Euro-Potato: UK seed potato exports show signs of recovery

So far this season, total seed exports from the UK are up 14% year-on-year, helped by a rebound in sales to Egypt compared to 2015/16. The 2015/16 season saw a 24% year-on-year decline in seed potato exports, according to data from HM Revenue & Customs. Countries such as Spain and the Netherlands decreased the amount of seed potato they imported from the UK (by 53% and 16% respectively). Egypt is the largest single recipient of exported seed potatoes from the UK, taking up to 70% of all seed exports each year. In 2014/15 Egypt imported over 59,000 tonnes of UK seed potatoes, this fell to around 49,500 tonnes in 2015/16. Their Government’s decision to reduce the size specification for imported seed from a maximum size of 60mm, to 55mm in August 2015 meant that many UK growers who were growing seed for the Egyptian market had a much larger proportion of “tops” than normal. Driven mainly by a rebound of 18% in the volume of seed exports to Egypt so far this season, total seed exports are up nearly 6,000 tonnes year on year, with November’s exports, at almost 43,300 tonnes, the highest for the month of November in five years. More