Europa: European potato demand remains strong despite soaring prices
The Mintec Benchmark Prices for Processing Potatoes EXW Netherlands were assessed at €420/mt on 16th May 2023, representing a 66% year-on-year increase.
However, despite the rising prices, demand for potatoes remains robust. Ongoing planting delays and limited free-buy stock within the NEPG region has led to increased competition for free-buy stocks, bolstering prices. Some popular processing varieties are becoming difficult to source as supplies dwindle, according to a market source.
Dutch growers face additional pressure to meet a 1st October harvest deadline due to new nitrogen reduction legislation; the legislation requires farmers on sandy soils to have harvested by 1st October and plant an over-wintering nitrogen-absorbing catch crop.
This regulatory requirement further has placed additional pressure on dwindling supplies with concerns that Dutch growers may not be able to complete harvest within the allotted timeframes; given the late plantings this season and the potential for adverse conditions during harvest. At this time the high prices in the EU has led to additional volumes being imported from Egypt, Israel, and Portugal as exporters look to capitalise on the current state of the market.