Frank Mosterd of Gilad Produce:
“Last season caused contractually set prices of Israeli capsicum to rise”

Tholen – The import season of capsicum from Israel has ended, so it is time to look back at it. The season has been a very good one. At the end of 2006, a large amount of isofenfos-methyl was found on Spanish capsicums, which caused a scandal. At a certain time, twenty capsicum companies had been closed. To the Dutch market, this meant a lot less supply. Although there were enough capsicums in Spain, they did not meet the requirements.

Importers started to look out for alternatives for Spanish capsicums and found them in other capsicum growing countries like Israel and Egypt. Frank Mosterd of Gilad Produce saw the demand for and the price of Israeli capsicums rise after the incidents in Spain. “The situation in Spain certainly helped us. Many importers were looking for an alternative and found one in Israel. At a certain point the capsicums cost 22 euros. Those kinds of prices are really ridiculous,” says Frank Mosterd.

At the end of the season, the price dropped drastically. By that time, Dutch capsicums were entering the market and it was suggested that the Israeli capsicums were dumped. The price indeed was much lower, but according to Frank Mosterd, one cannot speak of dumping. “Because of the high prices the season lasted longer, but a price between € 7,00 and € 8,00 does not seem like dumping to me. During other years this would have been considered a reasonable price,” says Frank Mosterd.

The consequence of the residue scandal is that the image of Spanish capsicums has been crushed. Frank Mosterd says it shows in the contracts that have been signed for the upcoming season. “At the moment, many programs have been made. The contractually set price is higher than last year, but prices like those we saw last season will of course not soon return, not even in the free market,” says Frank Mosterd.

Apparently Spain has taken precautions to avoid a scandal such as the one last winter. Furthermore, there may be a serious increase of the acreage. Therefore, a possible concern for importers of Israeli capsicums could be that the Spanish product will become cheaper. “The price also depends on the demand and the quality of the product, of course. Is it all good and fit for export? There will always be a market for Israeli capsicums,” says Frank Mosterd.

Frank Mosterd
Gilad Produce
Poortcamp 9c
2678 PT De Lier
The Netherlands
Phone:             +31 (0) 174 52 80 67
Fax: +31 (0) 174 52 85 02

Publication date: 5/30/2007
Author: Lian van Hoof