European processing potato prices hit record highs this week, with increased competition from processors for a limited volume of uncontracted (free-buy) stocks pushing up physical prices. The Mintec Benchmark Prices for Dutch processing potatoes [Mintec Code: PO29] were assessed at €330.00/mt on 18th April, the highest value since the price series began in 2014.
Delays to new crop planting in Europe led to market participants suggesting that the arrival of the early crop could be delayed, increasing pressure on stocks for the remainder of the 2022/23 season. Furthermore, the volume of free-buy stocks is below average and global demand for processed products remains robust, which has resulted in increased competition between processors to secure uncommitted volumes.
For the remainder of the season market participants expect free-buy prices to remain at or near record highs until processors begin to take delivery of sufficient volumes of early processing varieties.