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NEPG adjusts potato harvest estimation upwards

Although the full harvest is not in the stores yet, the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates the actual harvest at 28.9 million tons for the five countries. This is more than the estimate of last September.

The five countries that comprise the NEPG include Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The NEPG stresses that especially in Great Britain and the Netherlands, there is still at least 10-15 per cent to be harvested under wet conditions. The projected harvest is 17.7 per cent more than last year, 15.6 per cent compared to the five-year average and slightly more than the large harvest of 2014.

All countries, except Great Britain, where final yields are not yet known, larger yields per hectare are reported. In France and Belgium the yields vary enormously; some growers cannot even supply their minimum contracted volume. Next to the higher yields, also the total area increased in all NEPG countries with 5.9 per cent. Germany is on top, with 8.8 per cent more compared to last year.

The overall quality is good, however in all countries there are question marks about the storability of the crop, especially in the wet areas. There is bacterial rot, wet rot, blight and glassy potatoes, mostly in Bintje, reported in the storages. In the Benelux countries, the dry matter is often below the minimum level, especially with Bintje which is 30 per cent below this required level, but also 10 per cent in Fontane in Belgium. The NEPG is monitoring the quality in storage.

It also has to be noted that processing yields will be lower the upcoming months due to lower dry matter. These two elements could have an impact on the market.

As many growers cannot store all their potatoes, the oversupply will remain over the coming period, according to the NEPG.

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