Sweet potatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a variety of snacks and beverages, such as chips, fries, smoothies, and juices. This trend is being driven by the increasing demand for healthy and convenient snacks and beverages.
By the way, Selina Wamucii is currently accepting bulk orders for top quality sweet potatoes from Egypt. Interested in importing sweet potatoes from Egypt? Please contact us.
Meanwhile, who are the top exporters and importers of sweet potatoes globally?
Sweet potatoes are becoming increasingly popular in the US foodservice industry, as chefs are finding new and innovative ways to use them. Sweet potatoes can be used in a variety of dishes, from appetizers to desserts.
Interestingly, the United States also happens to be a top exporter of the sweet tuber. This is how the top exporter list of sweet potatoes looks like:
Top exporters of sweet potatoes globally
China is the world’s biggest producer of sweet potatoes, with 55 percent of all global production quota. However, this huge output is consumed locally. In terms of exports, the country is ranked 8th in global exports.
Related: China sweet potatoes prices
Outside China, here are the top five net exporters of sweet potatoes, based on 2022 data:
#1. United States
The United States is the world’s leading exporter of sweet potatoes, accounting for about 27% of global exports. The United States produces a wide variety of sweet potatoes, including white, orange, and purple varieties. Sweet potatoes are a popular crop in the United States, and they are grown in many different states.
The United States has a long history of growing sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes were first introduced to the United States by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. They quickly became a popular crop.
Related: Export prices of US sweet potatoes
The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of sweet potatoes, accounting for about 23% of global exports. The Netherlands is a major hub for the global food trade, and it plays a key role in the export of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are grown in the Netherlands under controlled conditions, which ensures that they are of high quality.
For price insights, please check the export prices for Netherlands sweet potatoes
Egypt is the third-largest exporter of sweet potatoes, accounting for about 7.7% of global exports. Sweet potatoes are a popular food in Egypt, and they are grown in many different parts of the country. Egypt is a major producer of sweet potatoes for the Egyptian market, as well as for export.
The sweet potato season in Egypt normally starts in early July. Selina Wamucii is already facilitating the export of sweet potatoes from Egypt. Please get in touch for more details if you are looking to import sweet potatoes from Egypt. Use the subject ‘Sweet Potatoes from Egypt’
Spain is the fourth-largest exporter of sweet potatoes, accounting for about 7% of global exports. Sweet potatoes are a popular crop in Spain, and they are grown in many different parts of the country. Spain is a major producer of sweet potatoes for the European market, as well as for export.
Spanish sweet potatoes are known for their sweet, earthy flavor. This flavor is due to the high levels of beta-carotene and other nutrients in Spanish sweet potatoes.
Vietnam is the fifth-largest exporter of sweet potatoes, accounting for about 5.3% of global exports.
Some of the most popular varieties include khoai lang (white-fleshed), khoai lang tím (purple-fleshed), khoai môn (starchy), khoai lang mật (high sugar content), and khoai lang sấy (dried). These varieties are known for their delicious flavor and their versatility. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from savory to sweet.
Top importers of sweet potatoes globally
Three countries double as top 5 net exporters as well as net importers of sweet potatoes. These include the Netherlands, Canada and the United States, with the latter also being the sixth net importer by value and the fifth by quantity.
Both a net exporter and importer, the Netherlands is the largest importer of sweet potatoes, and they import the bulk of their sweet potatoes from the United States, Egypt, and Spain.
Sweet potatoes are a popular food in the Netherlands, and they are used in a variety of dishes, from savory to sweet. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they are also low in calories and fat. This makes them a healthy and popular choice for consumers in the Netherlands.
Besides food, sweet potatoes are also used in a variety of industrial applications in the Netherlands, including starch production, biofuel production, animal feed production, and industrial alcohol production. Sweet potatoes are a major source of starch in the Netherlands, and starch from sweet potatoes is used in a variety of food products, such as bread, pasta, and snacks. It is also used in non-food products, such as paper, textiles, and adhesives.
The Netherlands is also a major producer of biofuel, and sweet potatoes are a potential source of biofuel in the country. Studies are ongoing about the potential of the use of ethanol from sweet potatoes as a fuel for cars and other vehicles, while biodiesel from sweet potatoes can be used as a fuel for diesel engines.
#2. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is the second-largest importer of sweet potatoes, and they import the bulk of their sweet potatoes from the Netherlands, the United States, and Spain.
In terms of food, sweet potatoes are mainly used for culinary purposes in the United Kingdom. They are a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes, such as sweet potato fries, sweet potato pie, sweet potato soup, sweet potato hash, and sweet potato gnocchi.
Canada is the third-largest importer of sweet potatoes, and they import the bulk of their sweet potatoes from the United States, the Netherlands, and Mexico.
Animal feed from sweet potatoes is a popular food for livestock in the country, and is expected to increase in the coming years. This is due to the growing demand for animal feed in the country, as well as the increasing popularity of sweet potatoes as a crop.
Closing the top 5 importers list is Germany and Belgium. The sweet potatoes that are imported into Germany and Belgium come from a variety of countries, including the Netherlands, the United States, and Spain. The sweet potatoes are used for a variety of purposes, including culinary purposes, industrial purposes, and animal feed.
What’s driving the demand for sweet potatoes globally?
The demand for sweet potatoes globally is pegged around various factors such as favor for certain varieties, especially the orange-fleshed sweet potato, which drives demand selectively up.
Demand is also buoyed by the growth of related food industries such as sweet potato snacks. Seasonal availability by country, and inflation, are also affecting demand.
Demand for the orange-fleshed variety
Egypt, one of the three biggest producers of the orange-fleshed type, Ipomoea batatas L., is basking in glorious sales after demand spiked by 30% in March, 2023. This coincided with the end of the Egyptian season and lesser supplies in the US and Spain, the other two producers of the orange-fleshed type.
Western European nations such as the Netherlands and Germany combed Egyptian suppliers in spring to satiate rising home demand. Egypt is currently selling the orange variety (considered a superfood in Europe) at a lower price than its competitors.
Growth in related plant-based foods
Sweet potato demand is also improving due to a growing niche of consumer foods that use it as an ingredient. In the US, sweet potato fries have been popular in the whole food market since their entry into the US market in early 2022.
In Egypt and Spain, the first season ends in March and the next starts in July and August. Outside these periods, demand shifts to South Africa and the United States, whose seasons begin in April and come back at the end of September through November. Given that Spain’s and US’ seasons have been less-productive in 2023, demand is still high and Egyptian growers are already keen to increase their acreage to meet next year’s demand.