Potato market chronicle January 2018

Publication author: Christelle Denis – SARL D.Vegetables

Potato market chronicle January 2018

As we begin 2018, I’d like to start by wishing all our readers and industry players a happy and prosperous New Year for our business.

The start of the year continues the momentum of late 2017: an interesting start to the harvest that
slowed sharply in October to remain fairly sluggish even in December and early New Year. Production quality in general is holding steady, but with a tendency towards rapid sprouting that is sometimes difficult to contain. Firm-fleshed quantities are normal; sales are currently rather slow, but Germany should continue to buy until the end of the season. The advantage of low or fair prices will enable us this year to remain positioned in certain markets such as Italy, as opposed to last season when our fairly high selling prices helped German potatoes to penetrate the Italian market.

A counter-blow to the potato market

Our industry is suffering the backlash of two years of sustained prices and a craze for potatoes on the part of new growers; the market balance is estimated at 4.5 million tonnes, and a few percent too much puts it out of balance.

Our forecast for the season

The ware potato season is likely to be a long one, especially if the downturn in consumption does not reverse itself! The arrival of a large number of new varieties with interesting visual and taste qualities proves that our sector remains dynamic, but doesn’t it risk distorting consumers’ bearings on the shelves?

So our industry still has a lot of work to do to bring back and keep consumers in the fresh produce aisle, especially the younger ones. So many objectives for 2018!