Weekly Product Updates

W48 Potato Update: Global Potato Harvests Surpass Expectations, and Prices Fluctuate Amid Market Dynamics

Fresh Common Potato
Belgium
Market & Price Trends
Egypt
Published Dec 6, 2023
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Tajikistan Potato Harvest Exceeded Expectations and Stable Market Prices in 2023

In Tajikistan, the gross potato harvest has exceeded 990 thousand tons, with more than 790 thousand tons grown on private and public farms and the rest on household plots. This surpasses last year's production by 50 thousand tons. Preliminary data suggests this year's potato production will reach 1.15million tons, exceeding the forecasted figure of 1.11 million tons. In 2023, the potato yield in Tajikistan was about 240 centner (c) per hectare (ha), and the country's potato imports decreased by 500 tons compared to the previous year. The price of potatoes in Tajikistan's markets remains stable at USD 0.46 to 0.55 per kilogram (TJS 5 to 6/kg).

Ukrainian Potato Prices Soar by 20% WoW as Demand Surges and Adverse Weather Hits Supply

Ukrainian potato producers increase selling prices due to higher demand from wholesale companies and retail chains, which purchase potatoes for long-term storage. Prices have increased by USD 0.27 to 0.38/kg (UAH 10 to14/kg) in W48, representing an average 20% week-on-week (WoW) increase. The supply reduction from small households, impacted by adverse weather conditions, also contributes to the price increase. Prices for potatoes in Ukraine are currently about twice as high as in the same period last year. Despite the rise, potato demand remains strong and farmers may attempt further price increases in the coming weeks.

Moldovan Potato Price Stabilized in Nov-23 Despite Import Challenges and Limited Local Supply

In Nov-23, the average wholesale price for potatoes in Moldova stabilized at USD 0.34/kg (MDL 6/kg), lower than in 2022. However, potato prices are higher than in the past five years. The rise in potato prices in the Moldovan market was restrained by importing cheap and high-quality potatoes from Ukraine. Potatoes in Moldova were still more expensive than in Ukraine during Nov-23. European potatoes on the Moldovan market are significantly higher than for local goods. The supply of high-quality potatoes in Moldovan agricultural producers' storage facilities is low, and the weather has not traditionally made potatoes more expensive.

Potato Harvest Delays in Europe Caused Quality Concerns and Price Surge

Potato harvest in Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands have been delayed due to poor weather conditions and abundant rainfall in Oct-23. This led to concerns about the quality of remaining crops, with 1.4 million tons of potatoes remaining in fields. The Northwestern European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates that potatoes left in anaerobic conditions can rot. The difficult harvest conditions have resulted in rising prices in the potato market, with prices on the spot market increasing from USD 8.65 to USD 21.62 per 100 kg. The demand for healthy, dry potatoes is high, but concerns about contract fulfillment and potential shortages in the long term remain.

UK Turns to Unusual Sources for Imports as it Faces a Potato Shortage

The UK potato harvest has experienced a significant decline due to adverse weather conditions, raising concerns about potential shortages. The potato harvest is estimated to have shrunk to 4.1 million tons, down from about 6 million tons five years ago. To mitigate potential shortages, supermarkets may need to import more potatoes from other countries. The UK might use unusual sources like Egyptian potatoes to meet demand during the festive season. In contrast, while dealing with an unusually wet autumn, Dutch farmers managed to maintain an average harvest.

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