European potato production is expected to increase this year with France, Germany and Poland leading the charge, the Sept. 30 issue of North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says. Meanwhile in Belgium production may be flat, however, there has been a shift from processing varieties to table potato varieties there. And the Dutch crop could be down two to three per cent.
“Harvest is moving forward and will continue through most of October in some countries.”
European potato markets are saying they’re dealing with a surplus, the report notes. Spot prices for open market potatoes are down as low as US$1.60 per cwt, with many of these potatoes going for livestock feed or ethanol production. April processing futures have been trading between US$3.50 to US$3.95 per cwt.
While overall Belgium is expecting a larger potato crop this year, their processing crop is expected to fall five to 10 per cent. This may put a crimp on their fry production, however, a substantial portion of their processing potatoes are imported from other countries, particularly northern France, the report says.
In the Netherlands the North-Western European Potato Growers is estimating the “consumption” potato crop at 79.8 million cwt, down 2.4 per cent from last year.
In France, the country’s agriculture ministry is estimating the country’s potato crop at 151.9 million cwt, up 7.9 per cent. Germany’s agriculture ministry is predicting production at 254.6 million cwt, up 8.9 per cent. Poland is estimated between 185.5 to 194.2 million cwt, up 44 million cwt.