Drop in cultivated areas for new potatoes
According to the first Cepa data, production in many Mediterranean countries has dropped after "cautious" sowing.
Cultivated areas in Cyprus are diminishing and production does not seem very abundant due to the low temperatures, which slowed down and in some cases even compromised plant development.
Cultivated areas diminished a lot in Egypt too (-25-30%) due to the low prices of the last campaign. Crops seem to have been damaged by sand storms. More produce might be sent to Russia, although operators fear the insolvency of Russian purchasers.
Not only is there a drop in cultivated areas in Israel, but the cold weather and snow of the past few weeks might have compromised part of the production. Egypt, North Africa and Israel grow second-crop potatoes, i.e. normal potatoes sowed at a different time than normal to obtain early harvests.
In Spain and Portugal sultivated areas have reduced by 20% due to the low prices of the past campaign.
In Italy, there are 25-30% less cultivated areas. The areas most affected are the Sicily, Apulia and Campania regions. ■