Europe, UK, Ireland, Most viewed stories, News July 2024, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends, Weather/Climate

A sector in flux: Record highs in Dutch potato prices amidst supply shortages and weather challenges

The Expana benchmark price (EBP) for Dutch processing potatoes is up 7.76% y-o-y at €625/MT, an all-time high for the EBP, according to Harry Campbell, market researcher at Expana.

According to Campbell, market sources have stated that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find free buying processing supplies as the industry awaits the new potato crop’s arrival. The limited availability is the direct consequence of a very wet and delayed 2023 harvest which impacted the quality and supply of potatoes in Europe.  

The new crop which will supply the 2024/25 MY is expected to be delayed in certain parts of North-west Europe after wet weather delayed plantings, Belgium and the Netherlands were the worst affected countries. In a NEPG statement released on the 1st of July, a rough estimate puts hectarage up by 4-6% in 2024, and crop progress varies from newly planted fields at the end of June which is unusually late to full flowering soon-to-be-harvested crops.  

In June, the EU Commission readjusted its 2024 harvest yield figure to 35.8 tonnes per hectare, 3% lower than the May figure, although still 1% higher than the 5-year average. This comes after large yield readjustments in Belgium and the Netherlands, which are 10% and 6% lower respectively than the May forecast. The MARS report mentioned severely delayed plantings due to waterlogged soils and phytophthora, a disease in potatoes that causes late blight, as factors that could ultimately affect the final crop yields. 

Processing demand in the NEPG zone, especially in France, is rising, but sales of frozen chips and other processed products are stabilizing or declining. Competition is increasing from North America, China, India, Turkey and Argentina, according to the NEPG. 

The risk associated with growing potatoes is increasingly becoming more prevalent, largely due to the increasingly volatile weather, according to Harry Campbell.

Source: Harry Campbell, Expana market researcher

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