As the global pandemic gripped the world with many countries in lockdown, April to June global shipments of french fries dropped by 35.7 per cent, the Aug. 19 issue of North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.
During the 12 years previously the french fry trade had grown on average at 6.5 per cent per year, even though there was a slight downturn in 2019. North America’s June ex- ports to offshore markets fell 43.3 per cent, while the European Union’s external sales for the month were off 44.4 per cent.
“Global french fry demand during the coming year is a major area of uncertainty for the french fry industry. The monthly downtrend during the second quarter has to be a concern for processors.”
“On the other hand, anecdotal evidence indicates that domestic demand for french fries is picking up across North America. The big challenge for the industry is that North American fryers appear to be faced with a raw product shortage for the coming years, while the EU industry may be dealing with a surplus of raw product.”
New Zealand’s exports for the period were only down 8.9 per cent, however in June exports dropped 26.7 per cent. In the same quarter last year, the country exported 12.5 more product than a year before, the report says.
Argentina’s exports dropped by 46.5 per cent with the largest cuts coming in April and May.
A handful of countries did import more french fries during the quarter. The United States, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia, all imported more.
Dehydrated product trade actually increased by 18 per cent in the quarter, the report notes. The United States was the largest importer, followed by Malaysia.