Written Answers. - Potato Imports.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

150 Mr. J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach the amount of potatoes imported for the potato chip industry in 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2249/99]

The latest month for which information is available is September 1998. The table gives the imports of potatoes for the year 1997 and the nine month period January-September 1998. It is not possible from the trade statistics to identify how these imports are further processed.

Imports of Potatoes

Potatoes

1997

£000

tonnes

January-September 1998

£000

tonnes

Frozen

28,310

57,476

25,248

46,738

Fresh

7,355

37,542

11,455

49,853

Preserved

5,862

3,995

4,316

2,992

Flour and meal

196

129

235

121

Flakes

170

145

176

176

Dried

67

58

35

38

Total

41,959

99,345

41,465

99,919

Note: It should be noted that, overall, approximately 7 per cent of trade is unclassified by commodity. The unclassified trade consists mainly of intra-EU estimates, including estimates for traders below the import survey threshold of £100,000.