The scarcity of seedlings could reduce crop rises announced for this potato season, affecting processors and ongoing contracts. According to the NEPG (North Western European Potato Growers), the projected increase in potato area is less than originally envisaged. In all NEPG countries (EU-5), with the exception of Great Britain, there is a serious lack of plants (or over-priced plants) to produce potatoes for the processing industry.
At the same time, processors have further increased their capacity from 700,000 to 800,000 tons. Contract prices have increased from EUR20 to EUR30 per ton for more early to deliver mid-July, and between EUR10 and 15 / t for later varieties.
Producers, trade and industry are looking for all the possible alternatives to try to fill the lack of plants by either using the very small plants (25 - 28 mm), using new varieties, or by using dual-purpose varieties or production of starch.
The NEPG mentions that the prices will have a direct influence on the cost of production.