Weekly Product Updates

W2 Potato Update: Record Global Potato Production in 2022, Price Surges in Ukraine, and US-Japan Potato Market Access Talks Hit Political Roadblocks

Fresh Common Potato
Published Jan 19, 2024

FAO Data Highlights Robust Potato Production in 2022

Updated at the end of Dec-23, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Statistics database reveals that global potato production in 2022 reached approximately 375 million tons. China, India, Ukraine, Russia, and the United States were leading in production. Although the total potato cultivation area slightly decreased to 17.8 million hectares (ha) compared to the previous year, the crop yield increased. Noteworthy contributions to production came from Germany, Bangladesh, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), Belgium, and Egypt.

Historic Wholesale Prices Drive Imports from Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia Amidst Shortage Concerns and Prospects of Further Price Increases in Spring 2024

Ukraine is experiencing historically high wholesale prices for potatoes, prompting the importation of substantial quantities from Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia to meet growing demand. The price surge is linked to overproduction in 2022, decreased potato cultivation by the population, and adverse weather conditions, resulting in a shortage of high-quality food potatoes in the Ukrainian market. The importation of potatoes raises the possibility of price increases in Poland, with prospects for renewed price records for potatoes anticipated in the spring of 2024.

France Records 12.7% YoY Surge in Potato Production to 6.8 MMT in 2023 Despite Weather Challenges

In 2023, Union Nationale des producteurs de Pommes de Terre (UNPT) disclosed a 12.7% year-over-year (YoY) surge in potato production in France, totaling 6.8 million metric tons (mmt). Despite the challenging and unpredictable weather conditions, including a prolonged drought and heavy rainfall, the yield remained at 43.3 metric tons (mt) per hectare (ha), consistent with the ten-year average. However, the irregular weather patterns led to more significant sorting gaps than in 2022.

Dutch Farmers Anticipate Rise in Potato Prices for the 2024 Season

The Dutch Agricultural Union (NAV) has projected the anticipated cost of consumer potatoes for the upcoming 2024 harvest. To cover producer costs, contract prices for the 2024 crop must increase by a minimum of USD 0.025 to 0.03 (approximately 10%). This is due to an increase in various cost items and a slight increase in the overall cost of the 2024 crop compared to the previous season. The Consumer Potato Producers Organization has developed a contract tool to compare contract prices from different buyers, showing that prices for the 2023 crop averaged USD 0.185/kg for end-September delivery and USD 0.245/kg for end-March delivery, and they believe that prices for the 2024 crop will need to increase further to ensure profitability for growers.

Russia Achieved 30-Year Record Harvest in 2023

In 2023, Russia witnessed a 30-year high in potato production, reaching 8.6 million tons. This marked a significant 18% YoY increase, reflecting a robust performance in the potato farming sector. The Bryansk, Tula, Moscow, Astrakhan, and Nizhny Novgorod regions reported the highest yields. The remarkable surge in potato production in Russia in 2023 can be attributed to the successful implementation of the federal project "Development of Vegetable and Potato Growing." This initiative offered heightened state support and subsidies to large and small businesses across 76 country regions. The project specifically targeted the modernization of storage facilities and increased support for private farms, mainly focusing on regions like the Far East and the Kaliningrad region.

Potato Prices Plummeted by 25% MoM in Egypt Amidst Seasonal Surplus

In Egypt, potato prices have decreased by 25% month-on-month (MoM), reaching USD 485.41 per ton (EGP 15,000/ton) compared to the previous month's rate of USD 647.21/ton (EGP 20,000/ton). This decline is due to a surplus in the market resulting from the new season's crop.

Us Fresh Potato Market Access in Japan Remains Stalled at the End of 2023

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Potato Council has noted a stall in the US-Japan talks regarding access to the fresh potato market, attributing the delay to political opposition. Despite the US requesting Japan to finalize processes and conduct a pest risk assessment at the end of 2023, no specific timeline has been established. While the CEO expresses optimism about the potential for fresh potato market access in Japan, he acknowledges the ongoing necessity for sustained attention.

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