Peruvian imports of pre-cooked potatoes experienced a rebound in April, reaching 4,164 tons, a much higher volume than in the same month of 2019 and in all the months of the previous year, as reported by the National Customs and Tax Administration Superintendency (Sunat).
Economist Eduardo Zegarra stated that the volume imported in the last month was equivalent to 14% of the potato entering Lima's large wholesale market. “This is not an insignificant figure, and it can affect prices. The national white potato could also be processed and used to make potato chips,” he stated.
He also noted that the fast food and industrial sector prefer to import precooked potatoes from Europe at a price that is up to three times higher than that of local potatoes.
In March, the month in which the state of emergency began, the import of this frozen product was below 2,000 tons; however, in April that volume doubled, even though the restaurants still haven't reopened.
This would hinder competition on equal terms with the local harvest and would displace the national production, indicated the agricultural producers.
According to Sunat data, the biggest importers were Alicorp with more than 4 million kilograms of potatoes, Delosi with more than one million kilos, Bembos with 224,124 tons, as well as Tottus Hypermarket, and Makro.