Market Monitoring Frozen Potato Products: Insights July 2021

Jeroen Lustig
Published on
October 22, 2021

In this monthly Frozen Potato Products update, our analysts will share valuable insights about the Frozen Potato Products industry. This month: Global trade volume up 0.5% YTD compared to 2019, prices down 4.7% YTD.

Market Monitoring of Frozen Potato Products

Market monitoring helps agri food companies to objectively evaluate their current position within the market and the development of that position. Furthermore, it helps to spot new growth opportunities and whether the market is saturated.

For the A-INSIGHTS MarketMonitor, we analyze the global trade in frozen potato products on a monthly basis. Derived from local customs agencies and statistics offices, the data gives us insight into monthly trade volumes and prices for all major importers and exporters. Combined with our sector expertise, we can provide you with an up-to-date view of the developments in the global frozen potato market. 

Global trade volumes stabilize at above pre-COVID levels, prices remain pressured

Global frozen potato trade volumes have stabilized in July, with the year-to-date volume remaining 0.5% above the pre-COVID of 2019. Compared to July 2019, the monthly trade volume was down 0.3%, driven mainly by a 7.6% decline in exports from Belgium and a 6.2% decline in exports from the Netherlands. Both countries continue to experience pressure on export prices, but with a below-average harvest and increased raw potato prices, the negative price effect is expected to phase out in the coming months.

North American producers managed to up the monthly export volumes, but not as significant as the more than doubled exports from India. The sharp increase in exports from India is primarily related to the Philippines (+1.5 th. tonnes).

Export YTD
Image 1: Total export YTD until July (in th. tonnes & price/kg)

Top Exporters YTD July
Image 2: July export volume and price per kg by exporting country, compared to 2019 (top 10)

UK imports continue to decline after a minor recovery in June

A substantial part of the export decline for both Belgium and the Netherlands is caused by reduced imports from the UK. Imports by the UK have been below pre-COVID levels for most of 2021, due to which the year-to-date volume (400.6 th. tonnes) is over 20% below the level of 2019 (509.3 th. tonnes). With most of the social restrictions in the country eliminated, the reduced import appears to be an effect of the new trade situation after the country's departure from the European Union.

Top Importers July
Image 3: July import volume and price per kg by importing country, compared to 2019 (top 10)

Low priced imports from Belgium gain share in US imports

US imports are traditionally supplied largely by Canadian producers and at a YTD export volume of 598 th. tonnes on the total YTD import volume of 694 th. tonnes, the Canadian share remains large. However, the significantly cheaper priced exports from Belgium are gaining share: where the country exported 1 thousand tonnes between January and July in 2018, the export volume for the same period in 2021 has increased to 66 thousand tonnes. With container rates inflating costs for intercontinental export Belgian producers will see part of their cost advantage disappear, but with a price difference of €0.24/kg the gap to bridge is substantial.

US Imports from Canada YTD July
Image 4: US imports from Canada YTD until July (in th. tonnes and €/kg)

US Imports from Belgium YTD July
Image 5: Netherlands export YTD per region until June (in th. tonnes)

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