Potato prices in Latvia still high; moderate harvest expected

Potato yields are expected to be moderate this year, although the situation varies among farms due to changeable weather conditions. There won't be a shortage of the staple food, but the price is still high and at the retail level exceeds one euro per kilogram, Latvian Radio reported on August 14.

Arta Cinkus from the Nīca parish started potato cultivation in 1996 and grew seed potatoes on five hectares and food potatoes in an area of 20 hectares. Cinkus said that her situation was "the same as for everyone else".

'We'll have to wait and see. We are not working with the early potatoes, we harvest in July, August and September, a little in October,” Cinkus said. “[..] We have to see now, because we can't even get to all the fields. Everything is wet. As if sandy soil, but there is very high groundwater, so if three raindrops fall, everything is flooding [..]."

Yields are rather average, but the situation differs among potato varieties.

Ilgvars Krūmiņš, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of the Association of Potato Growers and Processors, says that there won't be a shortage of potatoes on the market, but the price is still high.

If wholesalers buy the potatoes at over 30 cents per kilogram, the retail prices will exceed one euro per kilogram. Online resources show people selling potatoes at a price ranging from €0.50 to just one euro per kilogram.

“There is a high [price] right now. It rose in retail during the Covid at €0.50 and €0.60, even more. [..] The potato market is lacking product at this point, as the season has lagged. [..] We have quite a great deal of processing companies – chips, starch – also they have raised prices by a percentage of 20-30, significantly raised prices compared with last year.”

Purchasing prices are competitive in most cases, but they are sometimes exaggerated in retail sales, said Krūmiņš. 


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