TRADE AND MARKET I NG Potato trade reaches new highs World potato trade is at record levels according to special analysis by World Potato Markets for its annual market and trade review, writes Cedric Porter D uring 2017 €13.172 billion (US$16.05 billion, using the current exchange rate of €1=US$1.22) of potatoes and potato products were exported, according to trade data from the top 100 exporting countries. That was 6.6% higher than the figure for 2016 and a massive 84% higher than in 2013. The volume of trade has increased by 48% from 15.743 million tonnes to 23.266 million tonnes between 2013 and 2017, demonstrating that prices of potatoes and potato products continues to rise, making it a valuable crop for exporters. Almost half the value of total exports was in just one category – frozen fries - with exports of the product up 6.2% in the year and by nearly 43% since 2013. Ware shipments increased by 2.7% to €2.921 billion (US$3.564 billion), while a 15.6% increase in seed exports suggests that countries across the world are willing to invest in production at home. Sweet potatoes continue to be the fastest growing sector, with 2017 exports up 19.5% in the year to €422.558 million, while volumes have increased by nearly 250% between 2013 and 2017. World yields up again The latest global production data is for 2016, with 377.3 million tonnes produced in the year, a similar figure to the year before. A small increase in area to 19 million hectares was accompanied by a reduction in yields. It can be expected that production of potatoes was higher in 2017 because of a large European crop, sustained production in North Amrica and greater interest in the crop across the world. Special analysis by World Potato Markets predicts a small reduction in output in Europe in 2018, with nearly two thirds of EU potatoes produced in the five main western European growing countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and UK. Production in the USA could be the highst since the Millennium year of 2000, while output elsewhere is expected to grow gradually over time. Trade success encourages more global processing Although Europe and North America dominate world production and trade of potato products, there are signs that other countries are building up pocessing businesses. For instance, Egyptian frozen fry exports increased by 37.2% in 2017, while Turkish trade was up two thirds. India has also established a proPotato World 2018 • number 2 37 Pagina 36

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