(reprinted with permission from World Potato Markets May 2019)
New Zealand fries appear to have priced themselves back into the market after enjoying their best-ever March business, exporting 7 399 tonnes, 10.1% more than March 2018, which had been another good performance. There must be hope for better months to come, as year-on-year, New Zealand’s export campaign is down 9.8% on 2017/18.
The export price of New Zealand fries has been declining steadily since last October when they peaked at NZ$1 473/tonne (US$979/t; €873/t). By February, the price had fallen to NZ$1 278/tonne (US$849/t; €757/t), a drop of 13.2%. It has been enough to get business moving again. Australia led the way, purchasing 4 886 tonnes, compared to 3 549 tonnes in February. But Malaysia and Thailand also got in on the act. Malaysia purchased 527 tonnes in March after its paltry 108 tonnes in February, while Thailand increased its purchases from 456 tonnes in February to 629 tonnes. French Polynesia also came in for 108 tonnes in March.