España: New potato prices remain high in the domestic market
The Spanish potato campaign started in late May with the harvest of the first new potatoes from Seville.
. Frequent rains in the winter and spring not only caused a delay of about a month in the harvest of the first new potatoes, but also resulted in a 40% drop in the volume.
"The acreage devoted to potato cultivation has been reduced by around 20% this year. If we take into account that the yields have been 30% lower in general in Seville, the volumes should drop by around 40%," said José Peláez Izquierdo, manager of Sevillana de Patatas.
As a consequence of this and the slow development of the harvest (due to the unusual mild temperatures recorded at this time of the year), the producer and exporter says that "the demand has so far been greater than the supply, with high and generally stable prices. While prices have fallen a little this past week, it has been a very slight drop compared to previous years."
Besides the lower production, one of the main reasons why prices are good so far, according to José Peláez, is the change of mentality among large Spanish retailers when it comes to the transition from French potatoes to new Spanish potatoes. "Some Spanish supermarket chains, led by Mercadona, have made the switch to Spanish new potatoes as soon as they became available, and this has been great for the sector." Large Spanish retailers are finally realising that consumers prefer these fresh potatoes, rather than French ones from storage, and that they obtain higher profits," he says.
Unlike in the domestic market, prices for potatoes for export are under pressure and there is a falling trend. "There are still plenty of old potatoes in storage in Europe, and countries such as Germany, which receive great offers for Israel’s final stocks, push the prices of Spanish potatoes down." The price of potatoes for export is lower than that in the domestic market," says José Peláez.
The expert warns that, after this week, there will start to be a shortage of new potatoes in the fields, since most of them will have already been harvested.
For more information:
José Peláez Izquierdo
Sevillana de Patatas
Avda Kansas City, 34 3. 2º 1.
41007 Sevilla. Spain
T: +34 659454537