Trade/Markets/Prices

IFA: Retail potato demand buoyant in Ireland, lockdowns stifling demand in Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its latest weekly report that retail demand was buoyant over the Easter period in Ireland, but the food sector service in the country continues to trade at a minimum. Across Europe, another series of lockdowns is reportedly stifling potato demand and the main processors are keeping their requirements almost solely to contracts.

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IFA urges farmers to ‘grow for their markets’

According to the latest potato market report issued by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), there is a chance that outdoor dining may recommence in May according to the most recent plan to gradually re-open the country. Demand for top quality packing material remains strong. As the weather improves, growers are reminded to ‘grow for their markets’ and to remain cognisant of the current market situation.

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Second pandemic wave caused depressed British potato market

AHDB Arable analyst, Thomma Shepherd, provides an analysis of what has driven potato markets over the last few weeks. She says the weekly average price survey, covering all sectors of the industry, shows potatoes have had a depressed few months, lagging behind previous seasons. The 2nd wave of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has killed a lot of demand for potatoes. With the majority of hospitality closed along with schools there has been little optimism within the industry.

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‘Cut and fried’: Northwest spud farmers take a deep hit on their processing contracts

The Northwest farmers who grow potatoes for your French fries are themselves plenty fried. The three massive agribusiness companies that make much of the world’s frozen fries, tots and hashbrowns are going to pay Northwest potato farmers less this year. “It really is a punch in the gut,” says Adam Weber, a 27-year-old, third-generation grower in Quincy in Washington’s Columbia Basin. Farmers like Weber say they’ve already taken a hit from the pandemic and higher fertilizer costs.

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New Zealand: The local chippie industry under threat?

The impact of Covid-19 on the chip industry in the Northern Hemisphere is putting locally grown and processed hot potato chips at the local chippie under threat. Potatoes NZ CEO Chris Claridge is looking for Government action to protect New Zealand potato farmers from the influx of frozen fries grown and processed in Europe undercutting their locally grown equivalent.

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Potential for an increased potato area in Ireland this year?

As we approach April, we are at a critical time for the industry in relation to the upcoming season, says the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in its weekly market report. The organisation says there are reports that some growers are planning to plant increased acreage this year. “If this is the case, the supply and demand plateau will be disrupted,” the IFA says in its report.

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National Potato Council, ag industry groups raise alarm on U.S.-Mexico trade relationship

The National Potato Council (NPC) and 26 leading food and agriculture associations yesterday sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai yesterday communicating growing concerns over the rapid deterioration of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship. The letter calls attention to alarming recent developments with regard to food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico and urges action to address these challenges.

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Canada: Prince Edward Island seed potatoes cleared for export to the U.S. after no more wart found

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has lifted its voluntary suspension of export certification for P.E.I. seed potatoes, allowing trade to the United States to resume. The suspension was lifted as of March 11, 2021, the agency said in a statement emailed to CBC News. The P.E.I. Potato Board confirms there have already been shipments of seed potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. since the CFIA announcement.

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British potato exports fell in January to lowest recorded this marketing season

The latest HMRC trade data covers up to January 2021, the first month following the exit of the UK from the EU trade bloc. According to Alex Cook, Analyst Potatoes & Cereals and Oilseeds at AHDB, across all categories recorded, imports and exports have fallen from December with figures at the lowest reported this marketing season. This comes as little surprise, given the reports of delays and difficulties at ports around the UK during the first weeks of January. The imposing of strict lockdown measures in the UK throughout January until present have restricted demand levels, reducing the import requirement.

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NFU Scotland: Only ‘absolute parity’ will resolve seed potato export issues

NFU Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on exporting Scottish seed potatoes to the Europe Union and Northern Ireland by calling for UK Governments to explore all possible avenues to reopen these markets. The union said that reciprocal arrangements, in accordance with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), should be put in place as soon as possible, achieving equivalence across all imports and exports.

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Caledonia Potatoes: ‘Scottish seed potato growers face serious decisions’

Although discussions are continuing between the UK and the EU on equivalence measures for seed potatoes it is very unlikely that any Scottish seed potatoes will be exported into Europe this season. Growers are having to make serious decisions on what and how much to plant for the coming season, according to Robert Doig of Caledonia Potatoes. He said the development was no surprise to him, but he was nevertheless disappointed by the decision.

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Malorca’s early potato export to the UK starts

The export to the UK and Scandinavia of Lady Christl new potatoes started on Sunday, reports Lola Olma for the Majorca Daily Bulletin. The centre of this export in Mallorca is of course Sa Pobla, where exporters still have some concerns because of Brexit uncertainties, but this year’s export is expected to be “normal”.

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Idaho potato crop brings in record revenue, but didn’t benefit everyone equally

The Idaho potato industry ended up doing well in 2020, despite the pandemic. The industry set an all-time record for cash receipts according to University of Idaho economists. Potatoes brought in $1.08 billion in 2020, a 13% increase compared to the year before. But, as Twin Falls Times-News journalist Colin Tiernan reports, those record revenues came with a lot of stress and didn’t benefit everyone equally.

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Slowing of Scottish seed potato sales as UK EU trade talks continue

Scotland accounted for 29% (608.7Kt) of what potato stocks remained in British grower ownership at the end of January. While there was a slight uplift in production in Scotland, much of the Scottish area grown is for seed production. Therefore, slower seed sales may account for some of this volume. There have been reports that many growers delayed their seed orders this year.

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Cold weather, national lockdown dull potato demand in Britain

Throughout February, free-buy and contract demand remained quiet across the board. Cold and snowy weather at the start of February, combined with the national lockdown, curbed many opportunities to eat out-of-home, therefore dulling demand. February saw the release of the GB end of January stocks figures . This pegged grower held stocks at 2.11Mt, 39% of total production. This is 47.36Kt lower than last year but 40.86Kt higher than the 5-year average

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NEPG reports lower processing contract prices and higher production costs for growers

According to the North-Western Potato Growers (NEPG), processing contract prices for the coming season have been published in recent weeks. The industry body says in a press release that contract prices for delivery ex-field in October-November are generally lower than last season – between 5 and 10% . At the end of the season (May-June 2022), the decline is less, and in most cases prices are slightly higher than those for the 2020-2021 season.

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Pandemic slashed Belgian potato sector, processing volume down

No one could miss it in the media last year: the corona pandemic slashed the Belgian potato sector. In the 2019-2020 season, where the free market was in balance, growers and buyers were from one day to the next confronted with a global lockdown and the collapse of the demand for potatoes by the hospitality and food service sectors, says the Belgian potato trade and processing industry association, Belgapom, in a press release.

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UK regulations relaxed to allow Mallorcan potato exports

Mallorca has been exporting potatoes to the United Kingdom since 1927 and future exports are now guaranteed because the British Government has agreed to change the regulations and allow Mallorcan potatoes to be sold in the British market. Conditions for exporting companies are not the same as they were before Brexit, because London requires a phytosanitary certificate with more demanding standards than before.

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2021 British potato area set to decline?

The last 12 months have really taken their toll on potato markets. The coronavirus pandemic happened at one of the worst points within the potato growing cycle, and there was not much growers could do to reduce their area. Many growers may be thinking of reducing their area for 2021. How much could the area reduce by?

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British potato market lacklustre, industry waits for easing of lockdown restrictions

Demand across the week is described as lacklustre, with the majority of movement on contract. The government roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, due 22 February, is awaited by the industry. This is needed to help forecast future demand, although some are concerned whether timings of easements will stimulate sufficient levels, according to this week’s Potato Weekly report by AHDB.

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Idaho spud industry did well in 2020 despite pandemic

The Idaho potato industry ended up doing well in 2020, despite the pandemic. The industry set an all-time record for cash receipts according to University of Idaho economists. Potatoes brought in $1.08 billion in 2020, a 13% increase compared to the year before. But those record revenues came with a lot of stress and didn

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