Till January 2010 price of potato starch in Europe was “low” and quantity available quite high as European paper industries are in a difficult situation with their consumption of potato starch reduced as much as 20 to 25% compared to year before. Beside, end of August 2009 most European producers were left with a large carryover of potato starch from previous campaign.
Well, now situation suddenly changed. Potato starch price jumped to 390 - 400 €/t and growing. In fact, due to negative weather conditions and the outbreak of an acute mealy bug infestation, tapioca yields in Thailand and elsewhere decreased by up to 25% putting even more pressure on potato starch in Europe. European potato starch producers prefer to export starch receiving a much better price than selling it in Europe. Then, it seems next potato campaign yield will be lower than previous one by some 15% due to decreased potato planted quantity in some European countries. So, the market situation for native potato starch seems moving into a turmoil with expected prices for new campaign as high as 500 €/t and very tiny possibility to agree on a one year supply contract with producers.