Potato Production and Trade – Market Analysis

Foodcom Experts
6 min reading
Potato Production and Trade – Market Analysis
On the global market, China is the largest producer of potatoes. In 2018 the country’s annual production was estimated at 90 million tonnes. India ranks second with 48 million tonnes while Ukraine and Russia come third with an annual production of 22 million tonnes. On the European market, potato production is dominated by the following key players: Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, UK, and Belgium. In 2018, these six countries accounted for 73.9% of total EU potato production.

Global market of potato starch

Potato starch is a natural product extracted from potato juice. In the food industry, the product is widely used as a thickening and gelling agent for a variety of segments including bakery and confectionery sectors. Potato starch also finds its application in paper, textile, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries.

Potato starch is obtained through a native or modified method, the latter growing in popularity with an expected growth of 8.5% CAGR within the next 4 years. In 2017, the textile industry segment held the largest share of the market in terms of application at 29.40%. In textile sizing, starch is popularly used as an adhesive component for the manufacture of cotton yarns.

That year, the overall EU production of potatoes amounted to 52 million tonnes of which Germany held the largest share equal to 17.2%. The second-largest producer was France with a 15.2% market share and Poland ranked third with 14.3%. The Netherlands produced 11.6% of the total EU potato output but dedicated the largest area for potato production – 15.8% of all arable land.

World trade of potato starch

The production of potato starch mainly concentrates in Europe followed by North America and Asia. On the Asian market, China leads the way in production, followed by Japan.

The European starch market generated a revenue of $1.71 billion in 2017. That year, the total sales of potato starch intra EU amounted to over 1.23 million tonnes at the value of €668 million. Total EU exports in 2017 brought €424 million of revenue from 698 000 tonnes of the product, while the overall imports were made for €274 million for 442 000 tonnes.

Intra EU trade in 2018 was at 7 million tonnes of potatoes at the market value of €1.7 billion, of which 1.8% was starch potatoes. France was the main exporter of starch potatoes within the EU having sold 90 300 thousand tonnes of the product at the value of €16.1 million. Germany ranked second with sales amounting to 50 900 tonnes for €9.3 million in revenue.

European exporters of potato starch

In 2018, the Netherlands exported potato starch at the value of €137 million, an increase of almost 10% from the previous year. In 2019, the world trade of potato starch was estimated at $830 million, a decrease of 0.78% from the previous year. That year the top exporter was Germany with sales worth $198 million which accounted for 23.9% – a year later the country’s share in exports grew to 42.30%. In 2019, the Netherlands ranked second in terms of exports which brought in $180 million, and Denmark with $136 million. Other major exporters were Poland and France with sales worth $87.9 million and $78.9 million respectively.

Imports of potato starch

In the same year, the main importers of potato starch were the United States with purchases amounting to $105 million, followed by the Netherlands and South Korea both spending $60.4 million each for deliveries. The UK ranked third with purchases worth $58.5 million and Germany with $42.9 million.

Global market of potato protein

Potato protein is a by-product obtained from potato juice extracted during the production of potato starch. In food production, potato proteins are recognized for their protein content and very low allergenicity. Animal feed enhanced with potato protein increases its nutritional value while remaining highly digestible.

Biggest players

The potato protein market was estimated at over $110 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2021 and 2027 eventually reaching $150 million. In 2018, the European market was the largest regional one for potato protein with an estimated $34.1 million. The market expansion is expected in the future due to increased interest in meat alternatives as well as technological advancements enabling enhanced production.

In 2020, the largest share of the Asia Pacific market was owed to China where the market exceeds $7 million. Asia Pacific market for potato protein is projected to be worth over $38 million by 2027 due to increasing demand for plant-based products and growing interest in high-protein vegan foodstuffs. The North American market for potato protein is estimated at $38.5 million in 2021 and is projected to grow at a 5.8% CAGR within the next 10 years.

Applications of potato protein

The potato protein isolates segment accounts for 65% of the market share in value terms. The dominating sector based on application is food processing with 67% of the market share as extensive demand for potato protein comes from the bakery industry. Nevertheless, the North American market is expected to grow also due to growing interest in plant-based foods and animal feed additives. In 2020, the global market value of the food application segment for potato protein amounted to over $50 million while processed food application was estimated at over $6 million.

The future of the market

Within the next 7 years, the dairy-free application segment is projected to grow at over 4% CAGR while the market for the concentrated form of the potato protein will grow at over 4.5% CAGR. The animal feed segment is expected to grow at a 4.8% CAGR within the next 5 years. The global potato protein isolate segment was estimated at $34 million in 2020.
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