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Bas Rijk, Verhagen Dinteloord:

"High expectations on the potato market not yet realised"

The expectations at the beginning of the potato season are not yet being lived up to. "The price development is not going as we had hoped and expected. The prices vary from 19 Euro for the lesser quality for Eastern Europe to 25 Euro for the top quality potatoes suitable for washing for the German market," concludes Bas Rijk of potato wholesaler Verhagen Dinteloord. However, he does not foresee any great dips in price for the next few weeks. "Growers with good quality are not in a hurry to sell. But there is usually a bit more demand for potatoes from European destinations in this period. Whether it will be enough to stabilise the market, remains to be seen. The volumes are increasing, but not enough to turn around the market."

The potato trader identifies the causes of the disappointing market as the sales for export and industry. "The industry is mostly set, due to the high cover grade of the amount of bought potatoes. There are quality problems in the regions who were last to harvest, which means the industry is only a small buyer at the moment. This puts pressure on the price. Primarily the situation varies, such as the Agria's, have had to deal with a lot of water in the south west of the country."

There are other causes in the area of export, says the trader. "Last year the shortages were in England, and this year they are in Germany. It turns out that we as Belgian and Dutch exports have difficulty meeting the German demands. German demands finer sizes, whereas the loose potatoes here are usually a little coarser. The German buyers' quality demands are also different, and we cannot meet them completely. The demand expected from Eastern Europe is also lacking. Many countries still have their own production and do not want to import expensive potatoes."

For more information:
Verhagen BV
Havenweg 47
4671 BT Dinteloord
Tel: 0031 167-526000

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