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France: moderate demand for potatoes

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“There is currently a moderate demand for potatoes on the French market. However, market participants have been stuck on contracts since the start of the harvest and consumption levels in France were still at a relatively low level this month,” explains Antoine Geysels of Top’Pom.

“In the Champagne-Ardenne region, yields are smaller than predicted. This has helped to maintain a good price level for three weeks, as the balance between supply and demand has not stabilised.”

There is some demand for export activities. “The Spanish and Italian customers have been buying potatoes of a nice quality for several weeks now.”

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Since the beginning of the season, Top’Pom has mainly offered Agata and Colomba potatoes and some varieties of solid-cooking potatoes. The company is gradually making new varieties available such as Monalisa, Liberta, Orchestra and Caesar potatoes. Antoine adds that growers will have to take many precautions this year for grubbing up. “The dry matter content of the potatoes is higher than normal and that makes it very difficult.”

During the sanitary crisis, the demand for potatoes on the fresh market was abnormally high. Antoine explains that this is mainly because consumers on the one hand have generally gone back to their old consumption habits. “On the other hand, the European market for industrial potatoes is still seriously affected. Due to the crisis, regular restaurants and fast food restaurants have closed, two of the main customers for potato processors. There is virtually no trade on the market for rare varieties.

Furthermore, the sector is organizing itself to find outlets for the surplus of contracts.” In the coming weeks, Top’Pom hopes for a resurgence of French consumption in the short term and a harvest with reasonable prices, both at the beginning of the production chain and at the end of the production chain.

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Z.I. Villette
Phone: +33 3 25 37 12 16 001