Prices on the market for greenhouse vegetables are through the roof. While the first supplies from Spain are of disappointing quality, limited produce is available in the Netherlands.

Twelve to thirteen euros for red and orange bell peppers, fourteen for yellow and eight for green. Peppers for more than twenty euros, and eggplants are back to twelve to thirteen euros, after a fifteen euro peak. Cucumbers sell for six to eight euros. Tomatoes are sold for ten euros, plum tomatoes for 7.5 euros, and anyone who can find the last available cherry tomatoes can count themselves lucky. Prices on the greenhouse vegetable market clearly show: the whole of Europe is screaming for greenhouse vegetables.

Search for quality
In the trade channel, the first produce from Spain is coming in at the moment, but the market is complaining about disappointing quality. Spain is off to a bad start: first the heat, causing the July harvest to be disappointing, and later rain in bell pepper production regions Adra and El Ejido. It's causing production and quality problems.

The quality of the early bell peppers and tomatoes is particularly disappointing. "Growers and traders are tempted to harvest, because the prices are so good," one trader explains. "They do have something, but we're seeing bell peppers with thin walls and eggplants with seeds and membranes. It's short of the mark." The quality issues are less apparent in crops that grow faster, such as courgette and eggplants.

The Spanish bell pepper acreage has increased a bit, about 3 percent, to 9,380 hectares. The block pepper is planted in particular. Palermo pointed peppers show an increase. The tomato acreage is stable, at around 11,000 hectares.

Spanish quality and supplies are only expected to improve starting mid-October. In the Netherlands, furthermore, the production got into a small dip due to incorrect flower formation six weeks ago. "And it's been cloudy this week. Supplies are only bouncing back now that it's sunny." Prices are expected to remain level for a while.

The continuously good prices are causing cautious optimism among growers. Growers who pre-sold a lot and hardly benefit from the current pricing, also see opportunities to apply higher contracts for next year.

The complaints about quality also turn up in the season changes in top fruit and citrus. For fear of being late, shipments enter the market that were harvested too early. "Harvested too hard, too young, or from refrigeration, but with a limited shelf life," one trader sums up. This also applies to citrus. "There are still some supplies from South America. Then we'll have to wait for the quality of Spanish supplies to improve."