For the past two weeks, prices have been going up on the French potato market. As a consequence, the market is more calm, according to Antoine Geysels of the company Top’Pom, based in France. “Our French clients prefer to charge their contracts and take on their stocks rather than to buy on the free market at relatively high prices,” he says.
In Spain, Italy and the Eastern countries, the markets remain dynamic, according to Antoine. “We make regular sales every week at sustained prices on a responsive market. Producers are wondering about the future of the market. It is therefore more complicated to obtain volumes in this context. Sales prices are increasing – about 400 euros/T [453 USD/T] depending on the varieties and the quality.”
This year, Europe is certainly faced with reduced availability of potatoes. “Some clients from Eastern Europe get their supply in France. Usually, these countries buy in Germany, because of the geographical proximity.”
The early potatoes from Egypt and Israel are starting to arrive on the market in limited quantities. “I think that some clients from Eastern Europe will be interested in this merchandise,” says Antoine. “But the majority of our clients will wait for the early potatoes from Spain and Italy. The first volumes are expected in May.”
“Currently, we are experiencing a season with relatively interesting prices for the producers, which will make a nice average with last year.”
Top’Pom has achieved a good year. “Despite the drought, yields were decent in the Champagne region as a whole, thanks to a majority of the surfaces being irrigated.