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UK: International potato trade down

According to the latest trade data provided by the United Kingdom Customs Agency (HMRC), both imports and exports of potatoes (fresh and frozen) were down year-on-year and against the 3-year average.

Imports of fresh and processed potatoes (product weight) for the 2019/20 season totalled 1.03Mt. This is down 10% from the 3-year average and 33% year-on-year.

Imports of fresh potatoes for the 2019/20 season totalled 203.0Kt, down 3% year-on-year. 830.9Kt of processed potato products were imported into the UK from July-June which is a drop of 38% year-on-year.

Potatopro.com reported that processed potato imports have been lagging behind last season since March but the drop has increased as the months have progressed. As the COVID pandemic has weighed heavily on demand as a whole since March 2020, a drop in imports is not unexpected. With overall demand reduced the need for imports would also drop off.

Exports of fresh and processed potatoes have also dropped off. Exports of fresh potatoes have been tracking well behind both the 2018/19 season and the 3-year average since February. Last season (2018/19), especially in the latter half of the season, we saw a big rise in exports of fresh potatoes to Eastern Europe.


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