This past Friday, FreshPlaza.com published a comprehensive overview of current developments in the potato markets of a number of key potato producing countries around the world.
In the report it is said that the heat kept many parts of Europe in its grip last summer. The persistent high summer temperatures had a direct impact on the potato harvest. Lower yields were reported in Northern European countries, but how is the situation now? Will there be an early end to the North European season? In the US, there are also mixed reports about last year’s harvest, which is resulting in rising prices. In Australia, growers are looking forward to the start of the new season.
The situation of the potato market in the Netherlands has a good and a bad side. On the one hand, processors are selling more, so growers are managing to retain their trade. Now that the frost has entered Europe, the supply of potatoes continues to fall. Moreover, the demand for good potatoes for fries keeps rising. On the other hand, the high prices are an obstacle to the export of fresh potatoes.
Belgian trade is currently quiet. This is the result of the rising prices and growers gambling on further price increases.
In France, the processing industry started purchasing early. This has given the market a strong boost from the start of the campaign. Prices continue to rise, and demand remains high despite the high prices. “Potatoes are considered a basic ingredient. Consumers will not easily be willing to buy less,” explains a trader.
The short deadlock in potato trade in the German market came to an end in mid-January. After the upturn in prices, there was a sudden surge in the market, especially in northern Germany (Lower Saxony), and growers were finally willing to market their goods.
Potato prices are high in Italy. This positive situation is the result of the shortage in Northern Europe. Italian growers with a large supply of good quality potatoes, especially those from the harvest in Emilia Romagna, are doing good business.
Spain hopes for a lucrative spring. At the moment, most of the supply comes from France, with the exception of some traditional, local varieties from the south, which have recorded a slight increase in the demand this year. The yield in France has been lower, so the prices are on the high side.
In the United States there higher prices are trending due to high demand. The supply of domestic potatoes is limited and this has caused prices to rise slightly.
In China, consumers seemingly prefer fresh imported potatoes. At the moment, the Chinese potatoes on the market come from refrigerated storage, because the new harvest won’t start until April. Potato prices are also currently higher, as the refrigeration costs have to be taken into account. However, fresh potatoes do better on the market because the quality is just better than that of potatoes from cold storage.
In Australia: For the year ending in June 2017, a harvest of 1.3 million tons worth 717 million dollars is expected. Around 65% of the production is delivered to the processing industry. Out of the volume exported overseas, which amounts to just 35,000 tonnes, 59% is intended for South Korea.