The Egyptian sweet potato season is currently in full swing, after having started in mid-July. According to Indji El-Shahawy, senior export sales manager for Egyptian produce exporter HNTS Group, the sweet potato seasons have become more challenging after the pandemic hit the world.
“There is no doubt that Egypt is one of the main exporters of sweet potato crops. The Egyptian sweet potato season starts mid-July and lasts till end of January. It is worth mentioning that, after the Covid-crisis in 2020, every season is becoming more challenging than the previous one. Last season the main challenge entailed the increased prices of pesticides and fertilizers as well as the increased shipping rates, which made things more difficult for Egyptian exporters and foreign importers.”
The new season is no different in terms of the increased challenges. El-Shahawy states that the war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on the European market.
“This season, in 2022, is a whole different story. With the war going on between Russia and Ukraine, the world’s economy is affected badly. After the United States entered a recession, economists are warning that a recession late this year looks increasingly possible in Europe as well. Europe, being the top importer of Egyptian sweet potato, is currently not in good shape economically which affects the demand. On the other hand, farmers are giving up part of the production due to the high costs of agriculture at the moment. This has made the harvest lower than last year.”
Despite all these challenges, HNTS group keeps supporting the growers and is always looking for new opportunities in the foreign markets: “The main sweet potato varieties available this season are Beauregard, Evangeline and Bellevue. These varieties are very successful in the market and highly requested in Europe and The Netherlands in particular. We export sweet potato as well as many other products to Europe, Russia, and Gulf countries. We work with manufacturers, brand owners, hotels, catering, importers, and retail groups. We expect demand to increase throughout the season and we hope there will be an improvement of the global market conditions very soon.” El-Shahawy concludes.