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A comment from CePa

Europe: Low availability of potatoes for fresh consumption and for processing

The CePa - Centro di Documentazione della Patata (Potato Documentation Centre) informs that the weather in Europe in 2013, with a particularly wet Spring, delayed sowing by one or two months. In addition, drought in some areas of Central Europe reduced the production of potatoes to be consumed fresh as well as those for processing, so the industry won't have enough product despite the demand for finished products.

Potato producers in Emilia-Romagna have finished harvesting in the past few days, and the product has been delivered to the structures that adhere to the "Conto deposito" part of the "Framework agreement". Data confirm that production is expected to decrease by 15% but stored potatoes are of good quality.

A 20% decrease in production is confirmed for the rest of Italy too. The definitive data though will be available only after the late varieties have been harvested.

At a European level, the production deficit of good quality potatoes for fresh consumption is all the more evident, as can be seen by the rise in prices. Quality potatoes (with smaller grades with respect to 2012) are supplied by foreign producers in France, Germany and England with prices varying from €0.25 to €0.30/kg ex works.

Data show a significant drop in production in Germany, and especially in Bavaria and Saxony, where potatoes being harvested have small grades, and the production deficit seems significant. This is confirmed by the fact that, in this country, the price of potatoes is very high- 40-50% more than past years.

France is also expecting to sell less produce because of smaller grades, even though definitive data is still unavailable. This is reflected in the rise in prices of imports, which have increased by 4-5 cents/kg in a few days.

It must be remembered that Italy is not self-sufficient: despite the fact that it needs 2.2-2.3 million tons, the 2013 production will be of around 1.5 million tons - a significant deficit in the trade balance.

Ce.Pa - Centro di Documentazione per la Patata
Via Tosarelli, 155
40055 Villanova di Castenaso (BO)
Tel.: (+39) 051 6053391
Fax: (+39) 051 5872352

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