“Egyptian Sweet potato exports have been volatile”

Egypt was the dominant market for sweet potatoes over several months, however, recently supplies have been extremely limited. “Egypt has sent the majority of its supply, but we are expecting to get sweet potatoes from the country for at least the period of June through July as it was last time,” says Robert Voskamp from the Dutch firm Rola Fresh. The season is described by him as an unpredictable one with a variety of starts and fits. “There are large peaks as well as deep troughs, and then back. As long as there is no control over Egyptian cultivation, this is likely to remain the situation.”

“We enjoyed a great Egyptian season. In fact, it increases each year. A large portion of the crop was once comprised of the Beauregard kind, however that has generally been switched to Bellevue which is a more appealing kind of variety.” Robert explains.

“Over the last few months, Egyptian growers have gained substantial ground disadvantage from their Spanish as well as American counterparts. On those markets, the acres are decreasing each year. This will continue to decrease in Spain this year.”

“We got our first sweet potatoes imported from America. United States in December; which will last until July/August. It was a good crop, but due to the fact that our local market is strong there is a decrease in the number of North American sweet potatoes come in this manner. Therefore, the prices are likely to be high for quite a long time,” Robert continues.

“Sweet potato farming is currently testing in several countries, such as the Netherlands in which growers share equipment for harvesting, such as harvesters as well as washing equipment. But it’s difficult to cultivate sweet potatoes along with the climate and price structure makes it hard for farmers from Northwest Europe to compete. In Egypt it is sunny at no cost. This country is near to Europe and has excellent logistical connectivity. This is not even including costs for labor or land. I can see potential to increase Dutch sweet potato production particularly on markets in the area. Exports, the added value should be mainly generated by the minimum use of products for crop protection and being local or European manufactured.”

French potatoes, another speciality from the company is selling extremely good this year too. “Just as last year we’re experiencing a huge shortage of fresh potatoes. Conditions for cultivation have been extremely poor and the potatoes’ quality isn’t as good as we’re used to. However, the prices are extraordinary,” Robert concludes. Rola Fresh sells most of its merchandise with Dutch exporters. Most of the major export destinations are Scandinavia and Baltic States, Baltic States, and Poland.

For further information:

Robert Voskamp

Rola Fresh

Tel. : +31 (0) 174 725 520


Source: The Plantations International Agroforestry Group of Companies