Categories: Vegetables

Market prices – up, down & up again

As I write, the markets are awash with produce. Prices have tumbled in many cases. Our mild winter has resulted…

In addition, spring has come early, which means even more produce entering the pipeline. Market agents are reporting difficult sales, with the attendant slowing of business. It has happened before and it will happen again. This might be difficult to accept when things seem so bleak, but the pendulum will swing and good times will return. Right now, though, as I walk the floor in different markets, I’m in awe of the huge volumes of produce on offer.

Slowly but surely
“How on earth will they ever sell all this?” I ask myself. And yet, the market agents somehow get it right. Slowly but surely, they move the produce until eventually stock levels become conducive to achieving good prices – assuming, of course, the weather plays along. I won’t be surprised if this current balmy, late winter weather turns into a late cold snap – as it often does.

If it’s severe enough, what will happen to all of those early crops? Will frost and icy weather take its toll? This has occurred before.
It’s a cruel thing to say, but perhaps an icy blast will restore some equilibrium to the crops and help stabilise fresh produce prices again. It’s too early to predict what will happen, though, so we’ll simply have to wait and see.

What we do know is that, when marketing fresh produce, it’s important to ride all of these vagaries of climate and eventually record a good average price for the season.

Work with the market’s highs and lows
The ups and downs of prices are an integral part of the marketing scenario and the sooner farmers understand this and learn to work with it, the better. As I always remind readers of this column, look at what the professional farmers are doing: they understand the commission system and have learnt how to work with it. They know that the bad times will pass and that what really counts is the average. When people understand how the pendulum swings, they grasp the rudiments of fresh produce marketing.

Published by
Caxton Magazines
Tags: fresh producemarket agentsmarket prices

Recent Posts

Leafroll virus in vines can be beaten – here’s how

Leafroll virus is a serious threat to South Africa’s viticulture industry: it shortens the lifespan of vineyards and has a…

2 days ago

Farmers welcome sharp decline in fuel prices

The large drop in the diesel price that can be expected for December, as announced by the Automobile Association (AA)…

3 days ago

A healthy profit from pasture-raised eggs

As a technician specialising in the installation and repair of gates, Rico Vergotine had little reason to be interested in…

3 days ago

Israeli-inspired chickpea burgers

Veganism is a growing global trend, and many of us will serve dinner or lunch to a vegan guest at…

3 days ago

EkoNiva producing more than 1 300t of milk a day!

EkoNiva-APK is a leading milk producer in Russia and Europe. Sophisticated technology and facilities are largely behind its success.

4 days ago

Agri leaders respond to recommendation to amend Constitution

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has adopted a resolution that Section 25 of the Constitution must be amended to allow…

4 days ago

This website uses cookies.