In this monthly Frozen Potato Products update, our analysts will share valuable insights about the Frozen Potato Products industry. This month: trade data shows that global trade volume was down 1.6% in May 2023 compared to 2022, and prices were up 30.0%.
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 Market Monitor, 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.
Raw material shortages constrain trade volumes – prices remain high
In May 2023, the effects of raw material shortages in key production regions in Europe and North America are clearly visible in global frozen potato trade volumes. The total trade volume was down 1.6% in May 2023 compared to May 2022, marking the third consecutive month with a lower year-over-year trade volume. However, May trading volumes show an 8.8% increase compared to April, signaling a potential recovery of supply.
Due to the combination of pressured supply and continued demand, prices remain at record levels but show signs of stabilization. The average trading price in May 2023 was €1.29/kg, which is 1.8% higher than in April but still 30.0% higher than in May 2022.
Major importers remain ensured of supply - volume decline concentrates in lower value markets
Although total the total trade volume is down 1.6% in May, most major importers continue to increase import volumes. Volume decline is concentrated in lower value markets in Latin America and Asia, clearly showing that producers choose to ship the limited product available to high-priced markets that allow them to offset increased input costs.
The U.S. are a notable exception, as the import volume of the largest importer of frozen potato products declines by 2.1%. However, when looking at the export statistics it becomes apparent that U.S. producers have further reduced export to meet domestic demand.
EU and NA producers struggle with lower raw material availability
Export decline is strongest in the U.S., where producers seem to choose to supply domestic demand rather than export markets in times where raw material availability is limited. For large exporters in Europe, this effect is less pronounced to the relatively small domestic markets. Although the year-over-year volume decline of Belgium and the Netherlands is limited, it shows a clear break with the month-over-month volume growth shown in the past years.
At the same time, exports from France increase significantly. This is likely driven by the better availability of raw material in the country, and possibly related to the recent investment of McCain in its Bethune plant. Further export growth for France is to be expected in coming years, as both Clarebout and Ecofrost are adding capacity in the country.
For the coming months, raw material availability remains crucial to producers’ abilities to match supply with demand. The data for June, which is available for all trade flows outside of intra-Europe trade, shows that the U.S. has increased imports from Canada and the Netherlands, whilst imports from Belgium continue to decline as a result of the bad crop in 2022.
Contract price increases in Belgium and the Netherlands show that producers expect continued pressure on the raw material supply, which will depend largely on the weather conditions for the 2023 crop in the coming months.
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