There has been a spike in vegetable prices recorded in the Netherlands in recent weeks. Timothy Dieduksman of www.supermarktscanner.nl reports that cauliflower, courgette and iceberg lettuce all rose dramatically in price, while broccoli, bell pepper, green beans and chicory are also more expensive. Dieduksman said, “Earlier this year, there was a declining price trend for many vegetables. That trend was broken after week 11 when extra strict national measures were introduced in the fight against the Coronavirus.” This impacted prices, of certain vegetables, with spikes of about 55% recorded for some between weeks 11 and 14, particularly for produce coming from Spain. The collapse of the catering industry has further destabilised the market, meaning that end consumers constitute 100% of purchases. This is likely to remain the case for some time. Therefore, people’s perceptions of which fruit and vegetables can offer health benefits and have longer shelf life might well determine demand for the foreseeable future.
The global banana production has declined slightly due to lower temperatures in the Tropics. This has driven a general increase in prices (spot prices reached €9.45 per box in week 7). However, Europe has seen very little change in prices as yet. European banana producers in the outermost regions are concerned about a possible oversupply if import tariffs are also reduced for Brazilian and Mexican bananas, following a similar move with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. The European Commission, therefore, has agreed not to lower tariffs below €75 per ton. 21% of Ecuador’s bananas go to Russia, where they have a 96% market share. Exports to Georgia and Ukraine have also risen sharply lately.
Prices of Ecuador’s bananas have fallen as poor market conditions have led to lower exports (13% below average). The situation in Russia is particularly bad, with extremely low prices. The Spanish market price is more positive due to the supply deficit in the Canary Islands. In Weeks 1-21 of 2018, the average market price on Ecuador’s domestic market was up 1% compared to the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, Australian banana producers are looking at the possibility of exporting to the Philippines with import protocols in the pipeline. However, industry experts are doubtful about the current state of the Australian domestic banana market, with low demand causing an oversupply and a lowering of profits. Production costs are considered to be rather high in Australia, thereby impeding the country’s producers’ efforts to compete on the international scene.