Saturday, 15 December 2018

 

UK potato trade saw strong performance from its processed potato sectors in the first seven months of the 2017/18 marketing season, and UK remains a net exporter of chips, according to AHDB analyst Daniel Rooney. 

Trade of frozen potato goods, by far the largest imported potato commodity in the UK, has seen strong growth both leaving and entering the UK, although imports still outweigh exports by ten-fold. Movement of chips and canned potatoes has continued to show encouraging signs of increased UK exports and reduced dependence on foreign imports.

The UK remains a net exporter of chips, with exports continuing to grow. Exports of chips increased by 12% between July and January this year compared to the same period last season, the analyst from AHDB notices. This was largely driven by increased demand from Ireland who imported 9.3Kt in the first seven months of the 2017/18 season, an increase of 23% on the year. Chips exported to Ireland have seen strong growth over the past five years, increasing by 70% since the 2013/14 season. Meanwhile, imports of chips increased this season by 29% between July and January when compared to last year, reaching 12.1Kt. This follows increased imports from Ireland, Spain and France.

In contrast, the UK remains a net importer of frozen fries, which are typically used in the food service industry. Imports reached 370.2Kt in the first seven months of 2017/18, an increase of 8.4% from the same period in 2016/17 (see fig 2). Imports between July and January have consistently increased year on year since 2009/10. This year’s increase is largely driven by a 25.2Kt increase in imports from the Netherlands taking their total to 227.2Kt, representing a 12% increase year on year, Rooney says in its analysis.

Although exports of frozen fries are a relatively small market compared to imports, interesting increases have been observed in the first seven months of 2017/18. The UK exported 34.4Kt of frozen chips between July and January (2017/18), with Ireland remaining the primary destination receiving 17.9Kt and having steadily increased its demand by 28% since 2013/14.

Latest data suggests that the UK is moving closer to trade parity for processed canned potatoes from its recent position as a net importer, with UK imports in the first seven months of the crop season declining by 13% and exports increasing by 56% since 2013/14 respectively. Imports from Belgium, the largest source of canned potatoes, fell 8% to 8.6Kt in the first seven months of the season when compared to the same period last year. In terms of UK exports, they increased by 3% year on year to 15.4Kt. Nigeria remains the UK’s main importer of canned potatoes, increasing its imports by 23% to 6.6Kt in the first seven months of the season. 

Related articles: 

Laura Bouvet New Knowledge and Innovation Facilitator for Agri-Tech East & AHDB 

AHDB Report: GB Processed Potato Exports Are Rising 

AHDB Potatoes: Brexit Could Provide Challenges to Crisp and Seed Exports



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