Ophélie Artaud 14:10 p.m., November 27, 2023

The price of a kilo of potatoes has risen by nearly 20% in one year, according to INSEE figures. This is bad news for the French people's wallets. This increase can be explained by several factors, and could continue in the coming months.

Whether it's fries, chips or mashed potatoes, potatoes are not spared from inflation. According to INSEE, in one year, its price has risen from €1.68 in October 2022 to €2.01 in October 2023, an increase of nearly 20%. By September, the increase had even reached 23%. Its derivatives are also concerned because the price of frozen potatoes has increased by 25%, that of purees by 20% and chips by 18%, as detailed by France Info.

Drought and rising energy prices to blame

This increase is due to several factors. Starting with the very poor harvests in 2022: according to data from Agreste, linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, French production fell last year by 11% compared to 2021, and by 6% compared to the period 2017-2021. This is due to the episodes of high heat and drought in the summer of 2022, which slowed down or even stopped the development of potatoes, explains Agreste.

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Added to this is the rise in energy prices, particularly linked to the war in Ukraine, both during the production and storage phase. Electricity and gas have increased, as has fuel oil for farmers' tractors, and fertilizer for plants. Finally, the cost of transport has skyrocketed, as well as the cost of packaging. Especially since demand remains very high.

If the harvest is considered "average" this year, this increase could continue in 2024. This is bad news for the wallets of the French, who consume an average of 50 kilos of potatoes each year.