02 February 2021
Potato acreage in Spain likely to decrease this year
Spain's potato acreage is expected to decrease in 2021.
According to FEPEX's potato committee's forecast, the area cultivated with early potato varieties, which are mainly grown in Andalusia and Murcia, will decrease by 5% to 10% in the 2021 campaign, while acreage of the mid-season or late varieties, which are cultivated especially in the center and north of the peninsula, will decrease by 20%.
Marcos Roman, the head of the potato sector of Asociafruit (the Association of Producing and Exporting Companies of Fruits and Vegetables of Andalusia and Extremadura), said a large part of the sowing activities had already been carried out in Andalusia and that the area sown was 5 to 10% smaller than in 2020.
Alfonso Saenz de Camara, the president of the FEPEX Committee, said the Committee expects the area devoted to the medium-season or late-season potatoes, which are grown mainly in the central area of the country, especially in Castilla and Leon, will decrease by 20%. Meanwhile, the area in the Basque Country will remain similar to the area of the previous year.
According to the MAPA Surfaces and Productions Report, as of November 2020, Spain has 67,300 hectares devoted to potato cultivation and a production of 2.1 million tons.
Up until November 2020, Spain produced 263,785 tons of potatoes for export worth 95.8 million euro, i.e. 8% and 35% less volume and value than in the same period of 2019, respectively, according to data from the Directorate General of Customs processed by FEPEX. In the same period, imports amounted to 795,763 tons (-5%) worth 243.5 million euro (-18%).
As a result of COVID, the potato destined for supermarkets in the 2020 campaign was marketed well and showed some growth when compared to the 2019 campaign. Up until November 2020, fresh potato consumption in households grew by 16% –both in volume and value– over the same months of the previous year. Meanwhile, the product directed to the Horeca channel was affected by the closures of bars and hotels.
The FEPEX Potato Committee is made up of the National Association for the Production and Trade of Fruits and Potatoes ASONAL; the Association of Producing and Exporting Companies of Fruits and Vegetables of Andalusia and Extremadura, ASOCIAFRUIT; the Iberian Club of Potato Professionals, CIPP; the Association of Operators in Origin of Potatoes of Castilla and Leon, ASOPOCYL, and the Association of Producers of Seed Potatoes of Spain, APPSE.