Coming up to the anniversary of the start of the global pandemic, total fresh potato exports have seen a slight increase in value and moderate decline in volume compared to 2019. Based on data from the Global Trade Atlas, there was a 5.1 per cent increase in fresh potato export value, from $31.3 million to $32.9 million. Total fresh potato export volume declined by 13.5 per cent, from 45,315 tonnes to 39,217 tonnes over the same period. Apart from South Korea, the other top markets for fresh potato exports – The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia – have all seen a substantial increase in trade value during 2020.
Demand in ASEAN markets remained strong for Australian fresh potatoes. Since the commencement of Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), Indonesia has seen an encouraging increase in exports, albeit off a relatively small base. Indonesian exports grew by 599 per cent in 2020, from $0.4 million to $2.9 million; export volume improved by 554 per cent from 712 tonnes to 4,656 tonnes.
The United Arab Emirates saw a dip of 26.1 per cent in value and a significant decline in volume of 83.2 per cent. The demand in other Middle Eastern markets remained strong, with Qatar recording an increase in export value by 28.9 per cent pushing the trade value from $1.4 million to $1.8 million; export volume increased by 33.9% from 1,150 tonnes to 1,540 tonnes
Based on data from the Global Trade Atlas, there was a 20.8 per cent decrease in seed potato export value in 2020, from $7.3 million to $5.7 million; export volumes also decreased slightly by 0.6 per cent over the course of the year.
Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Qatar, and Mauritius are the top five markets for seed potato exports. Thailand has seen a decline in trade with a significant drop of 60 per cent in value from $3.2 million to $1.3 million; export volume has dropped by 12.8 per cent from 1,247 tonnes to 1,088 tonnes. Indonesia has experienced an average decline of 7.2 per cent in both export value and volume. Qatar has seen 87.2 per cent increase in export value from $356,898 to $668,173; export volume has climbed by 73.7 per cent, from 266 tonnes to 462 tonnes. Taiwan has recorded trade in seed potatoes for the first time in 2020, with 306 tonnes valued at $416,175. Demand has increased by up to 33 times in Malaysia and nearly 20 times in Singapore
Western Australia is still the largest seed potato exporting state, despite a dip of 42 per cent in value and a dip of 17.8 per cent compared to 2019. South Australia had a substantial increase in export value of 67.3 per cent from $1 million to $1.8 million, and export volume has increased by 56.7 per cent from 850 tonnes to 1,332 tonnes. Victoria experienced positive growth with a 73.3 per cent increase in export value from $326,238 to $565,449, and a 61.3 per cent increase in export volume from 271 tonnes to 437 tonnes.