NEPG Warns of New Challenges for the Upcoming Season
Over the last years, the area for consumption potatoes has increased by 6,5% in the five leading potato countries of North-Western Europe.
“If there is an increase again this year, combined with an average yield, the balance between demand and supply could lead to price pressure for the growers,” according to a press release by the NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers).
Referring to the current Brexit developments, the NEPG says it could have an influence on the flow of potatoes and potato products during the upcoming potato season, adding to the growing number of challenges for the potato supply chain.
“At the moment the market is in balance, in spite of the larger harvest. Overall the quality in store is good, however, there are reports of sprouting and aging, and some stocks had to be sold earlier than planned,” the report states.
The NEPG says that contracts are being signed with the processing industry for the next season, but sometimes with some reluctance from the producers. Ex field prices in these contracts, on the mainland, have remained the same or are slightly lower than last season, while the storage prices have increased.
“The question is how the new restrictions will affect the cost for the producers with the extra storage costs and other new restrictions like the use of Diquat, which will not be permitted anymore.”
As CIPC for anti-sprouting is not allowed next season, it will become a very challenging year, technically and financially, for growers who store their potatoes longer. “It is expected that there might be temperately more supply than usual for ex field potatoes in the autumn, as many growers are not aware of the alternatives for CIPC. The risk of potato quantity and/or quality being lost is particularly high,” NEPG concluded.