Zambian farmer alleges market is flooded by cheap potato imports from South Africa

A commercial farmer has called on the Zambian government to protect potato growers from cheap imports from South Africa. Stuart Cooke, who is managing director of Chartonel Farms in Lusaka, said a lot of cheap potatoes are allowed onto the Zambian market from South Africa, which is disadvantaging local farmers. “Cheap imports are really affecting us. Our new crop is just coming in, but they have flooded the market with cheap imports from South Africa. Zambia is being used as a dumping ground for South African produce. Only when the price in South Africa is very low do they sell here and that affects our market in a big way,” Mr Cooke said. He said the local potato growers are able to satisfy the market. “We are capable of supplying the market throughout the year. We are on the market selling 11 months of the year, and I’m confident we can supply the market,” he said. More

Scottish seed potato exporters eyeing new market in Kenya

AHDB says there is a 'real opportunity' for exporting potato varieties to Kenya. Picture: ContributedScottish seed potato growers may have another export market in the future following successful growing trials in Kenya. It follows a concerted effort by the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) and Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture to open up the African market. AHDB’s Rob Burns said: “Before commercial growers can access the market, trial seed needs to be tested and grown over two seasons in at least three geographical locations in Kenya. Fortunately in Kenya there are two growing seasons annually so we hope to reach the end of this process, and open up the market fully, by early 2018.” Ten varieties have been sent for trialing; four free varieties – Hermes, Atlantic, Cara and Russet Burbank – and six commercial varieties provided by the James Hutton Institute. The varieties selected are processing varieties which are expected to thrive in hot, dry conditions. (Source: The Scotsman)

US importing more potatoes

US volume of imports of dehydrated, fresh, frozen, chips and seed potatoes are up 7% for July 2016 – March 2017 compared to the same period the previous year, according to Potatoes USA.  The organization says the increase of 2.5 million  hundredweight (cwt) fresh weight equivalent (fwe) was due to increases in all products except seed potatoes. The increase was led by fresh potatoes, which were up 17% or 940,173 cwt.  Imports of dehydrated potatoes increased 6% or 370,160 fwe cwt while frozen imports were up 1.14 million fwe cwt or 5%. Canada supplies all of the fresh potatoes and the vast majority of frozen products, while the dehy comes from a number of different sources including Canada, the EU, China and Peru. (Source: Potatoes USA)

Canada: Quebec eyes seed potato export to Latin America and Caribbean

Over the past few decades the Canadian Provinces Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta have exported a considerable amount of seed potatoes from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean, but this has decreased substantially. More recently, a couple of seed potato companies from Quebec, together with the Centre de Recherche Les Buissons (CRLB) have started an initiative to export high quality seed potatoes to Latin America and the Caribbean. Progest 2001 Inc, a private research and development agricultural company based in Sainte Croix, Quebec has been given the mandate to promote Quebec’s seed potatoes in Latin America and the Caribbean. More

BLE Marktbericht: Präsenz inländischer Frühkartoffeln weitete sich massiv aus

Die Präsenz inländischer Frühkartoffeln weitete sich massiv aus. Da die Nachfrage nicht mit der ausgedehnten Verfügbarkeit Schritt halten konnte, waren die Verkäufer gezwungen, ihre Forderungen zu reduzieren. Dies betraf indes nicht nur die einheimischen Chargen, sondern auch die italienischen und zyprischen. Speziell die Partien aus dem Süden Europas vergünstigten sich angesichts der erstarkten deutschen Konkurrenz punktuell sehr kräftig. Immerhin belebten die gewährten Verbilligungen das anschließende Verkaufsgeschehen. Lagerkartoffeln büßten an Wichtigkeit ein; die angebotenen Mengen verringerten sich zusehends. Dies wirkte sich in der Regel jedoch nicht auf die Kurse auf, die häufig auf dem Niveau der Vorwoche verharrten. Allein in Frankfurt stiegen sie für einheimische Annabelle sogar ein wenig an. Lesen Sie hier den vollständigen Marktbericht.

Indian potato growers urge government to open exports to Pakistan

Arguing that potato growers are suffering losses, Jalandhar Potato Growers Association (JPGA) has demanded export of potatoes to Pakistan and availability of express rail rakes for transporting their produce to southern states. Addressing a press conference here JPGA press secretary Addressing a press conference here JPGA press secretary Jagat Gill Thamanwal said earlier potatoes from India were exported to Pakistan but the Narendra Modi led government stopped the export to the neighbouring country in July 2014. He said potatoes growers had suffered huge losses due to demonetization. More

BLE Marktbericht: Heimische Speisefrühkartoffeln gewannen an Bedeutung

Deutsche Speisefrühkartoffeln gewannen allmählich an Bedeutung. Neben Erzeugnissen aus der Pfalz gelangten inzwischen auch niedersächsische Produkte in den Handel. Teils griffen die Kunden bei den inländischen Annabelle, Berber und Leyla gerne zu, teils zögerten sie wegen der hohen Preise, einer uneinheitlichen Sortierung oder zu junger Schale. Die Bewertungen neigten verschiedentlich zur Schwäche. Die Importe aus Italien oder Zypern litten unter der erstarkenden Konkurrenz aus Deutschland. Sie verloren sukzessive an Beachtung. Um den Verkauf nicht unnötig ins Stocken geraten zu lassen, gewährten die Vermarkten immer wieder leichte Vergünstigungen. Das Sortenspektrum hatte sich in diesem Sektor nicht verändert. Die Wichtigkeit alterntiger Lagerkartoffeln ging zurück. In der Regel korrelierten Angebot und Nachfrage genügend miteinander. Lesen Sie hier den vollständigen BLE Marktbericht.

US: Updating Cuba market access proposals

Several efforts to open the Cuban market for US potatoes have occurred in the last 17 years.  The most recent was last March with a potato industry visit to the island just 103 miles south of Florida.  Cuban officials expressed an interest in US potatoes after that visit. Because of that interest, industry officials met last week to review the most recent proposed market access protocol for US seed and fresh potato market access to Cuba. To restart the process, industry experts are looking at the 2009 unsigned agreement and seeing how it might be improved.  APHIS will submit the agreed upon version to Cuba to kick off the new effort. (Source: Potatoes USA)

US: Frozen and fresh potato exports up; dehy down

Total U.S. Frozen potato exports recovered in March, up 17% over March 2016 and bringing the total for the first three quarters of the marketing year to 754,953 metric tons, up 3% over the same period last fiscal year.  The March recovery was led by the Philippines up 57%, Mexico 38%, Taiwan 36%, Indonesia 31%, Japan 28% and Korea 25%.  The only real drag on exports to Potatoes USA target markets was China down 31% for the month and now off 30% for the marketing year. Total Fresh potato exports were up 18% for March and at 318,977 metric tons are now up 10% for the marketing year.  Continue reading

Egyptian potatoes imported by Syria to tackle high prices

In order to ensure that the needs of the domestic market are met and to put an end to the dramatic increase of prices caused by the Syrian crisis, a batch of 5 thousand tonnes of Egyptian potatoes has been shipped and will be distributed in a number of provinces. A source from the Ministry of Commerce has reported that the cause of the high potato prices in the Syrian market is the lower domestic production, as well as the rising demand for potatoes. The source has also pointed out that the importation of potatoes will stop in late March, which is when a new domestic campaign is expected to kick off. It is worth noting that, before the onset of the crisis, the Syrian market had enjoyed near self-sufficiency. (Source:

US potato exports reach record levels in 2016

For calendar year 2016 total U.S. potato exports were up 4% to $1,726,920,330 – the highest ever value.  The volume of exports also reached a record level of 1,679,236 metric tons up 8% over 2015.  On a fresh weight equivalent basis the volume was up just 1%.  This is due to the fact that dehy exports were down 20% which had a big impact when converted back to the fresh weight equivalent. Frozen exports were up 8% while fresh was up 20% with chips up 3%.  When looking at combined exports of all products Canada was the number one market for the U.S. with growth of 19%.  Japan was number two up 14% while Mexico was still third despite a 5% decline. Attached are the calendar year U.S. potato exports in spreadsheet form and with analysis as a PDF.  For further information on export figures and international markets please go to the Global Database located on the Potatoes USA grower website.

Around the World in 80 Trades: Mackie’s at Taypack

James Taylor, Commercial Director at Mackie's at TaypackWe found out how a joint venture between potato farmers and an ice cream producer lead to the export of Mackie’s crisps to around 23 countries worldwide in less than a decade… What does your company do? Mackie’s at Taypack produces high quality, premium potato crisps from our farm in Perthshire – we sell these throughout the UK as well as in around 23 countries worldwide. When was your company launched, who by and why? Mackie’s Crisps was founded in 2009 as a joint venture between third generation Perthshire potato farmers, the Taylor family, and Mackie’s of Scotland Ltd, an Aberdeenshire-based family business renowned for their luxury ice cream. Combining the Mackies’ experience in the premium foods sector with the Taylors’ expertise in growing quality potatoes, the company has created a premium range of potato crisps. How long has the company been exporting? Our export activity was first initiated in 2010 – just one year after our business was launched. More

France profits from impact of Guatemalan potato moth in Spain

Taking advantage of the impact of the Guatemalan potato moth, a very harmful pest that has settled down in the north of Galicia and part of Asturias, France is selling large volumes to distribution channels in the area. Producer organizations and agricultural unions have noted how, over the last few weeks, Galician supermarkets have apparently been selling a lot more French potatoes, although they are packed in Galicia. The official data corroborate that feeling. Last year, France exported 518,000 tonnes of potatoes to Spain, almost 5% more than in 2015. It is the highest figure ever since the Spanish Federation of Associations of Producers and Exporters of Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers and Plants (Fepex) keeps records. In 2013, when there was no record of the pest, the figure reached 425,000 tonnes. Back then, French potatoes accounted for 60% of all imports arriving in Spain, while now this percentage has reached 71%. More

India: Pepsico buys potatoes from struggling Bengal farmers

While a number of potato growers are facing huge losses, a section of Bengal farmers is set to make money from potato cultivation after a collaborative farming arrangement with multinational food giant PepsiCo. PepsiCo officials led by Jaideep Bhatia, director of the agro division, on Friday met potato farmers who cultivated special process-grade potatoes. According to Bhatia, PepsiCo will procure 70,000 tonnes of potatoes from farmers at the agreed price set one month before planting. Bengal produces around 10 lakh tonne of potatoes every year. Unlike some other states, in Bengal, PepsiCo is entering into a pact with an aggregator for the supply of potatoes, whom the company is calling an opinion leader. More

India: Potato glut, price slump lead to losses for Uttar Pradesh farmers

This Holi will not be a season of much cheer for farmers as the state faces a potato glut. Despite good crop yield, they are not even able to recover the input cost of their produce. Uttar Pradesh witnessed an increase of about 20% this year in the areas under potato cultivation. There has been increased production as the weather too remained conducive, said Ram Saran Verma, a leading farmer of Barabanki who has introduced many innovations in potato farming. “Farmers are getting Rs 3-4 per kg in the wholesale market for potato that is being sold at Rs 8-10 in the market. The cost of production alone has been around Rs 4 per kg and thus farmers are running into losses,” said Verma. The scenario is the same in other potato producing states, including West Bengal, Gujarat and Bihar, where potato has been priced almost at the same rate in the wholesale markets. More

Belize, Mexico: Finding a potato solution

Last week reported on the 2.5 million pounds of Belizean potatoes that were in danger of going to waste, because they were unable to compete with the larger, cheaper, Mexican potatoes that are currently on the market. Normally, by the time the Belizean red potatoes are ready to enter the market, the Ministry of Agriculture cuts back on the importation of the competition. And according to Minister Godwin Hulse, that’s exactly what happened, but the problem is that the Mexican potatoes in the country now are contraband. So now, the potato farmers have been forced to reduce their prices to about 75 cents, which they think is unfair. More

Europatat: ‘Making the European Potato Trade great again!’

Belgapom, the Belgian Potato Traders and Processors, and Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, are pleased to confirm the dates for the annual Europatat Congress, that this year will take place in Antwerp (Belgium) from 15 to 17 June 2017, at the beautiful Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, located in the city centre of Antwerp. Under the provocative slogan ‘Making the European Potato Trade great again! (it’s gonna be huge, it’s gonna be great, it’s true!)’, the Congress will focus on two major current issues for the potato sector: plant health and trade. Among the keynote speakers are Harry Arijs (European Commission, DG SANTE) and Cedric Porter (World Potato Markets) who will talk about the new European plant health Directive and the Brexit effect on trade respectively, and its impact on the potato sector. Further speakers will be announced soon.  Continue reading

España: Canarias plantea volver a exportar papas si a Galicia se lo permiten

Las Islas mantienen los envíos en cuarentena por la plaga de la polilla guatemalteca, que ahora afecta a los cultivos gallegos El Gobierno ultima un protocolo de actuación. La polilla guatemalteca, una plaga que afecta a las papas antiguas canarias desde hace casi veinte años, amenaza ahora los cultivos de Galicia y abre el debate sobre la medida adoptada en las Islas para controlarla: prohibir la exportación de este tubérculo. El consejero de Agricultura del Gobierno autonómico, Narvay Quintero, reveló ayer que Canarias espera a que la Unión Europea autorice el protocolo diseñado por el Ejecutivo que permita las exportaciones y, a partir de ahí, retomar los envíos al exterior. Sin embargo, Quintero cree “evidente” que “si la polilla está en Galicia y Galicia puede exportar”, el Archipiélago también podrá hacerlo. Link

Brazil imposes anti-dumping duty on frozen potato from Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands

Last week the Brazilian Government has decided to impose an anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes imported from Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands. Brazil is an important export market for potato processors in Western Europe, so this duty can have significant economic impact for the processors. The Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from these countries in 2015. The anti-dumping measure is a tool agreed to under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and requires a formal investigation according to a defined protocol. The investigation aims to assess if the imported products are sold at a lower price than the product price in the country of origin. Brazil started the anti-dumping investigation following a complaint by the Brazilian Potato Processing Company Bem Brazil Alimentos Ltda. More

China: First batch of US seed potatoes to arrive in Jining next month

The office for Inspection and Quarantine in Jining city (Shandong province), recently handled papers regarding the import of seed potatoes for a local agricultural company. The formalities having been dealt with, the first batch should arrive in Jining in March. “These imports are one of the very first introductions of American seed potatoes into China in recent years.” A relevant staff member explains that the agricultural science company is situated in the city’s Wenshang county and that the CEO of the company is a Chinese-American person. Introducing foreign seed tubers at this time is mainly in order to find suitable acres to grow potatoes of excellent quality in the future. More

Argentina: Entry of Brazilian potatoes causes concern

The National Federation of Potato Producers (Fenapp), which has been affected by the climate and other factors that may have undermined the crop’s development throughout the country, expressed its dissatisfaction with the arrival of Brazilian potatoes at the Central Market. “We know there is a need for much more bilateral trade within the framework of regional integration and as a result of the creation of a common market such as Mercosur,” said the Vice President of  Fenapp, Mario Raiteri. “We could understand these imports if there was a decrease in supply of potatoes that led to a disproportionate increase in the price of food for the people of Argentina, but there is no such thing going on,” the leader added. The potato sector has been going through complex situations, such as climate issues, the high cost of inputs, and dollar inflation. “In addition, we have high employer contributions, expensive freight and its powerful impact on production areas far from large urban centers,” Raiteri stated. More

Eastern States ban imports from Western Australia after pest found

After the discovery of a destructive pest known as the tomato potato psyllid at a Perth farm, Eastern States banned the import of produce from Western Australia in order to quarantine the problem. With the Federal agriculture officials in Canberra alerting overseas trading partners, growers and exporters fear foreign markets could be lost. The State Agriculture Department has placed at least one Perth farm in quarantine. The Department of Agriculture raised the alert last week after the tomato potato psyllid was found on a commercial capsicum crop. It is the first time that the bug has been detected in Australia and officials are taking it seriously as it is said to be a big production pest in countries where it is present, such as the US and New Zealand. Beyond attacking crops, the pest can act as a host for bacteria that damages potatoes. More

North Lebanon potato farmers protest imports from Egypt

Farmers in north Lebanon Saturday protested potato imports, arguing that it helped worsen their situation. The farmers in the town of Halba in the northern district of Akkar urged Agriculture Minister Ghazi Zeaiter to ban the importation of Egyptian potatoes, the National News Agency reported. The protesters complained that the Egyptian imports that don’t meet the applied standards have been “randomly” entering Lebanon. They called on the government to find markets to dispose of their products, estimated to reach around 60,000 tons, locally and in foreign markets. More

After strong growth, South African potato exports down 18%

South Africa is self-sufficient in potatoes. 2015 was an exceptionally good year with a harvest of 250 million 10kg bags, which fell to 214 million 10kg bags in 2016 due to drought and excessive heat. This year it appears as if the area under potatoes is somewhat less, but a better harvest than last year can be expected, says Dr André Jooste, CEO of Potatoes SA. Approximately 50 000 to 54 000ha is annually planted with potatoes. According to Potatoes SA, between 6 and 8% of South Africa’s total production of potatoes is exported to neighbouring countries, with a fraction destined for the Middle East and other parts of Africa. The value of exports reached a record 583 million South African Rand (€42 million) in 2014, according to the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz). However, explains Tinashe Kapuya, head of international trade at Agbiz: “From a volume perspective, exports for 2016 will expectedly be lower. We expect a fall from 155 667 tons in 2015, to about 120 000 tons in 2016 – which is an 18% decline.” More

HANSA Terminhandel GmbH Marktkommentar Kartoffeln: Erfolgreiche Rohstoffschonung – Belgiens Vorräte größer als im Vorjahr

Image result for hansa terminhandelDie große weltweite Nachfrage nach europäischen Kartoffelprodukten lässt vermuten, dass insbesondere Belgien und Holland mindestens so viel produzieren werden, wie im Vorjahr. Da aber diese beiden Länder im letzten Herbst kaum mehr geerntet haben, griffen Frittenhersteller frühzeitig auf Rohwarenimporte zurück. Dabei waren sie nicht wählerisch und kauften alles, was sich zur Herstellung ihrer Produkte eignete. Wie viele Kartoffeln eingeführt wurden, war lange Zeit schwer zu schätzen. Letzte Woche hat der Wallonische Kartoffelverband nun etwas mehr Licht in die Sache gebracht, denn es wurden dort die Kartoffelvorräte bei den Bauern geschätzt. Von in Belgien gewachsenem Rohstoff wurden von November 2016 bis Januar 2017 lediglich 723.000 Tonnen genutzt. Das waren 230.000 Tonnen weniger als im selben Zeitraum im Vorjahr.  Continue reading