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Egyptian Potato Exports to EU to Reach at Least 3-year High in 2023

This year Egyptian potato exports to the EU market are expected to reach at least three-year high, as reported by EastFruit. European importers’ growing interest towards Egyptian produce was connected both with low potato production in the EU and the economic situation in Egypt. In the beginning of the current year it had been already obvious that Egypt would increase its fruit and vegetable exports under conditions of devaluating pound, which made its produce more price attractive in the foreign markets.

Egypt has already exported 211,000 tonnes of potatoes to the EU in the first four months of the current year. This result is the highest since 2021 and almost equal to 2020, with higher exports to the EU in January-April registered in 2019 – 230,000 tonnes.

Considering the seasonality of Egyptian potato exports to the EU market, the final results of the current year can be calculated after arrival of May data, as exports fall almost to zero since the beginning of summer. Nevertheless, the current dynamics of the Egyptian exports show that they would at least reach the 2020 results.

The EU potato season 2022/23 was marked by catastrophic aftermaths of the summer drought, which provoked shortage of potatoes and price growth. For example, Polish potato market players had already reported of a serious rise in prices in autumn last year, and by the end of spring 2023 they were the highest since 2019.

The EU is one of the biggest importers of potatoes in the world with annual imports from non-EU countries ranging from 280,000 tonnes to 380,000 tonnes. In 2019, imports reached their historic high of 480,000 tonnes.

Nevertheless, imports from non-EU countries are limited to spring and the beginning of summer. During this period, importers focus on the countries, which start harvesting new crop of potatoes. Egypt and Israel altogether account for 88-96% of the total imports from non-EU countries.

Egypt should also be mentioned as an unchangeable leader in the list of the exporters to the EU. Last year, Israel’s exports to the EU reached their record high of 140,000 tonnes, but still were much lower than Egyptian ones. Imports from other countries are even more insignificant. In 2022, the EU imported 11,000 tonnes of potatoes from Morocco, 7,800 tonnes – from Switzerland, and 1,700 tonnes from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Total shipments from other countries were lower than a thousand tonnes.

Source: EastFruit

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