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Free potato market in Belgium collapsed due to COVID-19

Due to the corona virus the free market of potatoes has completely collapsed. The PCA/Fiwap and the Belgapom price quotation has been suspended because of a lack of transactions on the free market of potatoes.

According to Romain Cools of Belgapom, the federation of the Belgian potato processing and trade, in the meantime panic broke out among potato growers.

Said Romain Cools: “If the free market will recover, will depend from how the disease will evolve. The outlook is not that great. There is not just one potato market. Different potato markets do exist, with their own laws and features. Today we experience a significant increase in demand of fresh potatoes. Some speak of an increase of 50 to 100 percent. We know that several companies work during the weekend and that even office personnel is used within the production chain.”

Firstly, Romain Cools wishes to give the needed nuances. The first one is the fresh market. From questioning his members, Belgapom concludes that some companies which focus on the fresh market, do experience incredible busy times.

On the other side, there are segments of the free market which experience hard times. The peel factories which peel potatoes for chips shops and restaurants experience hindrance, similar to industrial kitchens. The demand has totally disappeared in this case.

A second segment is the chips market. Also in this case this applies to potato varieties which are not suitable as a regular table potato.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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