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W48: Weekly Potato & Sweet Potato Update

Updated Dec 7, 2022
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W48 in the global common potato and sweet potato landscape. In summary, for the common potato market, the EU is expected to experience an extreme production shortage resulting from the heatwave that happened in 2022. In November, UK potato prices dropped 5% MoM but increased 31% YoY. Additionally, due to higher electricity costs, potato storage costs have significantly increased since 2021 in the UK. In Ukraine, an increase in the price of potatoes is possible due to severe frosts and snowfalls. However, it is unlikely that there will be a change in the price of potatoes until February. Russia is expected to have enough potatoes for the 2022 season, mainly due to household plots. Turkey banned the export of fresh or chilled potatoes as of November 21, 2022, to ensure food supply security and price stability. As for the sweet potato market, in South Korea, sweet potato prices in W48 are low compared to the same period in 2021 due to sluggish demand.



EU Potato Shortage Expected to Impact the French Fries Market

Due to poor weather conditions in the EU caused by the heat, the amount of potato stock available this season is critically low, according to Belgian and Dutch French fry companies. As there are not enough volumes for existing buyers, producers are not taking on new buyers until early 2024.

United Kingdom

DEFRA Raises Seed Potato Derogation Granted to Canada With the EU

The UK government has responded to requests for the same exemptions for Scottish seed potatoes as for Canadian imports into the EU. The import of seed potatoes from non-EU countries into the EU is banned, with the exception of Switzerland and some parts of Canada, which complies with EU regulations. Scottish seed potatoes were critical to the continent's markets before the UK left the EU, as Scotland accounts for more than 75% of UK seed potato exports, with the country exporting seed potatoes to 18 EU countries in 2020/21. However, due to trade changes, Scottish farmers will no longer be able to export seed potatoes to the UK, including Northern Ireland, beginning in January 2021.

Potato Prices in United Kingdom Dropped 5% MoM in November, but Still Higher Than 2021

In W47, the benchmark price for UK potatoes fell 5% MoM to USD 230.17/MT. Since the start of the harvest, the price of potatoes has gradually decreased as the harvest of the main crops is in full swing and a high supply of potatoes is entering the market. Despite the recent price decrease, the price is up 31% YoY. Potato growers are still facing higher cultivation costs than last year, particularly for energy, fertiliser, and transportation. Due to higher electricity costs, potato storage costs have increased significantly since 2021.


The Price of Potatoes Will Depend on Weather Conditions and the Situation in Ukraine

An increase in the price of potatoes in Ukraine is possible due to severe frosts and snowfalls. However, it is unlikely that there will be a change in the price of potatoes until February, and an increase is more likely after February. Currently, potatoes are less expensive compared to other vegetables as a lot of farms without their own storage facilities are selling potato in large quantities. Additionally, due to the Russia-Ukraine war, many households in the community planted a lot of potatoes. As a result, there is more than enough supply of potatoes on the market. Only the weather will have the biggest impact on potato prices. Additionally, imports will not threaten the Ukrainian potato market because in Europe there was a crop failure due to drought and high temperatures in the summer. Although Ukraine could export a surplus, there is a problem with the supply of Ukrainian potatoes to the EU due to certain quarantine restrictions.


In Stavropol, Russia, the Potato Harvest in 2022 Amounted to 140,000MT

The Stavropol Territory ranks among the top ten in Russia in terms of vegetable production, accounting for approximately 2% of total Russian potato production. For the 2022 season, 140,000MT of potatoes and 123,100MT of vegetables grown in open fields were harvested as part of the "borscht set. State support measures are in place as part of the regional state programme "Development of Agriculture" to assist the Stavropol Territory's agricultural producers of vegetables and potatoes. Over a three-year period, nearly USD 7.13M was allotted for these purposes.

Potato Harvest Will Be Enough to Meet Domestic Needs

Even though the area planted with potatoes and vegetable crops in individual subsidiary plots has decreased, the Russians will have enough supply in the 2022 season. Private household plots continue to be the largest producers of potatoes in the country. However, since 2016, the share of household plots in the overall area of potatoes sown has dropped from 74% to 66%. Additionally, the overall potato yield, including household plots, is expected to reach 17–18MMT while Russians only consume 12-15MMT of potatoes annually. The remaining additional amounts will be used for sowing, according to the Potato Union.


The Arrival of 53,850MT of Potato Seeds From 7 European Origins

A report issued by the Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture, confirmed that 53,850MT of European potato seeds arrived from October 31 to November 27 for the 2022/23 growing season. Shipments of 65 varieties of certified seeds with a value of about USD 32.3M and an average cost of USD 600/MT arrived from the Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Germany.


Turkey Has Banned the Export of Fresh Onions and Potatoes as of November 21

Turkey banned the export of fresh or chilled potato and dried onion products as of November 21, 2022, to ensure food supply security and price stability. This export restriction includes all countries except the KKTC, Palestine, Azerbaijan, and Syria.


Pakistan Has Become the Main Supplier of Potatoes to the Uzbek Market

Uzbekistan imported 404,100MT of potatoes worth USD 65.9M from 16 countries between January and October 2022, according to the State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. According to official statistics, imports of potatoes increased by 14,700MT compared to the same period last year. The top four suppliers are Pakistan (258,200 MT), Kazakhstan (96,300 MT), Kyrgyzstan (16,800 MT), and Russia (15,000 MT). Despite domestic potato production increasing by 6.6% YoY to 2.6 MMT in 2022, Uzbekistan imports increased. 

Sweet Potato


National Research and Innovation Agency in Indonesia Pushes Cassava-Based Food Diversification to Prevent Food Crises

In order to reduce rice consumption and prepare for the possibility of a global food crisis, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is urging the community to switch  from rice to other sources of carbohydrates such as cassava, sweet potato, and other tubers. In addition, compared to rice, cassava is thought to have a better nutritional composition and an easier cultivation process.

South Korea

South Korean Sweet Potato Prices Dropped 2.9% YoY in November Due to Sluggish Demand

Sweet potato prices in W48 are low when compared to the same period in 2021. The price for a box of sweet potatoes averaged at 17.67/10kg on November 30 at Seoul's Garak Market, which is 2.9% less YoY and 8.7% less than November of a typical year. The main reason for the reduction in price is slow consumer demand. Additionally, the 2022 production is expected to be down by roughly 10% YoY compared to 2021 due to slow harvesting in the primary producing regions, including Nonsan and Dangjin in Chungcheongnam-do, Iksan and Gimje in Jeonbuk, and Haenam and Yeongam in Jeonnam. However, the price is low compared to the previous year because of the very sluggish consumption.

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