"Dutch greenhouse vegetable season: cucumbers successful, bell peppers disappointing"
High costs are currently a major concern for the Dutch greenhouse vegetable market. Prices differ considerably per product. Tomato prices, for example, have dipped significantly recently. Bell pepper pricing has been the most disappointing this season, but cucumber prices are exceptionally high. Arie Middelburg of GreenMatch, whose work includes developing sales and price formation, takes stock.
"The per meter tomato harvest was high, thanks to a good summer. That put plenty of pressure on the past month's sales, which were still excellent in the spring. We're gradually moving into fall, and the light is failing, so production is decreasing, and prices are rising a little again. That's especially true for vine tomatoes and specialties. Though, as expected, loose tomato prices, too, are recovering somewhat," Arie begins.
"This year's bell pepper market was highly volatile, and bell peppers were plentiful in the summer. The supply has been slightly lower in recent weeks, and prices have finally begun rising again. They're, however, not anywhere near the last few years' averages, let alone enough to cover the higher costs. There have also been quite a few crop failures, and the acreage will decrease somewhat."
"There may, thus, be more shortages in the coming period while there's still no significant supply from Spain. Nevertheless, Eastern Europe is still quite competitive in the bell pepper market. Hopefully, the market will keep recovering in the coming weeks. But for now, bell peppers have the most disappointing of this season's greenhouse vegetables' prices," continues Arie.
This year's cucumber sales are an entirely different story. "A successful one. Besides a brief €0.20 low in the spring, prices have mostly been consistently higher than in previous years. These remained between €0.30 and €0.60 for a long while; that's something special. There was much less lit cultivation, but the conventional crops' productions, too, started later this spring."
"Add lower acreage this season, and that significantly affects a continuing shortage. Cucumber growers are, naturally, also facing high costs, but considering this summer's good yields per m2, it's a good season for them," says Arie. "Eggplant prices have, unfortunately, been very ordinary this season. They're picking up a bit now, but that's also desperately needed."
He does not dare make too many predictions for the coming season. "There's already far less lit cultivation, which should decrease even more. With gas prices as they are, it's impossible to calculate the whole cultivation story, light-wise. Southern Europe will, obviously, try to respond to that, but they, too, have limitations and can't absorb it all, just like that. There will generally be quite a lot happening this winter and early spring of 2023 with (lower) supplies to retailers and, thus, consumers. Productions aren't going to drop only a few percent," Arie concludes.