The French Potato Interprofessional (CNIPT) has published in its latest bulletin an analysis of the consequences that the war initiated by Russia in Ukraine could have on the potato sector.
According to the CNIPT, the situation in Ukraine could amplify the already high inflation in the costs of agricultural raw materials, packaging, and, mainly, energy. "We expect strong tensions on energy (Russia is the leading exporter of natural gas to the EU, accounting for 44% of its imports) and by extension on the price of nitrogen fertilizers. Tensions over oil are likely to increase. Thus, logistics flows would be interrupted by transport difficulties (road and sea), costs, and lack of drivers."
"The war will most likely affect the current flows of conservation potatoes to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe," the interprofessional stated. "Ukraine is a major producer of this tuber, but due to its significant domestic consumption, it imports nearly 250,000 tons each year. Its main suppliers are Poland, Lithuania, and Romania. France doesn't export much product directly to Ukraine, but it sends significant flows of potatoes to neighboring countries that re-export them to Ukraine. ”
"Russia imports up to 100,000 tons of frozen chips (and other processed potatoes), exclusively from the EU (Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France). The conflict could paralyze these flows which would be transferred to other destinations."
"The potato's advantage in these times of crisis is that it contributes strongly to France's food sovereignty and constitutes a qualitative and healthy refuge food for all European populations," the CNIPT highlighted.