Frozen fries exports increase

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New Zealand sees upward trend in imports from Belgium and Netherlands.

EXPORTS of frozen fries from Belgium and the Netherlands to New Zealand are increasing, according to industry association Potatoes New Zealand.

Despite a slower August, September rebounded with the highest volume since 2017. Most of this volume is from the Netherlands.

In the last quarterly report, there was concern that the export price to New Zealand was relatively flat at around USD $850 per ton. But subsequent monthly reports showed this increased to around USD $970 per ton. This is still below export prices from Belgium and the Netherlands to other global markets at around USD $1,030 per ton.

Last quarter market share was estimated at three share points. With export volumes still going up, it was likely this would increase.

A possible gross margin squeeze was envisaged as the price from the EU is used as leverage to drive lower prices from the NZ processors of frozen fries. With the disproportionate export price to NZ versus all other global markets, it would seem logical that the previously alleged dumping margins from Belgium and the Netherlands to New Zealand were likley to have increased.

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The latest quarter exports to Asian markets looks to have struggled, with declines seen on the top four compared to a year ago. It would appear these Asian markets are becoming increasingly contested for market share with suppliers from India, China and the EU all increasing their market share during the latest quarter.

There has been total export growth of -15% in the latest quarter and 8% annual growth by volume. Value growth is now ahead of volume growth at -6% on quarter and 10% annual indicates NZ frozen potato exporters are starting to pass on price increases to offset the significant input cost increases they will have experienced.

Source: PNZ  Photo: Dzenina Lukac