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North-western European potato harvest estimate adjusted upwards

Although the full harvest is not in the stores yet, the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates the actual harvest at 28.9 million tons, which is more than September's estimate.

The NEPG stresses that especially in Great Britain and The Netherlands there is still at least 10-15% to be harvested under wet conditions. 

The projected harvest is 17.7% more than last year, 15.6% compared to the 5 year average and slightly more than the large harvest of 2014. All countries, except Great Britain, where final yields are not yet known, saw larger yields per ha.

In France and Belgium the yields vary enormously, some growers cannot even supply their minimum contracted volume. Next to the higher yields, also the total area increased in all NEPG countries with 5,9%. Germany is on top with 8,8% more compared to last year. 

Higher losses expected 
Although the NEPG expects more loss this season, the overall quality is good, however in all countries there are question marks about the storability of the crop, especially in the wet areas. There is bacterial rot, wet rot, blight and glassy potatoes, mostly in Bintje, reported in the storages.

In the Benelux countries the dry matter is often below the minimum level, especially with Bintje which is 30% below this required level, but also 10% in Fontane in Belgium. The NEPG will carefully monitor the quality in storage. It also has to be noted that processing yields will be lower the upcoming months due to lower dry matter. These 2 elements could have an impact on the market.

As many growers cannot store all their potatoes, the oversupply will remain over the coming period, according to the NEPG.

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