Weekly Product Updates

W6 Potato Update: Ukrainian Potato Prices Surge Fourfold in Early 2024, Peru's Lima Wholesale Market Witnesses Potato Price Hike

Fresh Common Potato
Belarus
Published Feb 22, 2024
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In W6 in the potato landscape, Georgia's potato imports, primarily supplied by Germany, Russia, and Belarus, doubled in 2023 compared to the previous year. Despite the NEPG facing losses due to wet harvest conditions, total potato production in Belgium, Germany, France, and the Netherlands increased by 5% YoY, albeit lower than projected. Rapid price hikes in the northwestern European potato market were driven by significant harvest losses and a shortage of seed potatoes, leading to soaring futures market prices. Additionally, the Ukrainian potato market witnessed a fourfold surge in wholesale prices at the start of 2024, attributed to adverse weather, reduced European harvests, and lower product quality.

Georgia Doubled Potato Imports in 2023, Russia and Belarus Led Supplier Increase

Georgia doubled its potato imports in 2023 compared to the previous year, with 23.21 thousand metric tons (mt) imported, valued at USD 7.7 million, as opposed to 11.16 thousand mt worth USD 4.1 million in 2022. Germany was the primary potato supplier in 2022, followed by Russia and Belarus. The top three importing countries remained the same in 2023, with Russia and Belarus showing increases in the quantity and value of potatoes imported. Specifically, Russia supplied 8.43 thousand mt worth USD 2.2 million, Belarus supplied 8.05 thousand mt worth USD 2.1 million, and Germany supplied 1.16 thousand mt worth USD 185.33 thousand.

NEPG Association Faces Losses as 11 Thousand Ha Written Off in Wet Harvest Conditions

The North-Western European Potato Growers' Association (NEPG) is facing significant losses, with 11 thousand hectares (ha) of potatoes being written off due to wet harvest conditions, resulting in the loss of at least 650 thousand mt. Despite this setback, the total production of consumption potatoes in Belgium, Germany, France, and the Netherlands is estimated at 22.66 million metric tons (mmt) for 2023, marking a 5% year-on-year (YoY) increase. However, this estimate is lower than initially projected in Nov-23, primarily due to a reduced yield per hectare, dropping from 45.8 mt to 43.7 mt. Belgium experienced a remarkable recovery from an extreme drought in 2022, with yields per hectare increasing by more than 4 mt, leading to an 18.2% rise in production to over 4.5 mmt. In France, there was a notable increase in yields per hectare by about 4 mt, equivalent to a 10.5% YoY improvement. This contributed to a 13% rise in potato production to 6.8 mmt, nearly reaching the peak production levels seen in 2020 and 2021.

Surge in Potato Prices Hits Northwestern Europe

Potato prices are experiencing a rapid increase in northwestern Europe due to significant harvest losses and a shortage of seed potatoes. In 2023, potato farmers encountered challenging weather conditions, high disease pressure, and elevated costs. The European futures market is climbing, reaching USD 40.17 per 100 kilogram (kg) for the Apr-24 contract, USD 7.50/kg more than in Dec-23 and nearly double the lowest price recorded in Nov-23, less than USD 21.42/100 kg. Compared to Belgium, Germany, and France, the potato harvest area, and total production in the Netherlands were lower in 2023 than in 2022, with a 14.9% YoY decrease in production and a 1.5% decrease in surface area.

Ukrainian Potato Prices Quadrupled in Early 2024 Amid Production Challenges

At the beginning of 2024, the Ukrainian potato market witnessed an unprecedented surge in prices, with wholesale potato prices reaching USD 0.47 to 0.60 kg, a fourfold increase compared to the previous year. Several factors contributed to this price hike, including difficulties in potato cultivation due to unpredictable weather conditions, a drop in potato harvest in Europe, and lower product quality not meeting storage requirements. Analysts predict further price increases in spring as imported potatoes are unlikely to be priced low. This situation highlights the significant role of potatoes in shaping price policies and illustrates the complex dynamics within Ukraine's potato market, where price fluctuations result from domestic production challenges and external trade factors.

Potato Prices in Lima's Wholesale Market Rose in W6

According to the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri) data, eight out of 26 agricultural products experienced slight price increases in Gran Mercado Mayorista Lima (GMML) in W6. The most significant price hike was observed in single potatoes, rising from USD 0.31 to 0.33 kg. This was followed by the Andean black potato, which increased to USD 0.29/kg, and the Peruvian potato, which rose to USD 0.53/kg.

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