European potato market (week 16)

Great Britain: normal demand for friable varieties thanks to reopening of restaurants

European physical markets   

Price summary €/t (source: NEPG):

Belgium

Fiwap/PCA market message:

Potatoes for processing: very firm markets. The demand is more dynamic overall, although not all factories are buying. We note a considerable demand for export (England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Eastern countries). Some operators (trade, producers) are also looking for volumes to complete their industrial contracts. The offer is limited, probably due to higher prices to come, but also because of the work in the fields and the limited amount of free stocks. 

Fontane, Challenger, Bintje: 6.00 - 7.50 €/q, depending on quality and buyer.

For Bintje, the good cooking batches and large calibers sometimes obtain prices higher than 8.00 €/q for specific peelers. 

In the fields, the planting of the early varieties was (almost) finished last week. The planting of ware potatoes has begun in several sub-regions and we estimate that about 10% had been planted at the beginning of the week. The dry weather will help with starting on a larger scale throughout the country in the coming days, despite the still unseasonably low nighttime temperatures.

Forward market

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

Netherlands
The expected easing of the sanitary measures here and there in Europe and the prospect of the summer season will contribute to improving the outlets for finished products. The industry is anticipating by picking up speed (see below). There is more demand, with bidding actions (tenders) last week at 7.00 - 7.50 €/q for various varieties for fries for immediate delivery. The actual transactions are between 7.50 and 8.50 €/q for Agria and Innovator, for export and/or processing. The domestic fresh markets have returned to their “normal” schedule, with producer prices between 9.00 and 14.00 €/q for soft flesh, and 12.00 to 20.00 €/q for firm flesh. Export remains variable, with destinations that are more present (Spain, Portugal) and others that are more hesitant (Ukraine remains very interested but does not accept higher prices). Producer prices vary between 8.00 and 11.00 €/q on average, with extremes at 4.00 (low quality) and 17.00 €/q (top-quality Agria in crates-fridges).

Organic potatoes: according to Boerenbusiness, the producers of organic potatoes (as well as organic onions and carrots) are worried. There is still a stock of unsold potatoes of excellent quality in the fridges, while the early vegetables (organic potatoes, carrots and onions) are arriving on the market progressively. For the potatoes, prices vary between 25 €/q for soft and mealy flesh, and 28 €/q for firm flesh. For 35-65 mm paid, prices unchanged since the beginning of the year.

France
Processing: the buyers present are more active, but without any price evolution for the moment. Intermediary trade also continues to buy. Quotations are stable or up. Contracts are removed on time. The fresh markets are rather dynamic, with some highly solicited varieties like Agria. Export continues to various destinations (Eastern countries, Italy, Spain, Portugal).

In the fields, planting continues at a good pace. UNPT estimated last Wednesday that 20% of the plots were planted, varying from 20% in the Hauts-de-France to 50% in the Grand-Est.

Industrial production, bulk, departure, excl.VAT, Nord-Seine, €/qt, min - max (moy)(RNM):

Germany
The fresh market is more firm and prices are slightly up. Fresh market (early and semi-early): prices for firm flesh at 11.00 €/q (10.83 €/q, quotation before last), and unchanged prices for soft/mealy flesh at 10.42 €/q (10.25 €/q, quotation before last). But the merchandise from refrigerated crates-pallets is 3€ higher (see REKA prices in table below!). Thanks to the winter weather (and the fact that the asparagus do not grow much!), consumers are somewhat neglecting the imported early varieties and continue to buy the old potatoes. 

Processing market is firm with higher prices (except for Innovator): 6.75 - 7.25 €/q for Innovator (6.75 - 7.25 €/q € last week). Agria at 6.75 - 7.25 €/q (6.25 - 6.75 €/q), Challenger at 7.00 - 7.50 €/q (6.75 - 7.25 €/q) and Fontane at 6.25 - 6.75 €/q (6.25 - 6.75 €/q).

Varieties for chips/crisps: firm prices with higher upper prices at 9.00 - 14.00 €/q.

Planting of native early crops: the planting of early varieties has started again and should be finished this week! The night frost was normal last week, as well as the irrigations to protect against frost (Frostberegnungen).

Imported early varieties: Egyptian around 50.00 €/q and the first ones from Israel vary between 60 and 65 €/q.

Organic potatoes: unchanged producer prices at 40.00 €/q (all varieties and markets combined), returned trade. More sales for Easter this year, compared to Easter 2020. Trade is complaining about the deteriorating quality and many defects. Last year, Germany had imported 10,000 t of Dutch organic potatoes, and this presence is also important this year. Less demand from Austria because of the higher transport costs, as well as the lower prices in Germany. For the early varieties, the Egyptian and Israeli origins are less present than last year (when their presence was already lower). More early varieties from Italy and Spain.

Great Britain
Average price free market for the week ending on April 13th, 2021: 15.02 £/q (14.01 £/q last week), +/- 19.53 €/q.

Regarding packing, the contracts for white varieties were hardly removed on time, and the free volumes are negotiated between 6.90 and 15.00 €/q, depending on quality and variety. The red varieties are solicited (Mozart, Desiree), with better prices (up to 21.00-23.00 €/q, sorted caliber). The demand for friable varieties on the wholesale market is “similar to before the pandemic,” thanks to the reopening of restaurants. The quality of the offer varies a lot, however, and the batches in germination are negotiated with much difficulty at 11.50 - 13.80 €/q, sorted caliber, departure in big-bags. The superior quality reaches 23.00 - 25.30 €/q (Markies, Sagitta). Agria and Maris Piper show intermediate prices. 

Some export of “good volumes” of Maris Piper to Belgium around 16.50 €/q at the producer…, while buyers are looking for red varieties to export to the Mediterranean. Some trade also to the Canary Islands, in small volumes.

For more information:
FIWAP
www.fiwap.be 


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