Market Monitoring Frozen Potato Products: Insights November 2023

Mathieu Geuskens
Published on
February 28, 2024

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 1.3% in November 2023 compared to 2022, and prices were up 5.8%.

Market monitoring of frozen potato products

Market monitoring helps agrifood 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.

Continued negative trade volume trend stabilizing

The negative trade volume trend seen in previous months decreased, with the total traded volume down 1.3% compared to November 2022. In November 2023,  777 thousand tonnes of frozen potato products were traded globally, which is significantly higher than the trade volumes of October 2023, and a generous increase from volumes in September and August 2023. The two likely explanations for the increase are: U.S. domestic production levels and stocks rising, as well as key Belgian exporters recovering from their setbacks.

At €1.32/KG, the average global trade price is up 5.8% compared to November 2022. When comparing with October and September prices, a price decrease is visible: November prices are down 2.9% compared to October and 0.8% down from September. A slight change in the positive trend seen when October prices showed a 2.3% increase compared to September. The previously reported price rise from an increase in the U.S. market share of imports has levelled out with the demand probably met by domestic supply.

Figure 1. Global frozen potato trade volume in th. tonnes and price in €/kg for the periods ending November 2023, year-over-year comparison

For the coming months, the pressure on trade volumes is likely to persist, despite November relieving some of the projected pressure from October. The weather-induced raw material constraints encountered European producers lowered export volume in October, yet output in November increased considerably by 25% . Nevertheless, pressure subsists in trade price increases and volume decreases, with the latter showing that current raw demand is not met by supply.

Belgian export volumes recover considerably

Belgian exports showed volumes similar to the high outputs seen in 2023. The recovery from the global trade volume slump in prior months is mainly due to Belgium’s recovery, remaining the largest exporter by far. The 282 thousand tonne export volume for November 2023 indicates suppliers were able to procure sufficient raw in the first months of the harvest, although current Belgian raw prices clearly show that January and February are marked by shortages in raw potato. The bulk of Belgium’s export volume recovery is destined for Europe, primarily into France and the Netherlands. The Netherlands failed to recover its export volume as Belgium has, showing the sustaining impacts of the poor harvests.

Figure 2.Top 5 exporters, November volume in th. tonnes and price in €/kg, 2023 vs 2022

Continued demand growth in US

In line with the trend visible over past periods, US imports remain strong. The YoY volume growth stabilized in November 2023 with the same import volume of 120 thousand tonnes. Domestic U.S. processing shows a 9% YoY input increase, with the shortage of June 2023 recovered. With domestic production recovering and stable total imports, it is clear the demand in the U.S. is not slowing down. The main exporters to the U.S. remain unchanged. Small details can be seen like The Netherlands growing slightly in their export share despite higher prices compared to Canada. The overall decline in November’s YoY trade volume is largely explained by the UK and Japan, as other European country’s imports appear to have normalized. For instance, France suffered from Belgian exports struggling in October, but the supply side recovery enabled France to resume its import levels. The normalization adjusts the slump seen in the imports from September and October.

Figure 3. Top 5 importers, November volume in th. tonnes and price in €/kg, 2023 vs 2022

Want to discover what's ahead for the Frozen Potato Industry? Join us on our webinar on March 28.

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