"Very tough sweet potato market, regardless of origin"

"This year's very tough for sweet potatoes, regardless of their country of origin," says a market specialist. "With all that's going on in the world, everyone's experiencing price increases. It remains difficult to pass those on to consumers; all that's left is to earn less on those potatoes. For example, fertilizers prices have tripled, but those can't be recouped. People aren't willing to pay more, partly because of the recession."

"So, it's hard for all sweet potato growers to farm cost-effectively. Also, quality isn't the best this season, and the harvest's quite large. That creates pressure to empty your shed before the new season starts. One thing's certain: next season, there'll be far fewer sweet potatoes available. Thanks to the current low prices, there won't be much capacity to farm again. Some growers have been hard and are, thus, easing back slightly. Supply and demand should, therefore, be vastly different from this season," the market specialist concludes.

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