Netherlands: Cucumber prices up considerably

Cucumber prices have increased a great deal. The prices have doubled in the last week in both the free market and in mediation. The causes are being attributed to expiring year contracts, a smaller growing area, the low trade price and the small Spanish supply. "We are hoping that they will go for one Euro next week in the supermarkets," says grower Willem Doorn.

The trade price for cucumbers was 15 cents fourteen days ago and doubled last week for the 40'ers. Dutch supply is low because a lot of crops ended early and a large amount of companies were forced to stop. Given the expected supply from Spain there is little trade going on, the Spanish supply is still low. "They still cannot run any programs," says Willem Doorn, who does his own marketing for Best of Four. This has resulted in high demand on the free market and therefore sharply rising prices - to 75 cents in the Netherlands and higher than one Euro in Belgium.

Will the price stay at this level? That will partly depend on the retail, and in particular the price deciding discounters. "I hope that they will be one Euro in the supermarket next week," says Doorn, but according to the grower it is not an ideal situation. "These kinds of extreme circumstances are never good. It is good for growers because the hole in budget revenues can be made slightly smaller - but the hole will still be there. On top of this there are many weak contracts that a lot of growers have still not profited from yet." Because the higher the price on the shelf, the less that can be sold. "Until now the retailer has not paid this high price, it is the trader, in particular, that has to supply at the agreed upon price."

The Dutch season is currently on its last legs. All in all the pricing has gone very badly - also keep in mind the Russian boycott - but the quality has remained quite nice. "Here and there you find fur and melon necrosis virus, but there is no huge pressure." Downy mildew plays a role, but this is not something new. "It is mainly the companies that had huge downpours on their greenhouses and that could not process quickly enough."

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