Potato market chronicle May 2021

Publication author: Silvana Paolozzi – Ets Jacques Albert

Potato market chronicle May 2021

We’ve come to the end of a year that has been, over the long term, very difficult and not very fluid: the sanitary restrictions, the closure of restaurants, the absence of all events and festivities, all of which have had a heavy impact on us.
With the lifting of these restrictions over the past few weeks, there is renewed hope that we will at last be able to return to a healthier, more normal commercial environment. For the time being, purchases from industry are intensifying and prices are rising.

France and Europe: the market

On the export front, the end of the campaign is making itself felt, and Italy and Eastern Europe are not buying. Sowing is almost complete, in good conditions but cold temperatures. Potatoes imported from Egypt and Israel are fetching good prices thanks to strong demand from Italy and Spain, countries that don’t usually buy. In France, we could be selling more right now, but we’re sorely lacking in quality potatoes.

The demand is there, but the Italians and Spaniards are only looking for top-quality products, and we’re suffering to sell potatoes that this year have many defects.

Admittedly, the withdrawal of the CIPC and the time needed to adapt to the new antigerminants have something to do with this. But perhaps we need to pay more attention, because without quality, we’re losing volumes as well as our historic customers, and can’t claim prices that cover production costs.

Into the unknown for the future of the market

The NEPG is announcing a 3 to 5% drop in plantings, the first year in a long time that these have always risen. We can only hope for a good recovery and better conditions for the coming campaign.