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Analysis Potatoes

Potato market can reach €60 again

May 10, 2024 - By our team of market reporters

It is not going well with the planting of potatoes for harvest year 2024. Admittedly, the differences per region are significant, but there is still much to be done. This strongly resembles last season when a late start to the season set the tone for the sale of the last part of the 2022 harvest. Can the potato market, like last season, reach €60 again?

There is basically no reason to think that it couldn't, as harvest year 2022 and the subsequent harvest year 2023 share many similarities. Also, around this time last year, Belgapom noted €40 per 100 kilos for Fontane and Challenger, just like the French RNM and German Reka potato prices. (Article continues below the charts)

The groundwork for a further increase was laid last season by a late start to the new growing season; a situation that is also present in May 2024. In fact, the planting season is even further behind. Growers from various cultivation areas indicate having more than great difficulty with spring activities, especially due to the condition of the soil after the last harvest. They are anxiously looking at the weather forecasts, which once again do not seem favorable for the upcoming week (week 20). (Article continues below the Tweets)

Cultivating potatoes in the EU-4 countries is becoming an increasingly unpredictable matter due to often uncontrollable circumstances. The market going off the rails, for whatever reason, seems more like the rule than the exception. The fact that for harvest year 2024 the contract price has taken a significant upward leap does not change that. It's fine to grow potatoes on contract and it's also logical considering what is paid by the buyers, but then the potatoes still need to be planted, grow, and be harvested.

Where can the potato price go?
What price corresponds to which situation? One thing is certain, the chip sales and selling prices are such that a processor is unlikely to leave potatoes behind. After all, the competitor may well pay the price. Another fact is that with the volume of contracted raw material (reasonably secure in hand), processors will only act when there is a real need. For the coming weeks, that will certainly be the case, but what market price goes with that... Let's assume €60 comes first!

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