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Spain: Catastrophic potato campaign in Castile-Leon
The potato campaign in Castile-Leon, which is currently in full swing, is in a "catastrophic" situation, as prices have sunk below those of 2014 because "there has been an overlap between harvests and too much supply at once due to the weather conditions."
This has been reported by the president of the Association of Potato Operators of Castile-Leon (Asopocyl), Marcos Martín, who stated that while Segovia is selling potatoes "at decent prices, in other places the price does not rise above five or six cents per kilo."
The head of the potato sector at the agricultural organization COAG, Alberto Duque, has agreed with Martín in describing the situation for the producer as "catastrophic, as a decent price above production costs should range between 0.20 and 0.22 Euro per kilo for first class potatoes."
According to the latest national average prices published periodically by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama), the price of potatoes in week 35 (from 28 August to 3 September 2017) stood at 11.27 Euro per 100 kg; down 9.55% compared to the previous week.
In week 35 of 2016, the price at origin of potatoes stood at 31.78 €/100 kg; in 2015, at 16.63 €/100 kg and in 2014, at 12.42 €/100 kg.
For Martín, the solution to the concentration of supply is not "storing the potatoes, because many places in Spain are starting to load potatoes from France, which compete directly against those produced in Castile-Leon.
The head of the potato sector at COAG explains that the market is not only oversupplied because of the early entry of French potatoes, "which usually arrive in November, but also because the contracts with the German exporters have been lost this year."
"There are batches of potatoes that are not commercially attractive in Spain because they are smaller, but which are demanded in Germany, to which we must add that Castile-Leon started the campaign with the storage chambers full in Andalusia," explained Duque.
Publication date: 9/14/2017
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