Root Vegetables – UK & European Crops
The best place to start will be UK crops as the next few weeks will be critical with regards output.
Peas (purchased in £) – The recent spell of dry weather has come at the worst time for the UK Pea crop and output for new season will be low. Some farmers have mentioned they only expect to get around 1ton per hectare (the norm would be 3ton p.h). One UK manufacturer is starting their pea processing this week, 3 weeks earlier than usual. Expecting only 83% (this is best case scenario and could decrease if there is no rain over the next few weeks) of the sown peas to be harvested when 100% would be normal. See comparison photos of 2010 crop and 2011 crop.
Green Beans (purchased in £ and €) – Another crop that is heavily dependent on warm but naturally wet weather to germinate seeds and grow good product. 60% of Belgian bean growing land is yet to be sown as they are extremely worried the crop will fail due to lack of rain. Irrigation technology not good enough to supplement the crop. The beans need a certain number of hours of sunshine per day to grow correctly and if not sown this week or next this point will pass, causing poor crop when eventually grown. UK Beans in slightly better way as irrigation good enough to help the crop.
Carrot (purchased in £ and €) – Normally harvested in July and August so ideally plenty of rain between now and then would result in decent crop. The Belgian output has been low so far and is expected to continue like this, resulting in them purchasing UK product and pushing prices up.
Potato (purchased in £) – One of the few roots that have a chance of a good crop as harvested later in the year, so rain over the next 3 months should result in ok crop. If in the unlikely event of rain not arriving for the next few months prices will be raised.
Swede (purchased in £) – Just being planted at the moment Swede is largely grow in Cornwall. Not likely to be harvested until late September it is too early to make any assumptions as to quality and quantity at this moment.
Onion (purchased in £, € and US$)
The Polish onion crop has largely gone well and they would appear to be competitive with regards to pricing from China. Given the drastic swings in pricing over the last 2 years from Poland customers will still be favouring China with business.
Peppers (purchased in £, € and US$)
Still too early to start making assumptions on the Turkish pepper crop. Chinese expected to be similar price wise and Spanish still very high and not likely to change any time soon.
Sweetcorn (purchased in £)
New season Hungarian corn being harvested at the moment, price rise around the .25p per kilo mark across the board. Israeli corn 20% higher than Hungarian but will probably play some part in the UK import sector.