This year, there was a tight market between the two crops. Due to cold and wet conditions in spring, the new crop developed late, while increasing demand for frozen potato products worldwide challenged processors to produce at maximum capacity. This particularly affected the Belgian processors who ran out of old crop contracts and therefore boosted Dutch potato prices.
The wet conditions also affected the quality of the potatoes, particularly the early varieties which featured internal discoloration and growth cracks. Dry matters however, are better than expected although the increased acreage in the EU-5 is not likely to result in higher yields than last year.
The weather in the first half of September will determine the ripening of the crop - higher than average temperatures could result in an early deterioration of the foliage and below average yields, while growing conditions over the course of the season will influence the quality of the potatoes.
While frozen fries are produced in factories, unfortunately potatoes are very dependent on Mother Nature.