Let’s talk about the trend of the horticultural sector, and in particular of greenhouses, in this complex period of price increases and uncertainty.

Parliamo dell’andamento del settore ortofrutticolo, e in particolare delle serre, in questo complesso periodo di rincari e incertezza.
November 16, 2022
Parliamo dell’andamento del settore ortofrutticolo, e in particolare delle serre, in questo complesso periodo di rincari e incertezza.
November 16, 2022

The greenhouse sector has endured shocking increases over the past few years:
the main one concerns the cost of steel, which has skyrocketed. However, the
prices of raw materials seem to have decreased over the past few months, so
there might be a reason to be optimistic for 2023.

“The crazy increase in the price of steel, which started at the end of 2020,
accelerated in 2021, reaching unthinkable amounts, with increases that exceeded
130% for some products. Luckily this stopped in the summer, and, actually, the
price of raw materials has somewhat decreased over the past few months, which
has enabled us to lower the price of our greenhouses too.

“The situation was difficult to manage, especially in 2021, as quotations were valid
for a maximum of one week, as we had to avoid selling below cost. Luckily, our
company is sturdy, and we have managed to stay put even though demand for
greenhouses has remained low throughout 2022 as well. At least the price of steel
has stabilized, making the situation less chaotic.”
“In addition to the cost of a greenhouse, which reflects that of steel and plastic,
the trend of the fresh produce sector is also essential for our clients when
choosing to make an investment. This last year has been very complex due to the
general increases for both entrepreneurs who work in greenhouses and those
who work in open fields. Last but not least, there are uncertainties linked to the
war in Ukraine and climate change. The latter makes greenhouses almost
compulsory for growers who do not want to lose their crops but, actually, it is
endangering our structures as well because of the increasingly violent tornadoes.”

“I have been working in this sector for ten years, but, as this is a family business, I
have actually indirectly witnessed the last 30 years. I do not recall anything
similar,” adds Alessandra Di Maio, who mainly deals with business administration,
modernization, and improvement. “We are all waiting for the situation to improve.
The agricultural sector is of primary importance, and it will definitely emerge from
this difficult period, maybe even correcting some abuses deriving from dominant
positions in the distribution market. It is of particular importance to achieve fair
prices that at least cover production costs, thus reducing the extreme pressure on
producers and, therefore, on workers.”
According to Cipro and Maio, single greenhouses are the most popular, requested
by small entrepreneurs or simply by those who want to self-produce. “Most large
producers are still waiting for the cost of raw materials to go down. We are also
hoping for the price of steel to drop further, but it is unthinkable that quotations will
go back to what they used to be in early 2020. We are hoping that our clients,
having come to terms with the increases and after adjusting their own sales
prices, will go back to investing in greenhouses in 2023.”

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