The combination of later harvest and good growing conditions at the end of the harvest has caused the NEPG to raise the yield figures of the five NEPG countries from 1 October by 300,000 tonnes, to 25,157,000 tonnes. The Belgian yield of the non Bintje varieties are the main cause of this. Whereas on the 1st of October in Belgian a ha yield of 47 tonnes was predicted, the yield prediction is now 51.2 tonnes per ha. When the figures of all participating countries are known in a week or two, the NEPG will be able to publish the final yield.

Lower yield
The yield is lower than last season and still slightly under the five year average. There are large differences reported in quality and quantity from area to area, but also from variety to variety. Harvest 2015 is the latest harvest in the NEPG history. In general the quality of the stored product is good. The extremely high outside temperatures for this time of year brings risks. People are having problems bringing the storage temperature down.

Export opportunities
Parallel to the continually extending processing, the export of fresh consumption potatoes can contribute to a positive market impulse. Compared to the last season the yields in all EU countries collectively will be 8 million tonnes lower (source: AMI 3 nov.2015). Wintery temperatures will increase the demand for export potatoes. At the moment the question is still when the preliminary inquiries will change into actual orders.

Low Euro exchange rate heightens chance of export
Due to the average lower underwater weight and the less coarse Bintjes the industry will need more raw materials to meet the same production as last year. The very low exchange rate of the Euro offers extra opportunity for the processors to increase their export share outside of Europe, although the current good North American harvest could cause some extra global competition. The percentage of contract potatoes, with the (meelever?) potatoes, is increasing each year. As 'meelever' potatoes are related to agreements concerning IPOs, the interest of the industry to buy potatoes through the free market is decreasing each year. This is why it is hoped that sugar beet growers will carefully consider before growing (more) potatoes next season to prevent negative effects on the price balance.

*GB yield based on 5-year average excluding 2012

Source: NPEG