French Fry Supplies to be Tight in Europe

French fries
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With reduced acreage in the European Union’s top french fry producing regions and demand expectations bigger than acreage, supply could be tight this year, the Sept. 16 issue of the North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.

Preliminary data shows the area planted to potatoes in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland declined by 6.1 per cent this year. Current yield expectations show potato production in the countries could fall by 2.5 per cent from last year, the report notes.

The Monitoring Agricultural Resources (MARS) report pegged the August Belgium yield estimate at 33 cwt per acre. This is still higher than last year’s yield but when combined with the eight per cent acreage reduction, NAPM says there will be a 6.2 per cent decline in 2021 potato production for Europe.

In France while MARS has once again estimated the potato yield above last years, the acreage reduction of 3.2 per cent is still weighing on supply.

“The combination of stronger yields and a smaller planted area could leave France with 1.8 per cent fewer potatoes than the country produced a year ago,” NAPM says in the report.

In Germany MARS is also pegging the yield as higher than 2020s by 5.4 per cent. Acreage fell by three per cent which leads to a production estimate of 1.5 per cent more than last year though, at 235.2 million cwt.

In the Netherlands MARS pegs the yield estimate at 1.6 per cent higher than last years. Combined with a five per cent acreage estimate, NAPM expects their production to be three per cent down from last year.

In Poland MARS has the potato yield estimate at 0.4 per cent down from last year. Polish growers planted 10 per cent less potato acres this year, which combined with yield leads to a 6.4 per cent production drop, NAPM says.

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