Potato market chronicle January 2017

Publication author: Christelle Denis – SARL D.Vegetables

Potato market chronicle January 2017

As we begin 2017, I’d like to start by wishing all readers and industry players a prosperous year for potatoes. The start of the year continues the momentum of late 2016: production of ware potatoes in France has fallen slightly compared with the 2015-2016 campaign, and prices since the start of the 2016-2017 campaign have remained at a high level. The
manufacturers are finding it difficult to meet their contracts, which is having an impact on ware potato prices. Nevertheless, volumes remaining in stock at the end of 2016 are almost identical to stocks at the same period in N-1 and N-2.

A calm start to the potato market

Production is undoubtedly delighted to be getting high prices, but this is not without consequences in the more or less long term. Indeed, the beginning of the year remains calm in terms of buying, even if all customers, French and foreign, are buying, but in smaller proportions. High production prices are having an impact on consumer prices. For several years now, there has been a clear downturn in household purchases of fresh potatoes.

High prices

Excessively high prices and households less inclined to peel potatoes are detrimental to the sale of our products; on the other hand, processed products and our main competitors, pasta and rice, benefit from this windfall. We need to keep an eye on this phenomenon to prevent fresh potatoes from losing their place on store shelves!

Potato market 2017

Let’s not forget that potatoes are still a basic product, so we mustn’t get too carried away when it comes to prices! We can be sure that this season’s stocks will sell without too much difficulty, but with the euphoria, it’s to be feared that the 2017-2018 season will see an increase in production, which would also lead to a very sharp drop in prices! Watch out for the pendulum effect…