The end of the potato harvest is in sight. At the moment, the harvest is in full swing, and it will take another week to complete. According to one Belgian potato exporter, expectations are a lot better than last season. "At the moment it's still rather quiet in terms of trade, but people are definitely interested. We are pretty optimistic regarding the new season."
At the moment, the company is already supplying a bit to domestic buyers, but small export volumes are also going to African countries, Egypt and the Middle East. "Others are also starting to demand." He notes that most buyers are still rather reluctant in terms of the price. "For many, it's a bit of a shock. They're still thinking of the last season's low prices, but that will turn out all right."
Prices times two
The exporter goes on to say: "For the better export batches, we are at around 15/16 cents per kilo. For the washed potatoes that's even higher, at 20 cents. This is at least twice as much compared to the same period last season." Last season, he says, was not a year to remember in terms of export. "Fortunately it's looking a lot better now. Potato prices shouldn't go up too much though, otherwise it will become too expensive for many countries. If we stay between 15 and 20 cents, everyone can make good money, and some volume can be sold." He is optimistic about the prices remaining good for a while. "If the batches hold up well in storage, we're not expecting them to go down much more."