Weekly Product Updates

W43: Potato Update

Fresh Common Potato
Published Nov 2, 2023

In W43 in the potato landscape, the European Union's (EU) potato harvest for 2023 is estimated at 47.1 million metric tons (mmt), representing a 1.6% year-on-year (YoY) decrease. The total potato-growing area in the EU is around 1.34 million hectares (ha). Notably, in key potato-growing countries like Belgium and France, the harvest is expected to be larger than in 2022, with Belgium anticipating a 7.5% YoY increase in yield and France expecting a 9% YoY larger harvest.

In the Oct-23 crop yield forecast for 2023 potatoes, France is expected to have the highest average yield at 42 mt/ha, while Lithuania is predicted to have the lowest at 15.4 mt/ha. Poland's average yield is forecast at 27.5 mt/ha, representing an 11% YoY decline and a 1% drop from the five-year average. The EU's overall projected average yield is 35.1 mt/ha.

According to Tridge Analysis, excessive rain has disrupted potato harvesting in northern Spain, with areas like Salamanca, Valladolid, and Segovia managing to deliver their crops, while farmers in Andalusia are eagerly awaiting October rains to resume their harvest. However, introducing French potatoes into the Spanish market has caused an oversupply, resulting in a slowdown of the potato campaign in Castilla y León and continuous price declines. Consequently, the wholesale price of fresh potatoes in Spain has plummeted by 21.53% WoW, reaching USD 0.51 per kilogram in W43 of Oct-23, after almost two months of stability.

Russia plans to restrict seed material imports for potatoes, wheat, rye, barley, corn, soybeans, rapeseed, sunflowers, and sugar beets to boost domestic breeding and seed production. In the Khabarovsk region, farmers have significantly expanded potato and vegetable production, with an increase in cultivated area by 250 to 300 ha compared to the previous year. This expansion is reflected in the harvest, with nearly 12.1 thousand mt of potatoes collected, marking a 1.6-fold increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, in the Ural district, the potato harvest is progressing well, with more than 90% of the sown area already harvested, resulting in an impressive yield of over 665 thousand mt. In 2023, the Ural potato harvest increased by 12%, reaching 21.1 mt/ha.

In Ukraine, the price of potatoes has doubled on average compared to Oct-22. Ukrainian farmers are selling potatoes for USD 0.19 to 0.28/kg in W43, representing a 13% increase in WoW. This price surge is attributed to heightened demand from both wholesale companies and the general population. Additionally, challenging weather conditions in some regions have made potato harvesting more difficult, further contributing to the price increase in the potato market.

The Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is providing unprecedented support to round tomato, onion, and potato production due to high seed costs. Support for one ha of potato production will range from USD 780.92 to 1,464.22. This decision follows two seasons of prolonged drought and insufficient rainfall.

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