Wholesale prices on some lines spiked by 10 per cent immediately after the news broke of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.
Dutch capsicums are “eye-wateringly expensive” according to one London trader, while cucumber prices are rising every day as the volatile exchange rate was compounded by severe hailstorms in the Netherlands causing thousands of pounds of glasshouse damage.
Chris Hutchinson, of New Spitalfields firm Arthur Hutchinson, said: “There was an instant 10 per cent increase the next day. The pound will be weak for the foreseeable future, and imports will cost more. A currency swing isn’t a big thing for us, it’s more about supply and demand, and one or two lines have shortened up over the past week.”
“Top-draw cucumbers” are still seeing a “significant price increase” every day, Hutchinson said, as the market has yet to catch up, though there is plenty of UK Class II.
Mark Tate, chair of Birmingham Market Tenants Association and MD of George Perry, however, said his business had seen “no impact whatsoever”. “The currency out of Holland was an issue initially, but they’ve got more produce than demand so they need to sell it,” he said. Tate said prices of cucumbers and other salad crops had risen slightly, but this is due to the hailstorm damage in the Netherlands. “Supermarket trade hasn’t been good in the last couple of week, so we’re seeing a lot of produce come to the market,” he said.