Chinese potato prices fall to lowest level in three years

Data from the National Agricultural Products Wholesale Market Price Information System of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs show that of the 19 types of vegetables monitored in August, potatoes saw a fall of 3.3% from the previous month in prices.

It is worth noting that the potato was among the vegetables whose prices fell sharply month-on-month in June and July, down 14.6% and 4.6% respectively. Zhang Min, an analyst at Zhuo Chuang Information, said that prices in North China have been on the decline since potatoes were harvested and shipped to the market in early August. In mid-September, prices reached the lowest level this year.

From June, prices have fluctuated and continued to fall. From the beginning of September, prices have even dropped to a three-year low - almost the same as those of Chinese cabbage. On September 25, the average price of Chinese cabbages in the Beijing Xinfadi Market was 0.65 yuan per half a kilo, while that of potatoes was 0.7 yuan.

Why have potato prices been falling so severely? It’s now the peak potato supply season from North China. As the supply is large and the production capacity is larger than the demand, prices are taking a hit. Due to high prices seen before May, the planted area in regions in North China that produce the first crop expanded.

Although the average yield per mu in the main production areas is slightly lower than last year due to weather conditions, the total production has increased year on year as the planted area expands.

The current volume in storage is larger, as the weather in North China gets colder and growers rush to harvest and put the crop into storage. Currently, prices are low and there is no significant boost in store for prices to rise. After the National Day holiday, the new crop will have been purchased and put into storage, and the supply on the market will return to storage potatoes. However, as the volume in storage is significantly higher than in previous years and the supply is large, prices may experience a lack of momentum to pick up if the market demand doesn’t follow in the coming months.

Source: China News

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