EGYPT – Egypt has become the largest supplier of sweet potatoes to Scandinavia, one of the most premium consumer markets in the world, for the first time in history in the Market Year (MY) 2022/23 (July-June).
During this period, Egyptian exporters were able to supply approximately one-third of all sweet potato imports to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in the previous season, according to a market report.
The report outlined that Egypt supplied a total of 3,700 tons of sweet potatoes to the markets of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, accounting for almost twice as much as the season before.
Moreover, since the MY 2017/18, Egyptian sweet potato shipments to Scandinavia have increased 51 times, at least doubling year by year.
Other countries like the Netherlands, the United States, and Spain exported the smallest quantity of sweet potatoes to Scandinavia in the last six seasons each exporting 3,300 tons, 1,500 tons, and 820 tons, respectively.
Scandinavia, due to its geographical location and economic development, is a relatively small but highly lucrative market for many fresh produce products.
“From season to season, Scandinavia imports 10,000-12,000 tons of sweet potatoes for sale to consumers who prioritize healthy lifestyle products, as well as a significant number of immigrants who use sweet potatoes to prepare various national dishes,” revealed Yevhen Kuzin, Fruit and Vegetable Market Analyst at EastFruit.
In another market report, the new half-year results for January to July 2023 have ranked sweet potatoes as the sixth largest agricultural export from Egypt.
During this period, the country has already exported 54,090 metric tons of the tuber. Only citrus fruits, potatoes, onions, grapes and beans held sway as bigger exports.
This comes at a time when Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has recorded a total 5 million metric tons (MT) of all agricultural exports, a spike by 18.4% from a similar period in 2022.
This means that the-yet-to-close 2023 market year is set to recapture the annual growth rate in sweet potato production of 4.2%.
The report further outlines that Egypt has emerged as one of the top 5 sweet potato-exporting countries, providing 7.7% of the total global supply.
The country exported 72,720 MT of sweet potatoes in 2022, a significant rise in quantity from the 2021 exports of 54,223 MT.
With increasing production of sweet potato, the country is looking at other markets. one particular one is the Dutch market which is increasingly becoming the destination for the bulk of Egypt’s orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.
In 2022, the Netherlands received 42,000 metric tons, which accounted for 50% of Egypt’s total sweet potato exports.
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