The top fruit market is looking much friendlier this week. “For apples, especially Elstar is doing much better. Prices of good Elstar apples (75ers) are around 80 cent,” says manager Michel Schrijnemaekers from Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg. He explains the recovering market is due to the cold weather and the new year. “People tend to eat more apples when it is colder, and besides, everyone wants to start the new year healthy. And for that, you eat fruit! Other apples are joining in Elstar’s recovery, though not with as much success. A large advantage is that industrial prices of peeling and juice apples have recovered somewhat. That fixes a bottom price,” he continues.
“Prices of pears have also recovered considerably, by ten cents in the past week. Pears which were 50 cents, are now 60 cents, and those which were priced at 60 cents, are now 70 cents. Pears are selling well domestically, and in addition, many small sizes are being sent to Germany, and plenty of promotional actions have been planned in British supermarkets,” Michel says. “All in all, these were positive developments. The stocks appear to be smaller than we thought. Quite a bit of top fruit was cleared in October, and that is why the situation is now looking much friendlier.”
“I still believe in the continuation of the top fruit season,” Michel says decidedly. “But it was about time, too. Many cultivators were up to their necks in difficulties, but they had even more problems than that. Nationally, but personally as well, we see a great number of cultivators quitting. In many cases they did not go bankrupt, but they are grubbing up the trees for financial reasons. And we are not just talking about a few hectares, but about dozens of hectares in one fell swoop.”