TRADE AND MARKET I NG Lower potato prices kept 2018 trade growth in check, but new records expected in 2019 Unique analysis by World Potato Markets show that the trade in potato products continue to grow. W orld potato trade reached a new high in 2018 – but only just. During the year €13.264 billion in potatoes, seed and potato products were shipped, which was only 0.7% higher than in 2017. The figure includes sweet potatoes. Exports by volume were up 3.0% to 24.114 million tonnes, with the average price down by 2.3% to €550/tonne. Lower ware prices drove the fall in overall prices, mainly because of the smaller 2017 harvest. Prices in the second half of 2018 were rising and the value of 2019 trade is expected to be higher than last year. The value of world potato trade in US dollars was US$15.665 billion, using the 2018 average exchange rate of €1=US1.18101. The average 2018 price for world potato exports was US$650/ tonne. World potato imports were up by 4.5% to 21.349 million tonnes. The reason for the difference between the export and import figure is because a larger number of exporting countries report customs figures than do importing countries. However, SAudi Arabia, as a significant importer of fries, reported customs figures for the first time in 2018. The value of world imports was up 0.9% to €12.267 billion (US$14.465 billion). The average import price was €575/tonne (US$650/tonne), 3.5% lower than in 2017. 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 0 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 World potato and product export values (€ million) Fries Chips/dehy Ware Flakes The fastest growing export category by volume was frozen potatoes, which jumped by 15.5% to 260,970 tonnes. Fries were again the largest category by value, accounting for 47.6% of total exports at €6.316 billion (US$7.460 billion). Volumes were up 6.0% to an alltime high of 8.067 million tonnes, with the average price down 3.3% to €783/ tonne (US$925/tonne). Lower raw-material prices in Europe from the 2017 harvest have resulted in low product prices. Lower ware prices did not stimulate extra demand, with many European countries well covered by their own supplies. Ware exports were at 11.660 milPotato World 2019 • number 2 49 Pagina 48

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