In Belgium, the new potatoes are slow to grow. "Growth is below the five-year average. When it's dry, you can irrigate. But when it's cold, and there's a north wind, growers can't do much," says Rik Tanghe of RTL Patat. "Fortunately, there's still sufficient supply of last season's potatoes. But things could get exciting in early July. There might not be enough potatoes available."
“The processing industry isn't currently very interested in buying extra potatoes. So, prices are still below contract prices. As always, the weather is the true salesperson. There could be fireworks in early July. Stocks will be declining, and the new potatoes might not be available yet."
"I don't think prices will increase spectacularly this month or in June. Nevertheless, Mother Nature can also recover quickly. But, of course, we can't know that beforehand. We do know that it'll probably remain quite cold until the end of May."
The cold also greatly affects potato storage. "Since last year, we may no longer use CIPC to store potatoes. However, the colder temperatures ensure that the stored potatoes' quality remains good. And that the potatoes come out of storage in good condition. That's a ray of hope at a difficult season's end," concludes Rik.