Vegetable Market Report

Vegetable Market Report
18 Dec 2015

Vegetable Market Report


Summary: After a late start, growers have had a reasonable season. The combination of cold spring weather followed by extreme heat reduced production levels of fresh produce across Europe. The strength of sterling has also helped to reduce the level of imports increasing the competitiveness of Irish produce. Plantings of many lines were also reduced across the continent due to the continued impact of the Russian ban and the low prices of the previous season. However some sectors have fared better than others with early salad crops hit hard due to the cool and wet April/May and the poor July/August period hitting sales of tomatoes etc. Unfortunately the overriding issue continues to be deflation with increases in volume of the top selling lines being negated by average price declines.

 Reports for root crop, brassica and salad sectors 

Root crops: Due to the cold wet spring, crops were slow to establish resulting in crops of carrots and parsnips running up to two weeks late. Some of the early planted crops suffered yield reductions, however quality was excellent and yields returned to normal as the season progressed. Yields were also reduced in the UK and Europe due to weather conditions and this in tandem with euro weakness led to increased demand and prices in both the wholesale and processing sectors. As usual, it has been difficult to secure price increases in the major retailers due to agreed pre-season pricing, however at least it has proved difficult for facilitators to profiteer in this environment. According to Kantar figures, carrots and parsnips have experienced good volume growth over the past 52 weeks.

Brassicas: Stability in demand and prices has continued throughout the year for cabbage with consumption increasing over the past twelve months; however this may be due to increased promotion of the vegetable. Due to the drop in farmgate price, there is little margin in the product, which has contributed to acreage reduction also.

Cauliflower has had a rollercoaster of a year with gluts and shortages being commonplace. As with Brussel sprouts the recent mild weather has caused problems with the crop maturing early. This has also created surpluses elsewhere which have arrived on the market from the UK.

Cauliflower has experienced a reduction in retail sales again this year which may be attributed to its preclusion from promotions as much as anything else.

Irish broccoli was very late arriving on the market this year due to the weather conditions mentioned above. The warm temperatures in June really affected the UK crop which created major shortages at times. Sales of the product continue to shoe exponential growth in the supermarkets

Salad Crops: Growers of scallions and iceberg lettuce got off to a disastrous start due to the weather in April and May with showers of hailstones causing particular damage to crops and poor yields ensuing also. Both crops are at a crossroads in this country with literally a handful of growers left.

For tomato growers, dull conditions during July and August led to both reduced yield and consumption. However the incessant promotions at below production costs by retailers over the summer months had a greater impact on the Irish market.

Wholesale Market Prices Dublin (Year on Year monthly Comparisons)


 July 14


Aug 14

Aug 15

Sept 14

Sept 15


Oct 15

Nov 14


Carrots €/10kg 5.50 6.50 4.50 7.00 4.50 6.50 4.25 5.00 4.00 5.00
Parsnip €/ 5kg 8.50 10.00 8.00 8.50 6.50 7.00 6.00 6.50 6.00 7.00
Cabbage York €/10’s 5.50 6.00 5.00 5.50 5.50 5.50 5.00 5.50 5.00 5.50
 Cauliflower €/8’s 8.00 7.00 6.50 7.00 8.50 6.50 5.50 9.50 7.00 6.50
Leeks €/5kg 5.50 6.25 4.00 5..50 4.50 5.50 4.00 5.50 4.25 5.50
Swedes €/10’s 7.00 7.00 6.00 6.00 6.00 5.50 6.00 5.50 6.00 5.50
Butthd Lettuce €/12 4.50 5.00 4.50 5.00 4.50 5.00 5.00 5.00 4.50 5.00

The wholesale market generally shows an increase in price for most lines compared to last year reflecting the impact of reduced area, weather, and currency fluctuations. However growers dependent on this market are finding it difficult to survive due to declining market share and use of imports even in cases where Irish is available at a similar price. Cauliflower again shows greatest fluctuation due to the nature of the product.

Supermarket Support for Irish lines

Percentage availability of 20 Irish Lines from Jan 2014 – Jun 2014



Percentage availability of 20 Irish Lines from July 2014 – Dec 2014


Percentage availability 20 of Irish Lines from Jan 2015 – Jun 2015





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