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European potato market (week 51)

Belgium: the factories are working well


Fiwap/PCA market message:

The factories are working very well, with a good demand in general for finished products, particularly the specialties. Production stations will be shut down for 8 to 11 days around the holidays, depending on the factory and on the manufactured products. Markets are a bit more firm, despite the holidays.

Industrial varieties:
Fontane: 27.00 to 30.00 €/q ; firm market;
Challenger: 27.00 to 30.00 €/q ; firm market;
Innovator: between 27.00 and 28.00 €/q
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, firmer prices, with most transactions at 22.00 €/q or more… Real price highly variable according to buyer’s need (in quality, quantity and urgency);

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

European physical markets
Price summary (source: NEPG) :

Fresh market

Active markets during this holiday season. Good demand but almost exclusively for all the high qualities. As soon as the merchandise is more dull, shabby or not washable, prices can go down by 25 to 50%. The prices below are for the best qualities:

Soft flesh varieties (Challenger, Alegria, Artemis…): 28.00 to 32.00 €/q

Firm flesh varieties: type Nicola, Franceline: 30.00 à 35.00 €/q, type Charlotte, Annabelle, Jazzy : 35.00 to 40.00 €/q.

Grenailles firm flesh: 40 to 45 €/q

Bintje plant: Dutch plant, class A, returned March 2018, by 5 tons, in bags, hTVA : new increase in prices, demand is more active while offer is virtually non-existent.

Caliber 28 - 35 mm : 100.00 – 105.00 €/q

Caliber 35 – 45 mm : 70.00 - 72.00 €/q

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

Unchanged quotations and a few transactions between 25 and 30.00 €/q observed on the free market. The industries seem covered for December.

Fresh market: Nicola and Melody between 29 and 34.00 €/q, Bildtstar between 33 and 38.00 €/q and white skin varieties between 26 and 29.00 €/q. Export to distant destinations is steady (30.00 €/q for Africa and between 31 and 33.00 €/q for the Caribbean in bags on pallets), but volumes are lower due to high prices.

Quotation PotatoNL: also available on

Industry: fewer problematic lots on the market so less pressure on the offer and prices are firm.

Demand for Markies varieties and very firm prices. The quality of “household fries” for export/fresh market in big-bag is negotiated around 30.00 €/q (or sometimes higher for the best lots). Main destinations for the “expeditions” : Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy, Greece,...with a wide range of producer prices from 25.00 €/q (soft flesh) to 43.00 €/q (firm flesh). Trade and delivery to the stores is impacted by the ‘yellow vests’ movement, which slows down the demand.

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

On the fresh market (Rhineland), prices were unchanged as of December 14th for firm flesh at 32.00 €/q for the storage output, and at 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 € 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 the 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.

Average producer price (all markets) week 49: 27.51 €/q (compared to week 48: 28.94 €, 29.21 €/q in week 47 and 29.10 €/q in week 46). It may seem strange that the average price goes down when we have just announced a historically low production. This is due to the fact that the average price set by our colleagues of AHDB includes several transactions (free price, conso and transfo, morning of contract prices). This week, the decline is explained by the share of lower value/quality varieties and a larger proportion of contracts.

The first estimation for the 2018 British production has just been published. The 2018 harvest is at 4.89 MT (millions of tons), a decline of 19% (-1.16 MT) compared to the 2017 harvest, and -13% compared to the average of the last 5 years (5.62 MT). It is the 4th time since 1960 (58 years!) that the British harvest is lower than 5.0 MT. The average yield per ha is 41.7 t, which is 7.6 t/ha less than in 2017. All productions (plants, fresh conso, fresh fries conso, fries and crispy/chips) are in decline. Note that many old lots from the 2017 harvest were sold until September 2018. Discard problems in many varieties and production areas affect the processing industry (and will continue to do so in the coming months) by reducing the ‘good’ volumes.

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