Decreasing acreage in Belgium

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Fewer potatoes produced in 2021

THE total area of potatoes in Belgium decreased by 7,418 hectares in 2021, according to the Belgian statistical office Statbel.

The organisation reports a decline of 7,418 hectares, signalling a reduction in the total area of potatoes in Belgium by 7.62%, in its final agricultural figures for last year.

To clear the large stocks caused by the COVID-19 crisis, fewer potatoes were produced and the percentage reduction was slightly higher in Wallonia than in Flanders (-8.5% and -6.9% respectively). There was a decline of around 3,700 hectares in both areas.

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* At the end of the first quarter, independent provider of global commodity price data, Mintec, reported benchmark prices of processing potatoes in Belgium rose by 11% in the two weeks up to 20th April 2022, and were up 264% year-on-year. This was largely attributed to rising costs of inputs combined with firm demand for processing potatoes. This rise followed a slight decline in prices in mid-March amid fears of trade disruption resulting from the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict. The uncertainty led to many processers withdrawing from the free-buy market and relying on contracted supplies, yet prices still remained well above 2021 levels.

Photo: Vincent Foret

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