Potato prices in Ireland ‘set to soar’ as yields face up to 50% drop

Potato prices ‘set to soar’ – as yields face up to 50% dropThe price of potatoes “will be significantly higher this year” according to the Country Crest co-founder, Michael Hoey. Speaking to AgriLand, Hoey explained that as a result of the difficult year  – which has led to the potato crop performing poorly – he believes “potatoes will go over the €500/box mark”. According to the IFA’s (Irish Farmers’ Association’s) Domestic Potato Market Report from Tuesday, July 10, a box of Rooster potatoes is currently costing €260/box on average. Although yields will be down drastically on last year, Hoey outlined: “High prices are not ideal because when the price of potatoes is high the customer just goes and buys something else. You get a big turning-off effect.” Philip Meade jnr, who is the commercial director for potatoes at Meade Potato Company, explained that two weeks of rain would be needed to secure the crops’ full water demand. Meade says “conditions like this have not been seen since 1976”. Read more

Ireland’s potato prices to rise as weather affects yields

Potato farmer David Rodgers shows the poor growth in his patatoes due to the lack of rain, at his farm in Ballyboughal in North County Dublin. Picture:Arthur CarronConsumers face increasing potato prices as the weather causes havoc with this year’s crop. A combination of the snow and blizzard conditions in February and March, the ongoing heatwave, and a dearth of rain will seriously affect crop yields, according to farmers. Eddie Doyle, of the potato committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), told the Irish Independent that potatoes had to be planted late this year. “Early growers have suffered because of the cold weather. And once it gets 24C to 25C, they stop growing,” he said. “Yield will be quite light this year. I’d be fairly sure they’ll go up in price,” he said. Read more

Red rescue: USDA helps ease excess red potato supply

Image result for northern plains red potatoesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will reportedly purchase $3 million in red potatoes for nutrition assistance programs. National Potato Council Executive Vice-President and CEO John Keeling confirms the purchase, noting that’s the equivalent of 20,000 hundredweight of red potatoes. “We worked with USDA over the past couple of weeks to get them the information about what the real surplus was and then, what would be needed to be removed. And then, what time was remaining to be able to do that because we are getting late. Potatoes have been in storage for a while now.” A few weeks ago, Associated Potato Growers said they will have 50,000 hundredweight of potatoes that need a home. This purchase could help, but there’s still an excess of fresh spuds in the Red River Valley. The red potato issue was brought to Congressman Kevin Cramer’s attention by the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) of East Grand Forks, Minnesota.  Continue reading

Underhanded down under? Australian wholesaler accused of ‘unfair’ potato contracts

Related imageAustralia’s largest potato wholesaler, Mitolo, is facing legal action after being accused of entering into unfair contracts with its potato farmer suppliers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Tuesday said it had started Federal Court proceedings against the South Australian-based company – the first legal action taken under the recently introduced Horticulture Code. Mitolo, a major supplier to Woolworths and Coles, is facing allegations of unfair contract terms including signing exclusive supply contracts that allow it to vary prices unilaterally and prevent farmers from selling to other buyers. ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said Mitolo’s exclusive contracts also did not specificy how and when the price of potatoes would be determined. “These are some of the most egregious terms we have seen in agricultural contracts, and are key examples of the contracting practices in the sector that we want to address,” Mr Keogh said. Read more

Trade spat: Mexican judge bars US potato imports into Mexico

Related imageMexico Daily News reported minutes ago that a federal judge has barred the import of fresh potatoes from the United States today on national security and bio-security grounds. The decision, made by José Francisco Pérez Mier of the Seventh District Court in Los Mochis, Sinaloa — a potato-producing state, overturned a 2016 decision adopted by the Secretariat of Agriculture (Sagarpa) to allow potato imports from Mexico’s northern neighbor. The judge said that Sagarpa’s reform to the Federal Law on Plant Health was unconstitutional because it didn’t include measures to protect against the introduction of plant diseases and therefore posed a threat to national sovereignty and security and crops such as chiles, tomatoes, eggplants and tobacco. The domestic potato industry could disappear if fresh potato imports from the United States continue, Pérez said. The amparo or injunction he handed down said the lack of protective measures “implies an imminent risk of plagues spreading on national soil.”  Continue reading

Upbeat: Canadian potato growers feeling cautiously optimistic this season

Potato growers across Canada are reportedly feeling optimistic this season as increased demand for their product has created some newfound enthusiasm. The economic crash of 2008 reduced demand for Canadian spuds in some markets and the industry struggled to regain its lost footing. With the 2018 growing season well under way, there now seems to be a renewed sense of optimism among many Canadian potato growers. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC), says the increase is largely attributable to processing companies like McCain and Simplot expanding their production lines in this country. “The acreage in Canada will have to increase just to take care of the processing expansion that’s been occurring in several places. To accommodate that, our acreages will have to increase somewhere between two to four per cent for 2018,” says MacIsaac. The news isn’t all good, however. A situation that bears watching is the ongoing trade discussions between Canada and the United States. Read more

UK a net exporter of fresh potatoes in 2017/18 season so far

Image result for potato exportFollowing the large harvest of over 6Mt of potatoes in 2016/17 there has been an abundance of potatoes in GB stores. This has pressured prices domestically with a clear divergence on the basis of quality, especially for white varieties. Increased domestic production last season has translated to an observed reduction in fresh potato imports to the UK so far this season. Due in part to the large harvest of potatoes in GB last season, imports of fresh potatoes have declined so far in 2017/18. UK exports of fresh potato produce have increased by 5% to 152.5Kt between July 2017 and April 2018. The destination for the overwhelming majority of UK fresh potato exports is the EU, whose countries receive over 98% of UK fresh exports. Increased exports of fresh potatoes to Spain and the Netherlands have been observed (Jul-Apr) on the year in 2017/18, but they have declined to both Ireland and Belgium. Read more

Spain: New potato prices remain high in the domestic market

Related imageThe Spanish potato campaign started in late May with the harvest of the first new potatoes from Seville. Frequent rains in the winter and spring not only caused a delay of about a month in the harvest of the first new potatoes, but also resulted in a 40% drop in the volume. “The acreage devoted to ​​potato cultivation has been reduced by around 20% this year. If we take into account that the yields have been 30% lower in general in Seville, the volumes should drop by around 40%,” said José Peláez Izquierdo, manager of Sevillana de Patatas. As a consequence of this and the slow development of the harvest (due to the unusual mild temperatures recorded at this time of the year), the producer and exporter says that “the demand has so far been greater than the supply, with high and generally stable prices. While prices have fallen a little this past week, it has been a very slight drop compared to previous years.” Unlike in the domestic market, prices for potatoes for export are under pressure and there is a falling trend. Read more

Idaho potato growers optimistic about season

Idaho potato growers are optimistic about the season ahead, given the ideal growing conditions the state has experienced. “Harvest is expected to commence in Idaho in the middle of July,” said Colin Gibson of 20/20 Produce Sales. “The western part of the state will begin first as they have more heat units than the eastern part and therefore growers plant earlier. They are usually about three to four weeks ahead of eastern Idaho.” Gibson noted that weather conditions have been very favorable, with temperate conditions and just a moderate amount of rain. “We estimate that there may be an increase in acreage this year,” Gibson continued. “It’s approaching the time of year when potato supplies start to be limited. Last season’s crop has almost been exhausted, and the market is waiting for new supplies to replenish stocks. As a result, prices have climbed in recent months and are set to increase further before the harvest begins.” In Idaho, there has been an increased interest among growers to favor the Norkotah potato at the expense of the Burbank. Read more


Now available: 2018 World Potato Markets Review

Image result for World Potato Markets Trade & Market ReviewThe 2018 World Potato Markets Trade & Market Review publication is now available. In its seventh year, the review is a unique and valuable resource for potato professionals across the world, containing production estimates for key potato producing countries, a league table of potato producers and extensive trade data for all key potato products. Included in this year’s issue are: European and North American 2018 area projections; output, yield and price projections for 2018; a full annual review of ware, fry, seed, flake, flour, dehy, sweet potato and frozen potato trade by volume, value and price; an exclusive guide to the world’s potato processors. Discounts are available for members of recognised European, American or other potato organisations. Contact the Editor Cedric Porter in the UK for more information: +44 1892 543444, cedric.porter@agrimarkets.net

In the firing line: Trade war targets iconic Idaho potatoes

As the centerpiece of state’s agricultural industry, the Idaho potato is iconic. For many Americans, it’s Idaho’s only notable characteristic, a source of annoyance for locals and tourists who have plenty of reasons to love the Gem State. Whether or not one relishes Idaho’s reputation as the land of potatoes, the vegetable remains an important pillar of the state economy — a resilient export backed by proven quality and true marketing power. That reliability may be in question following a suite of tariffs imposed by Mexico in retaliation to President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum. Among the products targeted, which largely center on major exports from predominantly Republican states, are potatoes, which were hit with a 20-percent tariff. According to Idaho State Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Chanel Tewalt, those tariffs could put the Idaho potato’s quality and brand strength to the test. Read more

US and Indonesia sign market access agreement for US fresh potatoes

Related imageOn June 5, the United States and Indonesia reached a market access agreement that will allow U.S. fresh potatoes to be exported to Indonesia under a defined set of phytosanitary requirements. The agreement comes after four years of discussions and will include both U.S. chipping potatoes for further processing and table-stock potatoes for direct consumption. Potatoes produced in all U.S. states are included in the agreement. U.S. potato growers and exporters will need to follow the requirements in the protocol to ensure Indonesia’s quarantine security, according to a June 12 press release issued by Potatoes USA. This includes growing from certified seed potatoes, taking actions to address any potential pests of concern, and sprout inhibiting the potatoes prior to export. Importers in Indonesia will be required to obtain an import permit prior to export. Indonesia is a market of 261 million people and is the largest market in Southeast Asia to which U.S. fresh potatoes had not previously secured formal market access. Read more

Tit-for-tat: Mexico slaps 20 percent tax on US potatoes

Image result for What do Mexico's tariffs mean for Idaho potatoes and cheese? Maybe not too much.In response to President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico, the nation has slapped tariffs on several types of American produce, including a 20 percent tax on potatoes. But the head of the Idaho Potato Commission and the spokeswoman for a new Meridian-based dairy-marketing group say they aren’t worried. “We are going to weather this storm,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission. Mexico is a major market for Idaho’s potatoes, specifically frozen ones. In 2016, a Mexican judge ruled that fresh American potatoes were allowed only 16 kilometers into the country’s border, citing concerns over pests and public health, Reuters wrote. Because of that, frozen potatoes make up a much greater number of what Mexico receives, according to Muir. Also, other countries around the world will keep buying Idaho’s frozen potatoes, Muir said. He also said Mexico is a big importer of frozen potato products, and that such a tariff will harm Mexican citizens more than anyone else. Read more. And more

‘Good potential market’: British seed potato growers look to Cuba to export

Britain is looked on favourably by the Cuban Government due to its high status and recognitionBritish seed potato producers are considering Cuba as an export destination after recent meetings with government officials in the country. While British producers are technically able to export to Cuba they have not been able to take advantage of this market due to a lack of awareness on how to get products into the country. However, fresh discussions have led to the development of a clear process for exporting product into Cuba. Presently, Cuba currently imports 17,000 tonnes of seed mainly from the Netherlands and France. Canada used to be a supplier but in recent years European sources have been preferred. According to Rob Burns, AHDB Heads of Crops Export, Britain is looked on favourably by the Cuban Government due to a high health status. If growers are interested in nominating crops for Cuban exports they are urged to compile a list to send to SASA by the end of June, and SASA will work with Cuba’s export company Alimport to identify Cuban companies looking for British seed. Read more

Russia lifts ban on Egyptian potato exports from 8 regions

Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Tariq Qabeel said that the Russian authorities have agreed to lift the ban on Egypt exports of potatoes from 8 agricultural areas and to allow the export of these crops starting from June 6. The minister said in a statement on Saturday that the decision comes as a culmination of the negotiations held in Russia on the sidelines of the activities of the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee held in Moscow in late May. During the meeting, officials discussed the technical problems that hinder the process of agricultural exports and imports between the two countries, including potatoes. The statement said that the Federal Veterinary And Phytosanitary Monitoring Service of Russia reviewed the procedures for the cultivation and export of Egyptian potatoes assuring that they meet the requirements and specifications of Russian authorities. Read more