UK fruit and vegetable trade steady throughout May
The amount of home grown produce increased and imports from the continent ensured supplies were good across the month. The flower market saw quiet trading at the beginning of the month but trading picked up as the weather improved and demand increased for the summer season.
Supplies of home grown apples and pears continue to fall as the season comes to an end. Demand for apples fell and quality of the fruit was varied. Pear prices rose as supplies dwindled and the quality of fruit was good. Conference pears rose 15% to 0.52 pounds/kg and Doyenne Du Comice rose 21% to 0.61 pounds/kg.
Demand increased for strawberries so prices rose by 52% to 2.43 pounds/kg despite a dip at the end of the month as more fruit including Dutch and Belgian imports came onto the market.
New season asparagus prices continued to fall sharply, down 38% to 5.79 pounds/kg by the end of the month. Supplies increased but demand was low and quality was mixed. Carrot prices continued to rise as supplies dwindled. The price rose 34% to 0.43 pounds/kg by the end of the month.
Outdoor rhubarb prices fell sharply by 30% to 1.30 pounds/kg to as supplies increased but forced rhubarb prices rose 47% to 5.65 pounds/kg due to high product quality being available but in short supply.
Cherry and round tomatoes dropped in price as supplies increased. Dutch imports of cherry tomatoes increased on the markets and pushed the price down. The Cherry price fell 19% to 2.37 pounds/kg and Rounds 23% to 0.86 pounds/kg.
Spinach and turnip prices fell due to the poor quality produce available. Both Red and White cabbage prices rose as supplies dwindled and the price for Summer Rounds rose as the new crop came onto the market.
Prices for Iris dropped sharply by 30% to 0.56 pounds/bunch as demand fell. Oriental Lily prices have also fallen as supplies increased and demand fell. ■