Processor contract prices for the upcoming growing season in Europe are lower than in years past, a news release from the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG), says on Feb. 19.
Prices for direct delivery from field and through October to November delivery are between five to 10 per cent below last year’s prices. End of season delivery for between May to June is a smaller drop and in most cases slightly higher than it was for the 2020/21 season.
“Some processors have offered contracts at a lower tonnage per hectare than last year, but it is very difficult to know whether the total volumes contracted are lower or equivalent to those signed last winter. Some processors are offering increased areas compared to the 2020-2021 season.”
Growers are also facing higher production costs, the release notes. Over the past growing season use of maleic hydrazid, higher costs for haulm killing, cleaning of storages, investments in renovating and better insulation in storages for fogging, additional costs for purchasing and application of the new anti-sprouting compound and much higher costs during this first storing year due to the more expensive products and application, less efficient and earlier and more active sprouting of potatoes, have all increased costs for growers. This is causing current contract prices to look less economical for growers than in years past.
“Even though most contracts for the upcoming season have already been signed, NEPG urges growers to make accurate production costs analysis prior to signing anything. This can give them more leverage for eventual late signing of (additional) contracts.”