At today’s Potato Business Summit – hosted in conjunction with the Potato Expo 2022 in Anaheim, California – Cedric Porter of World Potato Markets and Liam Glennon of World Potato Congress presented on the European potato market outlook.
In Europe, the corona virus as ever in the last couple of years is still the dominant factor influencing the European potato market, and looks to be for some time to come, according to Mr Porter. He said the omicron variant of the virus is lately the reason for the closure of some restaurants across Europe, or restrictions at least in terms of opening hours and table services, although those restrictions are not as strict as they were in early lockdowns.
“So we’re still seeing an impact on the potato market but perhaps not as great as during early parts of the pandemic on usage of potatoes,” Porter said.
He said it’s clear that processing usage has recovered in the last few months of 2020. The recovery in exports has been very much concentrated in exports outside the the EU, “which is probably a concern for exporters in North America”.
“We’re now at record levels of nearly two million tons of frozen fries being exported outside the EU by the EU’s main exporting countries. The US has been one of the destinations where EU fries had gone to, and there was a big increase in 2019-20, partly because of the virus disruption, as well as a need in North America for extra fries. That’s continued in the 2021 season, although not to that same sort of growth rate. Looking at prices, very much concern again for the North American fry manufacturers – we can see that there is lower prices for Dutch, and particularly Belgium prices, compared to some of the North American products.”
View the full presentation in the video below, which can also be watched on YouTube here.
The full Business Summit agenda can be found here.