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NEPG adjusts crop estimates upwards

Although the entire harvest is not yet in the warehouses, the NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates that this year's harvest totalled 28.9 million tonnes gross in the five member countries. This estimate is above that of last September.

The NEPG stresses that at least 10 to 15% of the potatoes in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands still have to be cleared, under wet conditions. The estimated yield is 17.7% above the previous year's level, 15.5% above the 5-year average and slightly above the 2014 level.

In all countries with the exception of the UK, where no average yield estimate has yet been determined, higher yields per hectare are projected. In France and Belgium, yields vary enormously so that some growers can not even fulfil their contracts. Furthermore, the acreage in all NEPG countries has also increased. On average, the five countries recorded an increase of 5.9% compared to last year.

The largest area expansion has taken place in Germany. Despite the generally good quality of the potatoes, the NEPG expects more deductions, as the shelf life in regions with high precipitation is still questionable. The Bintje variety in particular has been reported to suffer from bacterial rot, wet rot, Phytophthora problems and glassy potatoes. In the Benelux, dry weight is often below the minimum, especially with the Bintje, but also with the Fontane in Belgium. The NEPG will observe the quality development in the warehouses.

Due to the lower dry weights, the yield during processing will be lower than normal. These two aspects could influence the market. The NEPG assumes that there will be an oversupply in the near future, as many growers can not store all the potatoes. It should be added that, compared to 2014, processing capacities have been significantly expanded, so that there is a comparatively higher demand for potatoes.

Source: NEPG

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