leek production. The wet weather means there's more soil to get off the leeks. That all makes it take far longer to get everything ready for market."
"Neither does anyone have much stock, so prices stay high. Last week, they were at €1.18/€1.20 for grades 3-4. That's quite expensive, so sales are noticeably beginning to slow. Especially since French leeks are cheaper, so people will more likely choose those. The high prices shocked everyone, which made sales trickier. Nevertheless, demand from France and Spain remains reasonable, and Germany is quietly starting to enter the market," says Guy.
He says the leeks have excellent quality. "We're switching from fall to winter leeks. The fall leeks had some thrips, so a new grading was created. That was for the more thrips-sensitive leeks. The winter leeks are much greener and less sensitive to thrips. I, thus, don't expect any problems with that."
Cabbages were not spared the downpour either. "They're well-priced too. White cabbages go for around €0.70 and the red ones for €0.50. At between €0.70 and €0.75, savoy cabbage prices are also quite good. Much of the cabbage has already been grubbed, but there are certainly still some in the field. Hopefully, it will get a bit drier so the last volumes can also be harvested," Guy continues.
"Strawberries are currently extremely expensive. Last week's prices were ones we've rarely seen. You paid €5.50 to €6 for a tray. That's partly because demand's still quite high but mainly because there's minimal supply on the market Europe-wide. That supply now usually comes from Belgium and the Netherlands."
"This month, however, there's a gap. Volumes from Egypt are also still delayed. That country will eventually provide some relief, and the Belgian and Dutch supplies will pick up. For now, though, prices are, I think, at an all-time high," Guy concludes.
Source - https://www.freshplaza.com