On the 6th December, World Potato Markets published a new figure
of the EU-5 ware potato production of 30,5 mio tons. This figure
includes the harvest from the 16,000-17,000 hectares of seed grown
both in the UK and Germany; which could amount to 900,000 tonnes or
more. When these 900,000 tons of seed are subtracted from 30,5 mio
tons, there will still be 29,6 mio tons available from this year's
A new production record - caused by extreme high yields per ha. - is seen in the very large tubers on our production lines. Some tubers are even too big for processing and the largest water knives in the processing lines.
This high production figure and the wet harvesting conditions -
that caused some quality problems in different regions - resulted
in an abundant supply in a market that is covered with contracted
During the last weeks, there has hardly been any trade in free buy potatoes and it seems that the oversupply situation will last during the first months of 2018. The low April futures quotation of €4,8 per 100kg expresses the very moderate expectations for an upward price development of the market.
On the other hand, low prices can stimulate fresh exports. The demand from the expanded EU-5 processing industry has increased tremendously over the last few years and many potatoes with minor quality defects are rejected and sold into the starch or feed market.
The average lower-dry matter content of this year's crop has resulted in a lower yield in processing and an increased demand in volume. This year once again proves that consecutive 'potato seasons' can show totally different dynamics.
Positive news comes from the new automated potato quality inspection line in Dronten. This year, all farmers with contracts have filled 200kg wooden boxes with good representative samples of the potatoes that they harvested and have put these into their storages. The quality that is determined from the samples turns out to be reliable and corresponds with the results in processing. To get a better idea of the new sample quality inspection line, watch this video.
The fully automated sampling line enables Aviko to get a good overview of the quality in the farmers' storages for the processing season 2017-2018. This is a great step forward to make the optimal match between the available qualities and the various specifications of the broad portfolio of products that Aviko produces.
Jan Willem Peters