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Despite current low prices, more potatoes planted in North-western Europe

Despite current low prices, more potatoes planted in North-western Europe

Recently planted potato field in the Netherlands.

May 10, 2018
The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimate that the growers in the 5 leading potato growing countries will plant 0,4% more potatoes than last year.

There is still a large amount of potatoes in storage, however due to late plantings and expected later arrival of the early varieties, the NEPG expects a longer supply season for the processing industry than usual. The situation for the fresh table potatoes should be the same.

It is expected that the market will be strongly divided in the coming months. On one hand better quality against a higher price, and the low quality against a lower price level and almost no demand anymore. The NEPG hopes that there will be enough potatoes with good frying qualities available at the end of the season.

Planting the new crop

All NEPG countries report significant delays in planting. On the continent almost all potatoes have been planted, however in Great Britain only half has been realized in the first week of May. France, Belgium and Germany have planted more area, while in the Netherlands the area reduced with 2.5%.

Great Britain has no estimation available at the moment so the 5 years average has been used to calculate the area planted. In total 0,4% more than last year however 6,7% more compared to the 5 years average, which is not in line with the growing demand from the processing industry according the NEPG.

The availability of the seed potatoes also encouraged the area increase, as well as the higher demand for contracts by the processors and lack of alternatives for the grower as prices for sugar beets and wheat are low.

(Click to enlarge)

North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates (on May 3, 2018) of Production EU5 Consumption Potatoes for 2018 (Excl. Seed and Starch)

According to these estimations 585.608 ha of consumption potatoes will be planted. In several countries there is a trend from growing fresh table towards growing for the processing, with the higher yield varieties. Based upon the 5 years average yields, the harvest would be 4 % lower than this potato season.

There is also a trend to plant more potatoes for the starch industry in Germany, France and The Netherlands. These figures are not included in the NEPG estimations.
Companies in this Article
Association of potato growers in Great Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands, France and Germany.