Market Monitoring Frozen Potato Products: Insights October 2023

Mathieu Geuskens
Published on
January 24, 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 7.1% in October 2023 compared to 2022, and prices were up 12.9%.

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 as production normalizes

The negative trade volume trend that started in July continued in October 2023, with the total traded volume down 7.1% compared to October 2022. In October,  719 thousand tonnes of frozen potato products were traded globally, which is significantly lower than the trade volumes of September and August as well. Crop limitations in Europe continue to drive this volume decline, with key exporters Belgium and the Netherlands incurring substantial volume decline.

At €1.36/KG, the average global trade price is up 12.9% compared to October 2022. When comparing with September and August prices, a minor acceleration of price increase is visible: October prices are up 2.6% compared to September, whereas September prices showed a 2% increase compared to August. This implies a continued underlying demand growth that is not fully met by current production levels.

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

With underlying demand appearing to show stable growth, longer-term volume recovery and growth is to be expected. For the coming months, continued pressure on trade volumes is likely however, given weather-induced raw material constraints in key export producers Belgium and the Netherlands. This is underpinned by both the acceleration of trade price increase and the weekly raw potato price updates from the Netherlands and Belgium, with the latter showing that current raw demand is not met by supply.

Belgian export volumes hit lowest level in almost 2 years

Belgian exports continues to drive most of the trade volume decline. Although the country remains the largest exporter by far, the 226 thousand tonne export volume for October 2023 is the lowest since January 2022. The bulk of Belgium’s volume loss is found in Europe, primarily in France and Germany. At the same time, Belgian exports into the US continue to trend above prior year’s level, showing that EU producers are able to maintain their position in the high value market despite a recovery of domestic US production and the higher price point of Belgian exports into the US compared to Canadian exports into the US.

Figure 2.Top 5 exporters, October 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 in December. The continued volume growth (+4.2 thousand tonne YoY in October) in the largest single market signals strong demand growth, as domestic production is likely to have picked up on account of the good crop in key production region Columbia River Basin. Most of the decline in trade volume is seen in European markets, predominantly countries such as France, Germany, and the UK, where the share of domestic production in market supply is traditionally relatively high. Although inflationary pressure can have affected demand, an increase in local production pushing out imported volume is more likely.

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

Updated Explanatory Hub: insight in impact of restatements

One of the recent additions to the MarketMonitor dashboard is the Explanatory Hub, which provides insight in the definitions used, methodology, and other frequently asked questions.

One of the insights provided concerns the impact of restatements in trade data. Most sources do minor, low-impact restatements on trade data in the months after publishing, but sometimes the impact is more profound. The more impactful recent restatement on the trade data involved the source for European import and export data, Eurostat. Due to changed naming conventions at the source side (Eurostat), trade data for Finland and Greece, and exports to Venezuela were duplicated in the source data for calendar year 2022. This has now been corrected, with the impact of the correction detailed in the figure below. Going forward, we will include any restatements done by data providers in this table.

Figure 4. Newlyadded producers, capacity in 2023, thousand tonnes

Curious how A-INSIGHTS can help you to incorporate objective insights into your decision-making processes and how our Market Monitor will empower your perspective? Schedule a call.

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