Belize, Mexico: Finding a potato solution

Last week reported on the 2.5 million pounds of Belizean potatoes that were in danger of going to waste, because they were unable to compete with the larger, cheaper, Mexican potatoes that are currently on the market. Normally, by the time the Belizean red potatoes are ready to enter the market, the Ministry of Agriculture cuts back on the importation of the competition. And according to Minister Godwin Hulse, that’s exactly what happened, but the problem is that the Mexican potatoes in the country now are contraband. So now, the potato farmers have been forced to reduce their prices to about 75 cents, which they think is unfair. More


Europatat: ‘Making the European Potato Trade great again!’

Belgapom, the Belgian Potato Traders and Processors, and Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, are pleased to confirm the dates for the annual Europatat Congress, that this year will take place in Antwerp (Belgium) from 15 to 17 June 2017, at the beautiful Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, located in the city centre of Antwerp. Under the provocative slogan ‘Making the European Potato Trade great again! (it’s gonna be huge, it’s gonna be great, it’s true!)’, the Congress will focus on two major current issues for the potato sector: plant health and trade. Among the keynote speakers are Harry Arijs (European Commission, DG SANTE) and Cedric Porter (World Potato Markets) who will talk about the new European plant health Directive and the Brexit effect on trade respectively, and its impact on the potato sector. Further speakers will be announced soon.  Continue reading

España: Canarias plantea volver a exportar papas si a Galicia se lo permiten

Las Islas mantienen los envíos en cuarentena por la plaga de la polilla guatemalteca, que ahora afecta a los cultivos gallegos El Gobierno ultima un protocolo de actuación. La polilla guatemalteca, una plaga que afecta a las papas antiguas canarias desde hace casi veinte años, amenaza ahora los cultivos de Galicia y abre el debate sobre la medida adoptada en las Islas para controlarla: prohibir la exportación de este tubérculo. El consejero de Agricultura del Gobierno autonómico, Narvay Quintero, reveló ayer que Canarias espera a que la Unión Europea autorice el protocolo diseñado por el Ejecutivo que permita las exportaciones y, a partir de ahí, retomar los envíos al exterior. Sin embargo, Quintero cree “evidente” que “si la polilla está en Galicia y Galicia puede exportar”, el Archipiélago también podrá hacerlo. Link

Brazil imposes anti-dumping duty on frozen potato from Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands

Last week the Brazilian Government has decided to impose an anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes imported from Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands. Brazil is an important export market for potato processors in Western Europe, so this duty can have significant economic impact for the processors. The Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from these countries in 2015. The anti-dumping measure is a tool agreed to under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and requires a formal investigation according to a defined protocol. The investigation aims to assess if the imported products are sold at a lower price than the product price in the country of origin. Brazil started the anti-dumping investigation following a complaint by the Brazilian Potato Processing Company Bem Brazil Alimentos Ltda. More

China: First batch of US seed potatoes to arrive in Jining next month

The office for Inspection and Quarantine in Jining city (Shandong province), recently handled papers regarding the import of seed potatoes for a local agricultural company. The formalities having been dealt with, the first batch should arrive in Jining in March. “These imports are one of the very first introductions of American seed potatoes into China in recent years.” A relevant staff member explains that the agricultural science company is situated in the city’s Wenshang county and that the CEO of the company is a Chinese-American person. Introducing foreign seed tubers at this time is mainly in order to find suitable acres to grow potatoes of excellent quality in the future. More

Argentina: Entry of Brazilian potatoes causes concern

The National Federation of Potato Producers (Fenapp), which has been affected by the climate and other factors that may have undermined the crop’s development throughout the country, expressed its dissatisfaction with the arrival of Brazilian potatoes at the Central Market. “We know there is a need for much more bilateral trade within the framework of regional integration and as a result of the creation of a common market such as Mercosur,” said the Vice President of  Fenapp, Mario Raiteri. “We could understand these imports if there was a decrease in supply of potatoes that led to a disproportionate increase in the price of food for the people of Argentina, but there is no such thing going on,” the leader added. The potato sector has been going through complex situations, such as climate issues, the high cost of inputs, and dollar inflation. “In addition, we have high employer contributions, expensive freight and its powerful impact on production areas far from large urban centers,” Raiteri stated. More

Eastern States ban imports from Western Australia after pest found

After the discovery of a destructive pest known as the tomato potato psyllid at a Perth farm, Eastern States banned the import of produce from Western Australia in order to quarantine the problem. With the Federal agriculture officials in Canberra alerting overseas trading partners, growers and exporters fear foreign markets could be lost. The State Agriculture Department has placed at least one Perth farm in quarantine. The Department of Agriculture raised the alert last week after the tomato potato psyllid was found on a commercial capsicum crop. It is the first time that the bug has been detected in Australia and officials are taking it seriously as it is said to be a big production pest in countries where it is present, such as the US and New Zealand. Beyond attacking crops, the pest can act as a host for bacteria that damages potatoes. More

North Lebanon potato farmers protest imports from Egypt

Farmers in north Lebanon Saturday protested potato imports, arguing that it helped worsen their situation. The farmers in the town of Halba in the northern district of Akkar urged Agriculture Minister Ghazi Zeaiter to ban the importation of Egyptian potatoes, the National News Agency reported. The protesters complained that the Egyptian imports that don’t meet the applied standards have been “randomly” entering Lebanon. They called on the government to find markets to dispose of their products, estimated to reach around 60,000 tons, locally and in foreign markets. More

After strong growth, South African potato exports down 18%

South Africa is self-sufficient in potatoes. 2015 was an exceptionally good year with a harvest of 250 million 10kg bags, which fell to 214 million 10kg bags in 2016 due to drought and excessive heat. This year it appears as if the area under potatoes is somewhat less, but a better harvest than last year can be expected, says Dr André Jooste, CEO of Potatoes SA. Approximately 50 000 to 54 000ha is annually planted with potatoes. According to Potatoes SA, between 6 and 8% of South Africa’s total production of potatoes is exported to neighbouring countries, with a fraction destined for the Middle East and other parts of Africa. The value of exports reached a record 583 million South African Rand (€42 million) in 2014, according to the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz). However, explains Tinashe Kapuya, head of international trade at Agbiz: “From a volume perspective, exports for 2016 will expectedly be lower. We expect a fall from 155 667 tons in 2015, to about 120 000 tons in 2016 – which is an 18% decline.” More

HANSA Terminhandel GmbH Marktkommentar Kartoffeln: Erfolgreiche Rohstoffschonung – Belgiens Vorräte größer als im Vorjahr

Image result for hansa terminhandelDie große weltweite Nachfrage nach europäischen Kartoffelprodukten lässt vermuten, dass insbesondere Belgien und Holland mindestens so viel produzieren werden, wie im Vorjahr. Da aber diese beiden Länder im letzten Herbst kaum mehr geerntet haben, griffen Frittenhersteller frühzeitig auf Rohwarenimporte zurück. Dabei waren sie nicht wählerisch und kauften alles, was sich zur Herstellung ihrer Produkte eignete. Wie viele Kartoffeln eingeführt wurden, war lange Zeit schwer zu schätzen. Letzte Woche hat der Wallonische Kartoffelverband nun etwas mehr Licht in die Sache gebracht, denn es wurden dort die Kartoffelvorräte bei den Bauern geschätzt. Von in Belgien gewachsenem Rohstoff wurden von November 2016 bis Januar 2017 lediglich 723.000 Tonnen genutzt. Das waren 230.000 Tonnen weniger als im selben Zeitraum im Vorjahr.  Continue reading

India: Bumper crop sends potato prices crashing in Bengal

The price of potato has seen a near 40 per cent year-on-year decline in Bengal mostly because of a bumper crop. Increased flow of stock from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab has also led to weak demand from neighbouring consumer States such as Odisha, further contributing to the decline in prices. Production is expected to be nearly 22 per cent higher than last year at 110,000 lakh tonnes (90 lakh tonnes last year), according to trade sources. The Agriculture Ministry, in its first advance estimates for 2016-17, has pegged the output in West Bengal at 84.27 lakh tonnes. With increased flow from Punjab and UP and existence of old stock in local markets, the price of the early variety (of potato) has fallen,” a cold storage owner said on condition of anonymity. More

Punjab: Potato prices dive; growers fear glut, want export nod

AFTER EXPECTING a bumper crop, potato growers of the state are fearing a glut in the peak harvesting season of February and March, coupled with no demand from other states and prices crashing to one of the lowest at Rs 300 per quintal. Growers are saying that post-demonetisation, there has been no rise in price and buyers dwindled, too. Even a couple of years back, potatoes used to be sold at Rs 3,000-4,000 per quintal. Watch What Else is Making News So, growers are demanding government help to export potatoes and get a good price. Punjab is expecting a production of over 2.2 million tonnes whereas it has the capacity to store around 16 lakh tonnes in the nearly 500 cold stores. But the old crop, lying in the cold stores, needs to be cleared first. More

NL, Europe: “Good demand for industrial potatoes”

“There is a tension in the potato market. On the one hand, cultivators do not want to ‘let go’ of their ‘regular’ table potatoes at too low a price for export, and on the other hand, importers do not want to pay too much for table potatoes. Price requests are being made by, for example, Romanian importers, but they give up when they hear what the prices are, and then they go to other countries, such as Germany and Eastern European countries, where the potatoes are much cheaper,” says Jurgen Duthoo from Bart’s Potato Company. “They are looking for the cheapest option and they will not find that with us.”
“Regarding potatoes suitable for the frozen industry, for chips processing, it is going very well, and the export too, good prices are given for those. There is definitely movement on the market for potatoes suitable for chips.” More

Bangladesh: Potato growers suffer from lack of gov’t. incentives

While potatoes usually play a significant role in the export market of Bangladesh, this season the Bangladeshi potato sector has been in a rut. According to Saifur Rahman of the export company Friends Eximp Enterprise, the current negative trend is related to the lack of incentives from the Bangladeshi government. “Last year, the government gave potato growers a 20% incentive for their production. This year, that percentage has been lowered to only 10%. Because of that, we can’t compete on the world market for potatoes. As we can’t cover our costs with the current prices in the market, most companies won’t export potatoes.” The potato sector of Bangladesh also had to deal with adverse weather, which has caused delays for the potato harvest. The main problem is however the lack of funding from the government. More

‘Significantly fewer free potatoes on lazy and expensive market’

The potato market has had high prices all season. “For us it is our first year after launching Flevostar Potato, and it is a special year at that,” says William Verhage. “The market currently might be somewhat lazy and expensive, but on the other hand, there is work to be done in every field. If you manage to be distinctive, buyers will know how to find you.” “There is a demand for good quality potatoes on the domestic market, and good prices are paid for those as well. We are starting to run out of the great quality though, and that is why we have to bridge another period before the volumes of imported potatoes arrive,” William continues. “Industry is keeping calm because the contracts have run their course. But I personally think that if you can still get 24-25 cents for your potatoes at this moment, you cannot be doing much wrong. However, there are significantly fewer free potatoes than there were last year.” More