• Potato Crop Update July 2013

Crop Update

Posted on 14/12/2015

Due to a late harvest and good growing conditions during the final weeks of the crop cycle, the Northwest European Potato Growers (NEPG) published revised crop figures for 2015 in the third week of November. This highlighted a 300,000 tonne increase compared to the previous estimate, resulting in a total production of 25.15 million tonnes for the EU-5.

The main driver for this increased number is the Belgian crop - in October it was estimated to reach 47 tonnes per hectare while in November this increased to 51.2 tonnes.

Despite the EU-5 2015 production falling below last year's, prices are declining. This is due to wet harvesting conditions and relatively high temperatures which caused problems in several potato storages. As a result of this, some meant for delivery in Spring or Summer 2016 had to be cleared first, putting pressure on short term prices. There is currently an oversupply in a sufficiently well fed potato market leading to the decreased prices of today.

With the 2015 production of fresh potatoes in the EU-28, however, 8 million tonnes less than in 2014, we could see a rising demand from the Eastern European countries for fresh potatoes from EU-5. Should this demand occur early next year when the potato storage is cleared, it could lead to higher prices.

In summary, it's likely we will see higher prices over the next few months, rather than the decreasing market we have faced recently.