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Antoine Geysels, Top'Pom

Significant rise in potato prices at the start of 2024

French potato grower and trader Top'Pom gives an update on the current state of the French potato market and export market.

"On the fresh French potato market, the beginning of 2024 was marked by a significant rise in prices," explains Antoine Geysels, director of Top'Pom. This increase was "caused by a lack of supply and constant demand from regular clients." Regarding exports, January was an "active month, which accentuated the melting of stocks in the various production regions." From February onwards, however, shipments slowed down, "but the volumes sold this season are clearly higher than last year at the same period."

Maintaining our competitiveness with the arrival of Egypt and Israel
In September 2023, Italy (due to a significant drop in production) and Spain were already absorbing large volumes of French potatoes. This dynamic continues today. "The demand from Italy was still strong at the beginning of the year, leading to a considerable increase in volumes exported to this country compared to previous years. Spain, on the other hand, remains by far the leading importer of French potato imports, with an acceleration in shipments at the start of the year."

Another factor to be taken into account by French operators over the coming weeks is the arrival of new potatoes from Egypt and Israel, which "represent an alternative to the French offer and must be taken into account at the end of this campaign in order to maintain our competitiveness on the export market."

"We hope to still be able to cover the demand for the next season"
"The shortage of seedlings for the next season makes us all aware of the importance of this segment for the balance of our sector," explains Antoine. As FEDEPOM warned in November 2023, production of certified seedlings in France has fallen by almost 11% this year (- 60,000 tons). This decline can only be partly attributed to weather hazards. French and European seedling producers are also faced with technical difficulties regarding possible solutions to treat aphids, the main pest responsible for the potential deterioration in seedling quality. Insufficient supplies of seedlings can also weaken farms, which may find themselves unable to produce all or part of their projected acreage for the coming season. But European packers and manufacturers are also concerned, as they will need sufficient raw material to supply and amortize their production facilities. We therefore hope that the final acreage cuts will not be too drastic, and will enable us to cover the demand for the next season."

For more information:
Antoine Geysels
Z.I. Villette 10700
Phone: +33 3 25 37 12 16

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