Market chronicles

potato-planet
2023, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle december 2023

Publication author: David Storper – Maison mendel Potato market chronicle december 2023 All market chronicles The year is off to a flying start in terms of prices! We’re starting to get used to it… A logical downward trend is underway, with supply increasing by the day. Harvesting in the North is behind schedule, particularly for fritables, due to late planting and unfavorable weather conditions in the fields. Boosted export demand seems to be overshadowing French consumption, which is struggling to get off the ground,due to the impact of inflation. Prices for firm white meats are struggling to come down. Demand remains strong. For firm red meats, market supply and demand are virtually non-existent. As fryers eat away at acreage, this trend may mean higher prices in the future for producers, who are still subject to more technical and normative constraints. Quality problems, such as mildew and pythium, are nevertheless reported in Germany, Holland and Belgium. A few disparate outbreaks are reported in France. Exports are on the up. Since the beginning of September, Italy and Spain have been on the offensive earlier than usual for washable products, due to climatic problems affecting the harvest. Italian buyers made their presence felt at Potato Europe. This external demand and rising fixed costs may augur well for a higher-priced market in the medium term. In the short term, however, price trends remain uncertain. It’s hard for supermarkets to reach their consumers with attractive prices in these conditions! There’s no doubt that Fruit Attraction is an opportunity for the potato family to position itself on a market that still has limited visibility in view of the grubbing-up that’s still going on. For the time being, growers are filling their stockpiles and selling only when the opportunity arises. We wish you all a good season,See you at the autumn trade shows.

potato-planet
2023, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle November 2023 (2)

meeting : David Storper, jeune courtier de la Maison Mendel Potato market chronicle November 2023 (2) All market chronicles David Storper has taken over from his father Jean-Marc Storper at the head of Maison Mendel, accompanied by his two team-mates. The young manager, who is diversifying his business, began his training as a sworn broker. He had joined his father’s potato brokerage company, Jean-Marc Storper aka “Marco”, 3 years earlier, when the latter was struck down by an illness that claimed his life in less than a year, on February 11. David Storper, 29, did not hesitate to take up the family torch, the fourth generation of a family of brokers based in Nîmes, who have moved from international grain transactions to potatoes and condiments. We caught up with France’s youngest potato broker as he walked the aisles of Madrid’s Fruit Attraction trade show with his sales manager Sylvie Pomarès, who works the Iberian market. They are supported by Ana, who has worked at Maison Mendel for over 20 years. “We generate 70% of our sales on the domestic market and almost 30% on export, with Spain as our main partner”, explains David Storper. The import-export business is an important part of the brokerage’s work, as France is a major producer and consumer country. The broker has a key role to play between distant parties who don’t necessarily know each other well. Knowledge and trust are his two watchwords: he must always be well informed about the market and its customers, and build and maintain relationships of trust with buyers and sellers alike. “We buy in Spain in June and July, from large structures in the south and in the Rioja region. Then we sell French products to Spaniards for the rest of the year. Our added value is to bring in new ideas, new outlets, we act as intermediaries between operators who have lost touch but still need to work together,” explains David Storper. He adds that the broker can intervene effectively as soon as there’s an imbalance somewhere, whether one of the parties is looking to buy or sell. “We work with a fixed commission on the tonnage sold,” he explains. Based in the Gard region, Maison Mendel is naturally close to the early potato crops of the Camargue, Marmande and Charentes regions. It also handles transport, although it’s the partners who give the orders. In season, the team works all over France, from Beauce to the North, via Normandy and Brittany. Generally speaking, David Storper sees industry as a threat to the fresh produce market. “Fortunately, our business is diversified and we’re maintaining the volumes we work with,” he points out. In particular, he is looking after the onion business, which used to account for just 1% of sales, but is now approaching 10%. He is also developing the organic side of the business, which is currently suffering and which he hopes will take off again in a healthier market. David Storper adds: “Maison Mendel monitors each deal from A to Z, from contract execution to payment. We remain vigilant about the customer’s financial soundness, and if necessary, we ask for pre-payments.” A member of the SNCPT and involved in the preparation of quotations sent to the CNIPT every week, David Storper has announced that he is starting his training to become a sworn broker, as his father was. “Our values are trust, respect for all parties and confidentiality. They can only be established through long-term work,” he asserts.

potato-planet
2023, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle November 2023

Publication author: Christelle Denis – SARL D.Vegetables Potato market chronicle November 2023 All market chronicles What a strange start to the campaign! We were aware that the harvest was going to drag on for a long time, given the delays in planting in certain regions during the spring, and the complicated dethatching, but the end of the harvest, particularly in northern France and northern Europe (Belgium, Netherlands), is far from in sight. In November, torrential rain flooded entire plots of land; will it be possible to harvest these fields when the risk of frost looms in the near future? The French market has been sluggish up to now, but packers have had no visibility and are finding it hard to meet demand! The export market has been buoyant since August, particularly in Italy and Spain, which has had the effect of maintaining sustained prices. We can already focus on the state of stocks and quality: it’s worth noting that in view of the increases (energy, packaging, labor) and attractive prices, growers are speculating little and selling as soon as possible; some fridges are already almost empty. Quality is average, with mainly visual defects (scab, dartrose…) and sizes are mainly towards the top of the basket; few small sizes will be available for fresh and processed. As far as the industry is concerned, it is to be hoped that the Benelux countries will be able to grub up what remains in the ground; if not, prices will come under considerable pressure throughout this campaign, which may well be shorter than usual. Similarly, with geopolitical tensions in Israel, will this region of the world be able to plant the plants sent for harvest in the spring of 2024? A strange start to a campaign with an uncertain future for the 2023-24 season!

potato-planet
2023, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle September 2023

Publication author: David Storper – Maison Mendel Potato market chronicle September 2023 All market chronicles A very busy start to the yearin terms of prices! We’re starting to get used to it… A logical downward trend is underway, with supply increasing by the day. Harvesting in the North is behind schedule, particularly for fritables, due to late planting and unfavorable weather conditions in the fields. Boosted export demand seems to be overshadowing French consumption, which is struggling to get off the ground due to high inflation. Prices for firm white meats are struggling to come down. Demand remains strong. For firm red meats, market supply and demand are virtually non-existent. With fryers nibbling away at acreage, this trend may augur higherhigher prices for producers, who are still subject to more technical and normative constraints. Quality problems, such as mildew and pythium, are nevertheless reported in Germany, Holland and Belgium. A few disparate outbreaks are reported in France. Exports are on the up. Since the beginning of September, Italy and Spain have been on the offensive earlier than usual for washable products, due toclimatic problems that have affected harvests. Italian buyers made their presence felt at Potato Europe. This external demand and rising fixed costs may augur well for a higher-priced market in the medium term. In the short term, howeverprice trends remain uncertain. It’s hard for supermarkets to reach their consumers with attractive prices in these conditions! There’s no doubt that Fruit Attraction is an opportunity for the potato family to position itself on a market that still has limited visibility in view of the grubbing-up that’s still going on. For the time being, growers are filling their stockpiles and selling only when the opportunity arises. We wish you all a good season,See you at the autumn trade shows.

potato-planet
2023, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle July 2023

Publication author: Yves Le Bouëdec – J. Lévesque SARL Potato market chronicle July 2023 All market chronicles At the end of the campaign, there have been no volumes left in good quality since the end of April. New harvests are expected, and when they are available, they are sold at good prices, especially as our European neighbors are expecting lower yields. Decidedly, one year follows another, but no two are alike in this business. This year’s highlight is the demand for processing potatoes, particularly for fritables in the Hauts-de-France region. This increase in plantings is disrupting the usual production patterns, for both seed and fresh potatoes. This year, planting was delayed until late May or even early June, particularly in the northern part of the region. Rainfall, followed by a dry climate with easterly winds, contributed to irregular emergence. High temperatures combined with a lack of water disrupted tuberization. Beware of bolting! Our world is changing, and we’re becoming aware of it… For the plant, the situation is complicated: dealing with current emergence problems, and ensuring a new, high-quality harvest. At present, it’s still difficult to predict harvest levels. Let’s keep things in perspective, because, as Boileau said: “often the fear of an evil leads us into a worse one”. Have a good summer.

potato-planet
2022, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle december 2022

Publication author: Jean-Marc Storper – SARL Maison Mendel Potato market chronicle december 2022 All market chronicles Here it is, the year of drought that reminds us of the famous year 1976. The revenge of irrigators, who seem to be doing rather well, on non-irrigators who are seeing their yields shrink, depending on the region and rainfall. And then there’s the galloping inflation of all inputs, plant protection products, equipment, etc., and ever longer lead times. And as if that weren’t enough, an unprecedented energy crisis is hitting packing stationspackaging stations and, above all, industry. Against this backdrop, prices are historically high for a harvest period, especially for versatile and fritable 7.5s from Beauce,Champagne or Picardie, with sizes that will be in demand throughout the year. Yields are lower, but growers have room in their fridges. Confident in the market, they delay sales, hoping for America. But happiness is not always around the corner!And the higher the prices, the lower the expected profits after storage. Prudence… Prices that are too high often attract outsiders and massive imports, as in a certain year 76…Will industry be able to pass on its costs? Will we have enough energy this winter? And will we or won’t we have a real winter? It’s hard to predict how the market will evolve in this unprecedented context. A word of advice: above all, select your buyers, who, given the sums involved, need to be as solvent as possible. That remains the sinews of war!Have a great season!

potato-planet
2022, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle January 2022

Publication author: Frédéric Laviron – Roussineau SA Potato market chronicle January 2022 All market chronicles One thing is certain: French fresh potato production was, in terms of volume, correct. With this in mind, we’re all familiar with the adage: “Before Christmas, I can sell potatoes; after Christmas, I have to sell potatoes”. The industry’s responsiveness? While we can be pleased with the industry’s responsiveness in meeting the expectations of the new clientele in Eastern Europe, the fact remains that we are still short of our volumes on our traditional markets and partners on the Iberian Peninsula, demanding high tuber quality in a context of falling consumption. Of course, export volumes are buoyant, and I expect this to continue over the coming months in the East, as we await the opening of new markets such as Poland and the Czech Republic, unless the early potatoes from Greece, Egypt, Israel and, of course, Spain put a serious brake on our momentum. Don’t relax your efforts for the next harvest No, my main concern is that we shouldn’t relax our efforts, and that the outlook for the next harvest is hypothetical. Looking at recent years, we can see that demand is concentrated on high-quality, washable products and that, barring climatic incidents (as is the case this year in the East), we are reduced to producing, processing and selling only this type of quality and product.and products.What about a second-rate product? Many farmers today are wondering whether they should switch all or part of their acreage to more profitable or more reliable crops such as cereals, corn and, of course, processing potatoes. The technical constraints weighing on production, the difficulty of keeping potatoes in the fridge, the growing number of certifications, the demand for quality… all these factors combine to bring about a profound change in the face of future production at every level of the industry.

potato-planet
2021, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle November 2021

Publication author: Christelle Denis – SARL D.Vegetables Potato market chronicle November 2021 All market chronicles After a rather wet summer, harvesting continued well into October. Harvested quantities are forecast to be slightly lower, but quality is deteriorating rather rapidly (scab, dartrose…). Since September, the domestic market has not been buoyant, and contracts with growers are more than sufficient to meet packaging needs. Will the harvest be sufficient to cover needs? If winter doesn’t encourage more consumption of potatoes, our harvest will be sufficient to cover the needs of the campaign! There is some concern about this market, which is struggling to get going. On the export front, we are nonetheless seeing a certain dynamism on the part of our Spanish and Italian neighbors, who are buying to stock up because of their lower production levels; but here again, they are also seeing lower consumption than in previous years. Central European countries are also buying earlier, due to unfavorable weather conditions in their countries; their purchases are mainly concentrated on unwashable or semi-washable potatoes. Potatoes, the French vegetable of choice In addition to this sluggish market, all raw materials (cardboard, wood, plastic, etc.) will have to rise in response to growing global demand. The elimination of plastic packaging for small potato packages also poses a problem for the supply of recycled raw materials, and increases production costs! Will consumers be able to keep up if prices continue to rise? Will they continue to buy potatoes, which are still one of France’s favorite “vegetables”?

potato-planet
2021, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle September 2021

Publication author: Jean-Marc Storper – SARL Maison Mendel Potato market chronicle September 2021 All market chronicles After a first part of the cycle that was too wet, marked by excess water and heavy mildew pressure that has rarely been equaled, here we are at the end of the cycle in dry conditions, to such an extent that irrigation is often necessary to harvest the plants. The impact of climate Climate disruption, or rather climate brutality, certainly has all kinds of surprises in store for us, depending on the variety and production basin (hollow hearts in large sizes, cracked, split, rust, scab of all kinds, mildew, erwinia, bacteria, etc.). There were wide disparities between plots, and often within the same plot, in terms of yield and quality. In any case, this wet season has triggered the phytosanitary budget like never before. Under what conditions will we be able to harvest, and what real quantities will be storable, marketable and in what category? Answer: not before the end of November, as always. Depending on storage problems, dubious lots are likely to weigh down the market in the first half of the season. The strategy of other countries On the domestic market, those nostalgic for back-to-school promotions on Bintje for cellaring are having a hard time realizing that Bintje is becoming rarer. And scarcity always puts pressure on prices. On the export front, Eastern European countries are particularly keen to buy. The Italians, who have suffered from the drought, are also paying close attention and will undoubtedly be in the game. The Spaniards, who seem to be better provided for, are timidly starting to buy unwashed, but are discussing prices. Have a great season!

potato-planet
2021, Market chronicles

Potato market chronicle July 2021

Publication author: Yves Le Bouëdec – J. Lévesque SARL Potato market chronicle July 2021 All market chronicles It’s already July, who’d believe it? The capricious weather is making us doubt the start of summer. These temperature swings are disrupting tuber development.For early potatoes, this is true for practically all terroirs.Offers of Spanish and Portuguese washable products abound, with varying degrees of quality. However, they are preferable to old French batches. French products The transition to early French produce with ripe skin takes place at the end of the first dekad of July. Sporting harvesting conditions determine the right price. The first firm red flesh is in demand.All these factors contributed to a good flow of early produce, while awaiting the new conservation harvest. For the latter, rainy spells have favored growth and should, barring climatic accidents, augur well for a good harvest. Potatoes adapt to all seasons As far as seed potatoes are concerned, the increase in plantings may seem problematic in terms of sales, especially as an increase in sea freight, export pallets and bags leads to a significant mechanical rise in the final price. In many cases, our customers did not receive any tourists this year because of Covid. However, aphid thefts have been significant, and we’ll have to wait for the results of pre-culture tests to quantify which batches are suitable for sale. In the meantime, I wish you all the best for your vacations, and don’t forget that potatoes can be enjoyed in any way, in any season!