Potato exports are currently struggling. That's according to Leon Kranenburg of the Dutch potato trading and sorting company of the same name. "We were busy last year. But it's much quieter now. It's also hard to get the right quality."
"Agrias dominate most of the exports. Agria exports are going reasonably well to Southern Europe. Expectations were high because the hospitality industry there reopened. But it's still far from the pre-COVID-19 level. It's generally a difficult market. Sometimes there's some demand from Eastern Europe. They, however, want the potatoes cheap. You can't do anything with that."
"The French fries market is improving. Grower prices are rising faster than we can make doing exports. So we must be careful not to price ourselves out of the market," says Leon. "The export season is usually over within three or four weeks, though. We have new import potatoes that we store. Those aren't selling well yet."
"It may sound like a cliché but COVID-19 will make or break the new potato season. Once things normalize, we should get good prices on the French fries market. There's less outflow across the board anyway. It's tough to predict how the table potato market will develop. There's a chance that demand from the retail channel will weaken somewhat. But the French fries market could pull the table potato market up again," Leon concludes.