Agriculture, EU – Baltic States, Foodstuff, Markets and Companies, Retail

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 23.07.2019, 06:17

Bad weather in Spain pushes up vegetable prices in Lithuania

BC, Riga, 06.02.2017.Print version
With retail stores in some European countries rationing vegetables because of shortages caused by bad weather in Spain, prices for vegetables imported to Lithuania have been on the rise as well, a wholesaler said LETA/BNS.

Kauno Vaisiu ir Darzoviu Prekyba (Kaunas Fruit and Vegetable Trade, or KVDP) says that tomato, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, eggplant and sweet pepper prices have been increasing and that it has stopped importing iceberg lettuce because it has become too expensive.

Meanwhile, Maxima says that it is not experiencing vegetable shortages and Rimi, another major supermarket chain, says that prices for some imported vegetables in its stores have surged by 50% on average since the start of the year.

"The weather in Spain has been very bad lately. It has slightly improved now, but nights remain cold. We mostly buy tomatoes and sweet peppers from Spain. We feel that there is a shortage of products," Giedre Mikutaviciute, a purchasing coordinator at KVDP, told.

"The same trend holds for all vegetable from Spain, such as zucchinis, eggplants and cucumbers, but our main products are tomatoes and sweet peppers," she said.

According to Mikutaviciute, prices for vegetables imported from Spain have risen by around 20-30% compared with the end of 2016. The company currently is not importing iceberg lettuce as a sharp decline in supply has pushed the price of the vegetable up too high.

KVDP, which is one of Lithuania's largest fresh fruit and vegetable import and export companies, re-exports around 70 percent of its imports to Belarus and other neighboring countries.

Rimi spokeswoman Giedre Bielskyte told that poor weather in Spain and Ital

y had affected vegetable supplies and, therefore, prices for some off-season vegetables had increased by around 50 percent on average since the start of 2017.

Turkish vegetables could be an alternative to Spanish produce, but Rimi does not import them because they often do not meet the quality requirements, she added.

Renata Dante, head of communications at Maxima LT, said that there were no vegetable shortages in the chain's stores because it had secured alternative suppliers in advance.

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