Potato market chronicle November 2017

Publication author: Jean-Marc Storper – SARL Maison Mendel

Potato market chronicle November 2017

Nature’s over-generosity has given us a very surplus harvest (almost complete) of over two million tonnes in Western Europe (+21% in France, according to the UNPT). There have been some relatively serious storage problems, particularly with late-ripening apples, but this is relative to the forecast harvest.
Positive aspects of the potato market

On the positive side of the market, prices are helping Eastern European countries, as well as Italy and the Gulf States, to make early purchases in substantial volumes, which, barring major quality problems, should continue throughout the campaign.

The French market lives to the rhythm of special offers, which daily weaken the traditional wholesale market a little more.

Spain and Portugal on the market

Spain and Portugal, which also harvested in excess, have been much less present until now, handicapped as usual at the start of the campaign by logistical problems. Things seem to be returning to normal recently. But given the quantities on offer, customers are increasingly demanding in terms of quality, hence the numerous disputes reported.

Increasing export volumes

With the industry content to load up its contracts, this is a campaign that would require major export releases, to give the market some breathing space. It’s worth noting that despite a 24% increase in export volumes to September 2017, due to the price stall, value figures are down 11%. Margins have been squeezed. Cash-flow problems among traders, who often pay in advance for seedlings and inputs, and who can’t pay themselves back from consumption… are likely to take their toll.

In this very complicated context, I wish you all a good campaign!

Jean-Marc Storper

Jean-Marc Storper (Vice-President of the SNCPT) has run Maison Mendel for over 30 years. The company specializes in potato and onion brokerage. Present on the national market as well as on all import (Israel, Morocco, Southern Europe) and export (throughout Europe) markets. He is a sworn goods broker for the Nîmes Court of Appeal, and a RUCIP expert and arbitrator.