Trade/Markets/Prices

Europatat: European organizations issues statement on food security amid the Covid-19 outbreak

The European organisations CopaCogeca, FoodDrinkEurope and Celcaa (the European Liaison Committee for Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade, of which Europatat is a member) have released a joint statement in which they assure that “Europe’s food supply chain will work closely together to ensure everybody in Europe continues to have access to safe, quality and affordable food and drink products during the Coronavirus pandemic”.

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Idaho stores somehow selling out of potatoes

Odd as it may sound, Idaho retailers have been experiencing fresh potato shortages lately, John O’Connell of Post Register reports. Several produce departments throughout the Gem State were sold out of every potato consumer bag and loose spud by Tuesday, as consumers seeking to stock their pantries for the coronavirus outbreak bought foods that store well by the cartload. “It is strange. I didn’t think I’d ever see a shortage, at least at the store level, of potatoes in Idaho,” said Travis Blacker, industry relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission.

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COVID-19: Labour shortage but plenty fruits and vegetables available

The horticultural industry in general relies greatly on international workers and the travel limitations could become a serious issue. “I’ve been on the phone all morning and with this Covid-19 virus and people not being allowed into the country, the farming community in British Columbia [Canada] is in a panic because there’s so many farmers that rely on the arrival of migrant workers from Mexico and Central America.” Also in New Zealand the effects become clear. The situation in Australia is the same.

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India: Windfall for Punjab’s potato farmers as crop hits all-time high prices

It’s a happy time for the potato farmers of Punjab, with their crop hitting the highest rate ever known due to low production in other states because of a delayed monsoon last year. Farmers are currently getting Rs 1,600 per quintal for their table crop, which is currently being harvested. For the past four years, they had been getting Rs 300 to Rs 400 per quintal. Traders and stockists of other states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are hoping to get higher prices after purchasing the crop from Punjab.

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Bangladesh: Drive to increase potato exports reaches landmark

A drive to increase the country’s potato exports reached an important landmark on Sunday when a special shipment of potatoes left Bangladesh, destined for Singapore, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates. Bangladesh produces around 11 million tonnes of potatoes annually but a negligible amount is exported. While internal potato consumption has remained steady, exports have been declining over the past few years, while production has actually been increasing.

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Potatoes USA has retailers’ backs with ‘Path to Purchase’ study

Lilian Diep is a trade news writer with AndNowUKnow. She recently wrote in an article: “I’m now privy to a wealth of resources, including Kayla Dome, Global Marketing Manager of Retail for Potatoes USA. I sat down with Kayla to find out how retailers can engage with consumers to capitalize on this staple category and maximize profits.” Below is some of what Lilian found out.

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Potato trade positive in Ireland, demand picking up

Trade remains positive and reports from growers indicate that there is increased demand over the past week, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reported late this week. Although stocks remaining in store in Ireland are similar to last year’s levels, early plantings and harvest were staggered last year, which complimented the season.

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Overview of the global potato market

This past Friday, March 13, FreshPlaza published a report in which trends in the global potato market is discussed. The authors of the report say the potato market in Europe is now clearly divided between north and south. In countries where the coronavirus / Covid-19 is around, the demand is rising, but especially for local products. For example, the demand in Italy has tripled for a short time at the start of the epidemic, and Spanish growers are barely able to keep up with the demand.

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Expert Opinion: What could the coronavirus mean for the global potato industry?

The spread and fear of coronavirus has stepped up a gear this week, with more than 110 countries or territories reporting 129,000 cases and more than 4, 000 deaths between them, writes potato market analyst Cedric Porter in this week’s issue of World Potato Markets. The virus is having an impact on the potato industry, Porter says. Some countries are reporting an increase in table potato sales as people stock up on essential goods, but processing potato prices, especially in Europe, have plunged on physical and futures markets. The current crisis is being likened to the economic crisis which began in 2008.

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Slim supplies continue on potatoes in North America, coronavirus influencing buyers and retailers

Potato supplies continue to be snug across North America, though how tight things are is still to be determined. “Supplies have been tight this season from the beginning,” says Ryan Wahlen of Pleasant Valley Potato in Aberdeen, ID. “I think [coronavirus] influencing the buyers a lot,” says Wahlen. “There are a few concerned who aren’t sure how heavy to carry an inventory of a perishable item. They’re worried about their work force being impacted.

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Potatoes USA considers effects of coronavirus on consumer behaviour

Tom Karst writes in The Packer today that the 2020 annual meeting of Potatoes USA proceeded as planned even as news was breaking that the NCAA decided to exclude fans from its annual post-season basketball tournament the coronavirus, COVID-19. Some potato marketers said that sales of dehydrated potato flakes have increased while foodservice fresh and frozen sales have dropped. Most said they don’t expect long-term changes in how people buy potatoes.

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Europatat members concerned by future trade with the UK

Following the European Council’s green light to the opening of negotiations for a new partnership with the UK, Europatat has sent a position paper to the EU-UK negotiation team, as well as to the relevant officials in DG AGRI and DG SANTE, on which the sector calls on the European Commission to make a priority the amendment of current EU[Read More…]

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Potato season starts early in Majorca due to higher temperatures

The potato season has started much earlier than usual this year thanks to higher than average temperatures in Majorca between December and February. The Matthew Export company started collecting its Lady Christl variety on Wednesday and the first shipment will be on its way to the UK on Saturday. “Climate change is forcing us to adapt in many ways,” says Mateu Export’s Manager,[Read More…]

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Potato industry applauds China's steps on trade pact

U.S. potato industry representatives say steps China just took to follow through on the recent phase one trade agreement mark a historic breakthrough likely to bring substantial benefits, Capital Press reports. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Feb. 25 announced that China had signed a protocol allowing importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes, among other[Read More…]

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US: Deal to ship Northwest-grown potatoes to China

Federal agriculture officials announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement to export U.S. potatoes to China for processing. The deal, which includes crops grown in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, is expected to add about $20 million worth of exports a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the U.S. Trade Representative announced the deal Tuesday for potatoes, which has[Read More…]

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PepsiCo to buy online snacks retailer in China

PepsiCo Inc. plans to buy online snacks company Hangzhou Haomusi Food Co. — known as Be & Cheery — for $705 million from Haoxiangni Health Food Co. as the maker of Doritos and Lay’s potato chips expands in China.

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Ireland: Early plantings stagnant, demand and price strong

The IFA reports that early plantings in Ireland have remained stagnant at large this week as ground conditions remain very wet. Demand and price remain strong for good quality material, particularly Kerr Pinks and Golden Wonders. Little or no progress has been made on stocks remaining in the ground. Growers are reminded to not rule out supplying the peeling market[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA: Exports show strong growth

Exports of U.S. potatoes and products show strong growth through the first six months of the July 2019 – June 2020 marketing year, Potatoes USA says in a press release issued earlier today. According to the organization, exports of frozen potato products are up 11% to 551,338 metric tons valued at $643 million. Dehydrated potato exports are up 10% to[Read More…]

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Rough fall weather in the US leads to strong winter market for potatoes

Rough weather during the U.S. potato harvest last fall continues to shake up the markets well into 2020, marketers say. “Overall, the market is elevated due to several weather-related issues across the country during fall harvest,” said Rachel Atkinson-Leach, category and brand manager for Russet Potato Exchange Inc., Bancroft, Wis. Recent prices seemed to support that contention, with year-on-year prices[Read More…]

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Irish potato farmers 'afraid' of pasta, rice and poor prices

49% of potato farmers in Ireland see competition from other carbohydrates such as pasta and rice as one of the biggest challenges facing the potato industry. Among the other major challenges to the sector listed were price, competition from imports and the loss of plant protection products. These results came from a poll taken to gauge the feeling in the Irish industry and[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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