Europe, UK, Ireland, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

Potato supply crunch: Ireland and Northern Europe face harvesting hurdles and seed shortages

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has released its latest weekly potato market report, highlighting several critical issues currently impacting the potato industry both in Ireland and Northern Europe.

In Ireland, the report indicates that home consumption and retail sales of potatoes have remained steady. However, the market is facing a tightening in the availability of pre-pack quality stock. This scarcity is beginning to reflect in the prices, which are reported to be on the rise. The situation is attributed to the decreasing viability of the overwintered crop, raising concerns among growers and consumers alike.

Compounding the issue, some Irish growers are grappling with significant harvesting challenges. Up to 50 acres of potato crops are yet to be harvested by some farmers, primarily due to the recent spells of poor weather conditions. This delay not only affects the current supply but also raises questions about the quality and viability of the crop once it is eventually harvested.

The situation is not isolated to Ireland. In Northern Europe, a critical shortage in the supply of seed potatoes to the processing sector has been reported. This shortage comes at a particularly inopportune time as exporters in these regions are striving to maintain their recent expansion into global markets.

Countries like France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and Holland have seen a 7% reduction in seed area this year. Additionally, the crop has suffered losses due to quality downgrading and poor yield. As a result, a higher percentage of the crop is likely to be cut, further exacerbating the supply issues.

The IFA’s report sheds light on the interconnected nature of the potato market across Europe. The challenges faced by growers in Ireland resonate across the continent, impacting supply chains and market dynamics. The industry is now at a juncture where addressing these challenges is crucial for maintaining market stability and ensuring the continuous supply of this staple food.

Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Original report here
Photo: Credit Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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