Weekly Product Updates

W3 Potato Update: Kyrgyzstan Faces 33.8% YoY Drop in Potato Exports, Bangladesh's Potato Prices Soar in Peak Season, Zimbabwe Suspends South African Potato Imports Over Pepper Ringspot Virus Concerns, and Irish Farmers Experience Surge in Potato Sales

Fresh Common Potato
Published Jan 25, 2024

Kyrgyzstan Reduced Potato Exports by 33.8% in 2023

In 2023, the overall increase in quarantined product exports in Kyrgyzstan by 33.8% year-over-year (YoY), reaching 851.4 thousand tons. The potato industry faced a 27.7% YoY shipment reduction from Jan-23 to Nov-23. Uzbekistan was the primary consumer, receiving over 85% of potato shipments from Kyrgyzstan. However, the export value plummeted by 43.5% YoY, totaling USD 5.2 million. Average potato prices experienced a 22% YoY decline, reaching USD 154.5 per ton. In the Kyrgyzstan market, the maximum potato price in 2023 peaked at USD 0.55 per kilogram (EUR 0.51/kg).

Bangladesh's Potato Market Faces Strain with Soaring Prices in Jan-24

The peak potato season in Bangladesh is experiencing high prices due to weather conditions and halted imports. Cyclone Michaung's rains have reduced early variety supplies, while the cessation of potato imports has further strained supply. Retail potato prices have surged by 134% over the past year. Despite government efforts to control prices, only 60 thousand metric tons (mt) of potatoes were imported out of an approved 360 thousand mt.

Egyptian Potato Growers Express Differing Views in the 2024 Production

The Egyptian potato campaign began at the beginning of 2024, with growers' varying opinions on the volume of potatoes harvested and exported. A potato producer estimates an increase in production of around 2.5 million metric tons (mmt) due to the growing demand. However, another grower argues that volumes will not exceed last season's levels and may even be lower due to frost, which could cause a shortage of potatoes in two months. Another grower believes that the increase in acreage does not exceed 10%, and the volumes of seeds used this season have not changed much.

Zimbabwe Halts South African Potato Imports Over Pepper Ringspot Virus

Zimbabwe has halted the importation of potatoes and related goods from South Africa due to the detection of the Pepper ringspot virus (PepRSV) in South African potato cultivars. The suspension aims to safeguard local farmers and aligns with the Plant Pest and Disease Act Chapter 19.8, discovered in South Africa in Oct-22. PepRSV is primarily transmitted by nematodes in the soil, posing a threat to potato crops.

Scottish Seed Potato Exports to Egypt Completed Amid Red Sea Escalation

Scottish seed potato exports to Egypt are nearly complete, most arriving before the Red Sea tensions escalated. The main volumes came before freight rates increased and shippers stopped sailing through the Red Sea. The company has also completed exports to Thailand, Morocco, Indonesia, and the Canary Islands. In total, Scottish seed potatoes are exported to 28 countries. Although volumes of seed potatoes produced in Scotland were marginally down in 2023, they were lifted before severe storms hit the country. However, Scotland got off relatively lightly compared to other countries, with Ireland losing around 50% of the ware crop and the Netherlands and Belgium losing about 30%.

Cold Weather Boosts Irish Potato Sales Amid Harvest Challenges in Jan-24

The Irish Farmers’ Association reports a significant increase in potato sales due to cold weather despite a challenging harvest season. The European potato market is firm, with high demand and higher prices. Export markets are also reviving, with increasing demand from Mediterranean countries and Eastern Europe, signaling the potential for growth in the international market.

Potato Stock Exchange Notes Shortage in Quality Potatoes Across Italy and Europe, Prompting Price Adjustments

The Potato Stock Exchange conducted a commercial analysis of the potato industry in Italy and Europe, identifying a shortage of quality potatoes for fresh consumption and processing industries. Low yields and adverse weather conditions have contributed to this scarcity, leading to a price increase of approximately USD 0.11 to 0.16/kg (EUR 0.10 to 0.15/kg) for top-quality potatoes. The stock exchange operators adjusted the price of first-quality potatoes to USD 0.59/kg (EUR 0.54/kg) for the 2023/24 production campaign. While the national harvest is expected to deplete soon, the anticipation of new production, particularly from Sicily, offers prospects for a high-quality alternative in the upcoming months.

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