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"EU: "Prices of vine tomatoes are slowly rising"

According to exporter Guy de Meyer of Demargro, Belgium, they can't complain about the fruit and vegetable trade over the last Summer. "At the moment we are in a transition period into Autumn and it's a bit colder like it was last week, you can see the demand change. This was when leek got going and we had prices between 45 and 50 cents. Due to the heat this week the price has dropped back down to 30 cents."

Calm demand
He indicates that all fruits and vegetables are slow at the moment. "We still have a lot of tomatoes and other Summer vegetables such as peppers and lettuce. The demand is quite quiet and this is showing in the price. There aren't really any extremes. Although, the vine tomatoes are slowly rising. They are becoming slightly more expensive at the moment. On the 25 of September they increased from 65 to 70 cents. That's not a lot for this time of year, but it's an improvement. There aren't really any expensive products, with the exception of strawberries which are reasonable. Lettuce is going for 22 to 25 cents. That's not a huge amount."

Difficult to predict

It will be a while before the Spanish product is on the market and influencing the situation. "This won't happen for around another three weeks, but the production isn't that high yet. They have their own tomatoes in Belgium until the end of November. Normally the price would increase over the next short while, but we've said this a few times over the last few months. It's becoming increasingly difficult to predict. If it goes well for a while, you can be right back where you started the next minute. If it's 15 to 20 cents higher, it can drop again the very next day. It's difficult to predict."

Demargro is known for its wide assortment of tomatoes. "It has always been this way and will stay like this. But we are noticing increasing competition. The other exporters are also extending their assortment." The trader is looking forward to the Winter. "Leek is our main product in the winter. At the moment it is going reasonably well with a good price level. So we are confident for the future."

For more information:
Guy de Meyer
Demargro BVBA
Tombrugstraat 11
8850 Ardooie - Belgium
Tel: +32 51 74 70 75
Fax: +32 51 74 58 11
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