The Mintec price of German potatoes continued its downward trend in the 8-week period to 30th September. German potato prices fell by 32% to EUR 285/MT.
Several key factors underpin the recent price fall, most notably expectations of a larger crop for the 2020 season. The German potato crop (all potatoes) is estimated to be 10% higher year-on-year (y-o-y) at 11.6 million tonnes and is significantly more than the current market demands.
Production in the two major growing regions (Lower Saxony and Bavarian) is estimated distinctly higher y-o-y, in line with larger acreage devoted to potato production. Lower Saxony’s potato production is estimated 18.7% higher than the previous year at 5.6 million tonnes, whilst Bavarian crop totalled at 1.9 million tonnes, 16.7% higher y-o-y. The increase in production is driven by an rise in the table potato area, in response to higher retail demand seen during the onset of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, depressed demand for processing potatoes has pushed freebuy prices down across Europe, with processors utilising almost exclusively contacted supplies. Accordingly, The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Dutch processed potatoes and Belgium Bintje, are currently priced at EUR 35/MT and EUR 80/MT, down 73% and 36% y-o-y respectively.
Dutch processing potato prices currently show no sign of recovery with factories still processing under total capacity. Meanwhile, Belgian Bintje prices were given a marginal impetus over the last few weeks, due to a halt in harvesting because of heavy rain. However, prices for other processing varieties out of Belgium remain subdued with the MBP Fontane price quoted at EUR 30/MT last week.