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Wet weather delays lifting on the continent

18 October 2019

Physical frying prices on the continent have remained fairly steady over the past month with limited free-buy trade taking place. Yields in the EU-4 (France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) have recovered slightly from last season, but remain below average, due to the hot and dry weather over the summer.

Lifting has been hindered by the heavy rainfall over the past few weeks with many regions across the EU-4 falling behind normal. More rain is forecast over the next few weeks further delaying lifting on heavier land. With crops going wet into stores there are likely to be questions around storability later in the season.

Import demand for fresh potatoes from Eastern Europe remains strong. The latest production estimates from Poland have pegged Polish production at 6.7Mt. This is down 11% from last season’s harvest due to the ongoing drought in parts of Eastern Europe including both Poland and the Czech Republic.

Mainland exporters have been able to make use of this opportunity with shipments from the EU-4 heading over into the drought stricken countries. Meanwhile, for the UK trade with Poland has begun to slow due to Brexit uncertainty. The large Polish supermarket chain ‘Biedronka’ has cancelled orders of British potatoes from 15th October onwards to ensure that they are complying with phytosanitary regulations in a no deal situation.