At the moment it is still relatively calm in the potato market. A large part of the potatoes still has to be harvested. According to Jurgen Duthoo of Bart's Potato Company they are delaying this for as long as possible. "This is because the daily prices are low. I expect everything that can be stored to be stored. Growers are still hoping the price might improve a little later." The weather conditions for harvesting at quite good. "A lot of rain fell in August, so the ground is still quite damp. This means there will be more checks for water diseases."
There is little export. "We still have some ongoing business, but this is mainly contracts. The daily trade is very weak, so there are few additional orders. Few are convinced by the low prices. There is also still no demand from Eastern Europe. The stocks there are good. They won't start to import until there is a shortage, which won't be any time soon."
Although the import ban on potatoes has been going on for a while, Russia is still being missed as a buyer. "Especially with the larger production this year. It's always good when Russia is on the market, as it often means a lot of volumes leaving. We ourselves only have a small share in that trade, but as far as the market situation is concerned it has a positive influence. Now we have to wait and see if there if perhaps a different, possibly new market, which can buy such large volumes."
If everything continues as it has been, he looks toward to coming time with mixed feelings. "A lot still has to be harvested, so we can't be too premature in our conclusions. What is positive is that the quality of the potatoes is good. "That's really good. We also have the low price, which offers opportunities to try new markets. We are following this line a little. Some samples have already been sent in the hope that it might work out," he concludes.
For more information:Jurgen DuthooBart's Potato Company bvba
8640, Vleteren, Belgium
Tel: +32 57 40 91 20
Fax: +32 57 40 91 21www.lamaire.be