European potato market (week 50)

France: “The fresh markets are slowly coming alive”


Fiwap/PCA Market Message:

Industrial varieties:

Fontane: 27.00 to 30.00 €/q ; firm market ;

Challenger : 27.00 to 30.00 €/q ; firm market ;

The offer for those 2 varieties remains low (close to zero, at the lowest end of the range), while the industrial demand is reluctant to raise the prices. Nevertheless, several intermediate buyers raised their purchase price;

Bintje : firm markets :

• “friable quality”: max 15 % floating at 1060 g/l and PSE min 335 g/5 kg : 20.00 to 25.00 €/q. Very little offer, very few transactions ; highly variable real price depending on the buyer’s need (quality, quantity and urgency) ;

• “defective quality”: more than 15 % floating and/or PSE < 335 g/5 kg : around 15.00 €/q. The offer decreases clearly, the worst lots having been depleted.

European physical markets

Price summary (source: NEPG) :

Bintje plant: Dutch plant, class A, returned March 2018, by 5 tons, in bags, hTVA: new price increase, demand is more active while offer is virtually nonexistent :

Caliber 28 - 35 mm : 96.00 – 102.00 €/q

Caliber 35 – 45 mm : 66.00 - 70.00 €/q

Forward market : EEX in Leipzig (€/q) Bintje, Agria and var. Related for conversion, 40 mm+, min 60 % 50 mm +  :

Unchanged quotations and few transactions on the free market. The industries seem covered for December. Special attention needs to be paid to conservation: alerts reported (humidity spots, some rotten lots..) even for varieties other than Bintje. Export to distant destinations (Africa and Caribbean) is steady, on a basis of 30.00 to 33.00 €/q in bags on pallets, but volumes are lower due to high prices.

Quotation PotatoNL : also available on  

Stocks on November 15th : the lowest level in 6 years (source : VTA) : the inquiry shows an average net yield of 42.7 t/ha (all varieties, with and without irrigation), varying from 20 to 70 t/ha. The total production is therefore down 23% compared to last year, and 15% compared to the average from the last 5 years. The stocks in mid-November were evaluated to be down 27% compared to last year, and 6% compared to multi-year average. 59% of the current stocks have already been sold. On November 15th, the markets cleared only 13% of the initial harvest (compared to a 22% multi-year average).

Fewer problematic lots on the market so less pressure on the offer. This allows prices to rise again for the Bintje. More purchase for the other varieties, with a delayed delivery (end of December), but the “psychological” bar of 30.00 €/q is difficult to cross. The quality of “household fries” for export, however, is negotiated around this bar. The fresh markets are slowly coming alive, for exportation at least (Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy…), with a wide range of producer prices from 26.00 €/q (soft flesh) to 42.00 €/q (firm flesh). Some trade for the ‘friable quality’ in bulk towards Great-Britain or in big-bags towards Spain and Portugal. Regular shipments to Eastern Europe (slightly lower demand for the red varieties), some trade for the Grenailles to Portugal. German competition is evident on the Italian market. Globally higher demand from Spain and Greece.

Unwashed industrial potato, bulk, departure, hTVA, Nord-Seine, €/qt, min – max (moy) (RNM) :

On the fresh market (Rhineland), prices were unchanged as of December 7th for firm flesh at 32.00 €/q for the storage output, and to 30.00 €/q for the storage output for soft flesh. For firm flesh on sale at the farm (Rhineland), prices ranged from 11.00 to 12.00 €/q per 25 kg bag (unchanged).

No major change in prices but the market is more firm; the holiday shopping creates a higher demand.

Potatoes for industry (fries): prices are again more firm with a range widening upwards. The industry sets priority on existing contracts and works on problematic lots to reduce loss. Agria at 28.00- 29.00 €/q, Fontane at 27.00-28.00 €/q, Innovator / Ivory Russet at 29.00 – 30.00 €/q.

According to the REKA-Rhineland, regarding plants availability, the volumes in hasty and half-hasty varieties (Première, Amora, Zorba…) will be down 60% compared to 2018...In order to supply the market starting from week 28 (mid-July), there will need to be more pre-germination and more irrigation.

Besides, the contract prices must be revalued to compensate for the higher costs of plants and the additional pre-germination and/or irrigation costs. The expected increases (compared to 2018) are 30 to 35% for the hasty (fries and crispy/chips) and 30% for the half-hasty like Zorba. For Agria, Challenger, Fontane and Innovator, the contract prices should go up approximately 20%.

Average producer price (all markets) week 48 : 28.94 € compared to 29.21 €/q in week 47 (and 29.10 €/q in week 46). Expressed in Pounds Sterling the average price is up 2.3 %.

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