Italy: Terrible year for potato producers

The 2014 local potato market didn't do so well as sales were slow. Supply was similar to last year, although bad weather during the first part of the year delayed planting operations. The statistics office of the Lusia fresh produce market has estimated a slight production drop (-3%) with respect to the previous campaign.

The local potato supply starts in May and goes on until October with the oblong and round varieties. A few years ago, a round red-flesh variety was also introduced. Almost all potatoes sold at the Lusia market are packed in 16/17 kg 30x40 plastic or wooden crates.

After acceptable prices at the start of the campaign (22-37 cents/kg), they dropped constantly and finally reached 15-19 cents/kg in September, far below production costs.

Quality was not the best because of the bad weather. Only the red variety was of excellent quality.

The weak 2014 trend with high production costs and non-profitable sales costs will probably result in growers thinking twice before investing in this crop next year.

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