Potato market chronicle November 2023

Publication author: Christelle Denis – SARL D.Vegetables

Potato market chronicle November 2023

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!