Alemania: Increased electricity costs in potato storage will be better reflected in French fry contracts
The marketing of Bavarian table potatoes is currently proceeding slowly, potato wholesaler Matthias Stelzer tells us. "Cold stored goods are still available in sufficient quantities, especially firm cooking potatoes.
Although the overall storability of this year’s potatoes was not as good as last year, the current storage qualities are quite satisfactory. Accordingly, we expect to be able to supply the domestic market with alternative goods until the start of the new potato harvest."
As a regionally active potato wholesaler, Stelzer supplies the Munich wholesale market, among others. "The wholesale market business is currently going well, especially since the potato is still offered at a very low price compared to the complete range of vegetables," says Stelzer, who also points to the low competition from potato imports, for example from Cyprus. "The one or other weekly market or specialty retailer already accesses the food potatoes from the Mediterranean region, but restaurateurs usually prefer regional, stored potatoes."
The company premises in Königsmoos, Bavaria
Traditionally, the Bavarian potato is in high demand in neighboring countries during the second half of the season. Italy, among others, is usually one of the most important export markets. Stelzer: "The Italians are now mainly serving themselves in France, which is why business in the export sector is very restrained at the moment."
The Bavarian potato sector is also facing huge cost increases this year on the part of production and storage. "In view of the increased costs, a price premium for our cold storage goods would be justified, but the current price negotiations are proving very difficult and disappointing," Stelzer adds.
According to Stelzer, the current price structures and contract conditions could jeopardize the future of Bavarian potato production. "Although we don’t yet see a significant decline in acreage, growing French fry potatoes is becoming increasingly attractive for many farmers. This is related to several factors, such as the labor-intensive nature of the table potato, the high demands of food retailers, the certifications required and the high-yielding French fry potatoes. What also plays a significant role are the good contract conditions in the French fry sector, which in turn mean that cultivation is more calculable. At the moment, we are noticing that the increased electricity costs in potato storage are better taken into account in the French fry contracts than in table potatoes for the fresh market: from the growers’ point of view, this additional factor once again contributes significantly to the attractiveness of the French fry potato."
Finally, Stelzer also points to cross-sector developments in the potato industry. "Compared to the northern German region, we in Bavaria have a small-structured agriculture with predominantly medium-sized family businesses. Increasing bureaucracy is causing headaches and existential fears for many farmers. This is aggravated by the entire logistics problem, i.e. the shortage of drivers as well as transport costs."
For more information:
Siegfried Stelzer e.K. Kartoffelgroßhandel
Ehekirchener Str. 23
Tel. +49 8433/226