W33: Potato Update

In W33 in the potato landscape, European countries face a potato shortage due to cool spring and dry summer, rising nitrogen fertilizer costs, and low profitability in previous years, resulting from the dry season. In the Netherlands, potato production is anticipated to be even lower than in 2018 due to extended periods of dry weather throughout the growing season. Similarly, in Belgium, where challenging conditions during spring and summer affected the potato crops, however, the potato production in Oct-23 is expected to improve.

The potato market in Scotland is generally stable, with prices not increasing sharply but also not falling in value. Defra reports a 6.4% decrease in potato production in Scotland for the 2022/23 season, with a total harvest of 4.8 million metric tons (mmt). It is only 139 thousand mt higher than 2012's hard-hit harvest, which suffered from a rainy season. The potato crop has evaded the drought challenges of 2022, with few fields irrigated except for a few areas in North Cambridge and Norfolk. There is demand for ware potatoes, with crops receiving up to USD 813.44 per metric ton (GBP 640/mt) and others up to USD 635.50/mt (GBP 500/mt).

During the first half of 2023, Azerbaijan witnessed a 9.1% year-on-year (YoY) decline in potato exports and a 16.9% decrease in potato imports. From Jan-23 to Jun-23, the country exported 71 thousand tons of potatoes, marking an 11.6% YoY decrease. The primary destination for Azerbaijan's potato exports was Russia, with 64.479 thousand tons sent, a 15% YoY reduction. The export value to Russia amounted to USD 33 million, indicating a 15.7% YoY decline.

Uzbekistan produced 1.7 million tons of potatoes in the first six months of 2023, a 3.3% YoY increase. The first batches of new potato crops arrived in the Uzbekistan wholesale markets in Apr-23, which was three weeks later than in 2022. The average wholesale price for new crop potatoes in Uzbekistan continued to decrease until Jun-23. Since Jul-23, the average price has stabilized at around USD 0.25 per kilogram (UZS 3,000/kg). Lastly, Russia's potato cultivation area decreased by 40 thousand hectares (ha) in 2023, affecting 1.07 million ha in all farms. This reduction mainly affects household plots, while the commodity sector saw a slight increase from 301.9 thousand ha in 2022 to 305 thousand ha in 2023.

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