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North-Western European potato area estimated to grow by 3.6 percent

North-Western European potato area estimated to grow by 3.6 percent

The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates the potato acreage will grow by 3.6% compared to last season.

The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates the potato area will grow by 3.6% compared to last season.

Due to the lack of certified seed, except for the UK, the growth of the area would be much less as earlier expected. The total planted area will be 572.485 ha excluding seed and starch potatoes.

Increase in acreage in all five countries

All 5 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain) will plant more potatoes this upcoming season. The largest increase is again found in Belgium. Compared to the 5 year-average the area in all countries increased with 7.2 %. Based upon the 5 year-average yields for the 5 leading potato countries the total harvest would increase with 5.4 %, to around 27 million tons. The NEPG stresses that the final harvest will be mainly based upon yields and much less on planted area, and the planting season just started. Much seed has been cut and alternative processing varieties have been used compared with the common high yield processing varieties. So far all early processing varieties are planted, and growers are now planting the main crop. Plantings are good on schedule, but in all NEPG countries the soil is dry and the seed potatoes are thirsty.

Stocks are low

For the remainder of the season 2016/17 the NEPG indicates that the stocks are low, especially for free potatoes. Processing levels are high and the season is still 3 months to go before the first early processing varieties will be normally available. Several NEPG countries will soon publish the new stocks based upon grower surveys.

More demand

The NEPG indicates the enormous increase of the processing capacity in the NEPG, also driven by growing demand for potato products outside the EU. The Belgium organization Belgapom published recently that investments in the Belgium processing industry in 2016 were € 310 million, more than the total investments over the year 2014 and 2015 together. The Belgium industry used 4.4 million tons of potatoes last year, an increase of 11 %. Also in other NEPG countries the demand for raw material is growing. In spite of the lack of seed potatoes this year the growers have tried to anticipate on the growing demand for good processing quality, however the growing conditions are leading here.
Companies in this Article
Association of potato growers in Great Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands, France and Germany.