Exports of Irish potatoes continue to Portugal and Holland, with good appetite for more as stocks remain tight on the continent, according to the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Plantings have been halted across much of the U.K because of weather conditions. Remaining stocks in Eastern and Southern Europe are tight and are described as at an “all time low” and export to these areas remains strong.
Dutch processing potato usage highest in recent years
The February 2023 processing potato usage figures released by Vavi, the Dutch potato processors union, pegged February potato usage at 334 thousand tonnes, the highest figure for the month since 2017. The prices for processing potatoes continue to trend at multi-year highs, with the Mintec Benchmark Prices for processing potatoes EXW Netherlands assessed at €30/100kg on 21st March 2023, an increase of 53% compared to the same point last season.
FAO: Strong international demand for Bangladeshi potatoes
Potato exports from Bangladeshi farmers supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) continue to grow, as producers came together recently to celebrate another year of success, the FAO says in a news release. Potatoes are an important cash crop with the potential to transform the lives of those who produce them. For the last four years, potato producer organizations in Rangpur have been producing export-quality potatoes by employing ‘good agricultural practices’.
NEPG: An uncertain future for the potato industry in western Europe?
Potato growers in the north western European region face several challenges in the upcoming months, according to a news release issued by the North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) today. Certain developments in the current season have led to a seemingly uncertain future for the potato industry in western Europe, according to the NEPG. The industry organization represents Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France.
India: Punjab potato growers face losses, urge government assistance amid low prices
Potato growers in India’s Punjab state are experiencing heavy losses due to a significant decrease in the selling price of their produce, according to a news report published by The Tribune. The reason for the crash in prices is the bumper crop in other potato-growing states, which has led to an oversupply and reduced demand for Punjab’s potatoes. Potato growers are calling on the state government to fix a minimum price for their crop.
Export value increases for all U.S. potato types from July – Dec. 2022
With international markets across the globe showing solid signs of recovery, it’s no surprise that the value of U.S. potato exports was up for all potato types July – Dec. 2022, compared with the same six months in 2021. During this time, the volume of U.S. shipments was also up for frozen and dehydrated potatoes but down slightly for fresh potatoes, according to a news report issued by Potatoes USA.
British farmers warn of potato and veg shortages later this year
Farmers are warning the food shortage crisis will get worse later in the year, due to the prolonged dry spell and a shrinkage of irrigated crop production, as Philip Case reports for Farmers Weekly. A combination of a lack of rainfall over the past eight months, rising input and energy costs and stagnant supermarket prices is forcing growers to cut back on crop production.
Japan’s access to U.S. chipping potatoes leads to export growth, potential for fresh potato market
In 2006, the United States opened the Japanese market for fresh U.S. chipping potatoes. For the first time since World War II, potatoes grown in the U.S. could be exported to Japan and processed into potato chips. The U.S. potato industry now wishes to turn its attention to the bigger goal of opening the Japanese market for fresh U.S. table-stock potatoes.
Latvian potato growers hopeful for new season
Recently, the staple of the Latvian diet – potatoes – experienced one of the steepest price jumps in the past 10 years, reaching an average increase of 50%. Growers are now preparing for the new season in the hope that weather conditions will be favorable enough to finally produce good results after two years of poor harvest, Zemgale Television reported on February 22.
HZPC expects turnover to grow during 2022/23 financial year
Potato breeding company HZPC, is poised to achieve its expected results for the financial year 2022-2023. HZPC expects its turnover to grow 10% over last year (then 352 million euros) with a gross margin of 66 million euros (during the last financial year it was 63.9 million euros). Says Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC: “The increase is mainly thanks to areas outside Europe, where licensed cultivation takes place. Mainly in Asia and America.”
IFA: Irish potato farmers struggle with high land prices, limited availability as planting season approaches
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has warned that many farmers in Ireland are struggling with the unaffordable price and limited availability of land for planting as the planting season approaches. This situation, along with existing challenges for potato growers, is causing a decline in growers’ confidence, according to the IFA’s weekly market report.
Pres of Potatoes USA: ‘Potato demand exceeds world production’
The President of Potatoes USA says worldwide demand for the tuber is outpacing production. “We’ve lost a lot of market share, but during [the past 20 years], we’ve almost doubled our exports of potatoes, and …demand for our products is growing more rapidly…”
Potatoes USA: A look at 2022 retail potato sales
Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales by 14.4% but decreased in volume sales by -1.5% from January – December 2022 compared to 2021. Despite a slight decrease in volume sales, volume sales remain 3.7% above pre-pandemic levels, says Potatoes USA in a news update. All categories of potatoes increased in dollar sales, with four potato categories rising by double digits. In addition to increasing dollar sales, refrigerated and canned increased volume sales by 0.7% and 2.8%, respectively. Fresh potato dollar sales were up for all types except purple potatoes.
UK: Suffolk’s potato sector shrinks as farmers’ costs rise
Suffolk’s potato growers are in the grip of a crisis of confidence as prices fail to keep pace with the costs they face, as Sarah Chambers reports for eadt.co.uk. Many are choosing to cut their growing areas as market forces combined with disease and weather risks make the crop less viable. “It’s not fun at the moment,” he admitted.
U.S. potato retail sales on the rise: Dollar sales increase 17.2% in Q4 2022
Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales by 17.2% but decreased in volume sales by -1.3% from October – December 2022 compared to the same timeframe a year ago. Despite a slight decrease in volume sales, volume sales remain above pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by Potatoes USA. All categories of potatoes increased in dollar sales, with the most significant occurring for frozen potatoes by 33.1%, followed by fresh potato sales at 20% and instant potatoes at 14.5%.
IFA: Food service to see increased business in Ireland, EU potato sales to the UK up
Retail sales remain unchanged this week in Ireland, the food service sector should see some increased business with the bank holiday weekend. In Europe, fresh markets are reported to be flat but there is good export movement. Sales of product from the E.U. to the U.K were 818,418 tonnes and up 13.2% in the year to October 2022.
‘Green chips’: McCain invests further £35m in sustainable farming in the UK
McCain has today confirmed a further £35m of investment in its supply chain, as it seeks to boost supplies of UK potatoes and bolster its regenerative farming initiatives. McCain says its indexation model for determining payments to the farmers who supply the company had resulted in a 31 per cent increase in contract pricing to “ensure its growers continue to be fairly compensated in light of soaring inflation”.
Despite challenges, spuds remain a billion-dollar business in New Zealand
Data from 2021 presented in the Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) annual report shows minimal impact on production despite a rough couple of years. However, potato growers across the country say they have continued to navigate regional plan changes, restrictive government policies, ongoing pest challenges, weather events and rising costs of production.
NEPG: Potato growers face a multitude of risks, disruptions in the industry expected in the near future
The North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) organization says potato growers in its member countries face multiple risks and these risks seem to increase each season. Apart from uncertain and fluctuating production acreage and free-buy prices, farmers now have to include a series of “new” risks to manage. Recent developments, such as higher contract prices, could lead to profound imbalances throughout the whole of the potato sector, according to NEPG.
Potato wart report: PEI Potato Board calls on govt to listen to international panel of experts convened by CFIA
The PEI potato industry welcomed the final report of an International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Potato Wart that was presented to industry and government on January 16, 2023. The panel was convened by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2022. The PEI potato industry is pleased with the thoroughness of the panel report and the Panel’s key findings that “given the limited presence of the pathogen, the IAP considers most parts of PEI outside the Regulated Fields as a PFA (pest free area) for S. Endobioticum [fungus causing potato wart].”
Additional points of entry approved for U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico
As of November 17, 2022, two additional points of entry were approved for fresh potato shipments to the full Mexican market, according to a Potatoes USA news release. Registered U.S. fresh potato exporters can now ship through Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, Tamaulipas to the interior of Mexico. Both newly approved locations, located along the Mexico-Texas border, increase opportunity for U.S. exporters in the Midwest and the eastern United States.
South Africa: No shortage of French fries after ‘anti-dumping’ ruling, sufficient supply of fresh potatoes
The local potato industry has assured South Africans that it would be able to meet local demand for French fries after heavy “anti-dumping” duties were imposed by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) in July last year on Belgium, German and Dutch suppliers. Potatoes SA acting marketing manager, Jaco Koekemoer, said the country has a sufficient supply of fresh potatoes, with forecasts looking promising over the next 12 months.
Mintec: EU potato contracts up 20-30% amid higher production costs
Throughout 2022, potato growers in the EU were impacted by higher production costs, largely from energy, fertiliser and transportation. As Alice Witchalls reports in a news story for Mintec, higher costs are weighing on growers’ profit margins and are driving the cost of cultivation and storage to unsustainable levels. There is a risk that in consecutive seasons some farmers will opt to grow alternative crops.
Will stronger Russet potato pricing impact red and yellow potato movement?
Higher Russet potato pricing could help demand for potatoes in other colors, David Moquist of North Dakota based O. C. Schulz & Sons told FreshPlaza’s Astrid Van Den Broek. “Russet pricing is as high as it’s been for a long time and Russets are the largest part of the potato supply in the country,” says Moquist. Moquist says demand for yellows continues to grow year over year.
Retailers get a jump on planning with IPC potato category reports
With global events during the past few years upending longtime consumer shopping behavior, are potato sales trends anywhere close to a stable new normal? According to a news report by The Produce News, questions like this have led the Idaho Potato Commission to invest heavily in delivering actionable data, teaming up with Category Partners to produce information that is a proven asset to IPC’s team in the field, said Ross Johnson, IPC vice president of retail and international.
Report: Quick service restaurants drive global frozen potato market, industry booming in the Asia Pacific
A new report by Expert Market Research gives an in-depth analysis of the global frozen potato products market. According to the report, the growing popularity of quick service restaurants (QSRs) in both developing and developed countries is driving the global frozen potato market. North America and Europe dominate the business, but the Asia-Pacific area is likely to become one of the most profitable frozen potato marketplaces in the near future.
Higher quality, lower acreage for Idaho russet crop
Quality over quantity is the watchword for the 2022 russet crop in Idaho, as growers grappled with increased input costs and weather challenges that led to fewer acres being planted. “The potato quality looks amazing this year — maybe the best in recent memory,” said Travis Blacker, vice president of industry relations and research for the Idaho Potato Commission. He said Idaho farmers have welcomed the increased demand for potatoes and have been using their profits to put money back into their businesses.
Australia: Industry insider reveals frustrating reason for empty Coles fridges
The hot chip shortage has now hit close to home [in Australia], with the internet divided over a recent photo of an empty Coles fridge, writes Joanne Tran in a news story published by The Daily Telegraph. In a now-viral Reddit post, a user shared a snap of the frozen chips section at their local Coles, and shockingly, it was completely empty.
‘Sizzling fries’: Lamb Weston raised annual sales, gross margin and earnings targets
Lamb Weston announced today its fiscal second quarter 2023 results and updated its fiscal 2023 outlook. “We delivered strong top and bottom-line results in the quarter,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO. “Because of our financial performance in the first half of fiscal 2023 and our broad operating momentum, we have raised our annual sales, gross margin and earnings targets. In addition, we look forward to beginning to capture strategic, commercial and operational benefits from the acquisition of our partner’s interest in our European joint venture.”