Potato export is extremely quiet at the moment. "There is the occasional freight to the Eastern Bloc, but that is not the trade in which we are involved. Furthermore, there are limited containers going to African destinations such as Ivory Coast and regularly to the Caribbean, but overall it is very quiet," says Teun Paarlberg of exporter G. Sevenhuysen VOF from Warmenhuizen.
"In Trinidad, for example, we see that at the moment Canadian potatoes are still being dumped on the market at a low price. Despite the wart disease, the Canadians are apparently still allowed to export", Teun continues. "From a European perspective, there are a lot fewer potatoes than in other years, but despite that, we don't see that reflected in the price yet, although the chip market has picked up a bit in the meantime."
"The problem at the moment is that the mood on the farmer's side is being whipped up considerably, but the price increase cannot be made on the export side. This puts enormous pressure on the packing stations in particular, because they cannot make a margin. In onions, we are currently seeing the same scenario play out", says Teun.
Léon Kranenburg of Aardappelhandel en sorteerbedrijf Kranenburg, a potato trading and sorting company from Nieuw-Vennep, also thinks the current export is very quiet. "The Eastern Bloc is hardly not on the market, or not at all. In the export to far destinations, transport is currently in the way and moreover we are too expensive for many destinations. Southern European customers look first to France, which has been cheaper all season."
"At the same time, the market also shows contradictions. The stocks are not huge. Just try to find 100 tonnes of export-ready potatoes at the moment," Léon continues. "You would also expect even lower prices with these tame exports, but they are still holding up reasonably well. In general, the quality of the potatoes is not disappointing. However, the Agrias in particular have grown somewhat finer. The price level of potatoes suitable for export is currently around 13 cents. The chips market is a bit better, those prices are also rising now, but good Agrias are also hard to find."
"I am therefore not positive about the potato market. People might take me for a negative person, but in my opinion we have been overtaken by foreign countries more and more in recent years. As the Netherlands, we are allowed to fill ever smaller gaps for export. Only when there are extra shortages do we get another turn. Africa is an exception to this, but now that more and more seed potatoes are going there, our sales opportunities are also becoming more and more limited."