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Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box €500 €520 €510
Rooster 10kg bag €5.75 €6.25 €6.00
Whites box €500 €550 €525
Kerr Pinks 10kg bag €6.25 €6.75 €6.50
Golden Wonder box €680 €720 €700

 

As last week was the first full trading week of the year, we are now seeing a pickup in sales again. All growers report good demand for product and, with few potatoes now left in ambient store there is no rush to sell. Farm gate prices are holding very firm and as the season progresses it will be no surprise to see increases to cover cold store costs. All potato growers will now be making plans for the forthcoming planting season. As usual, the first thing which should be considered is the potential market environment and demand for your crop. It is important to remember, that planting area across the UK and EU was on the high side in 2018 and it was only the extreme drought conditions which resulted in the current reduced production. It is likely we could see a similar or an increased area across Europe in 2019 which with normal yields would result in over production. Across the water, growers down in the south of England are taking advantage of the dry weather to start early planting and have now made significant progress.

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

Low High Average
Rooster box €500 €520 €510
Rooster 10kg bag €5.75 €6.25 €6.00
Whites box €500 €550 €525
Kerr Pinks 10kg bag €6.25 €6.75 €6.50
Golden Wonder box €680 €720 €700

 

Despite the expected lull in potato sales for early January, demand is surprisingly strong. Many of the peeling companies in particular, on both sides of the border, are looking for product. Farm gate prices for this type of peeling/ processing material are ranging from €350 to €420/t depending on quality and size specifications etc. In the retail market we will continue to see a scarcity in the more traditional Kerr pink and Golden Wonder varieties. Due to a combination of reduced acreage and affects of the drought during the growing season, the overall production levels for these varieties are down by over 50% compared to last season. If ground conditions remain favourable, we will see growers beginning to plant the first of the outdoor early varieties in the coming weeks.  As producers make plans for these plantings, they need to consider what the demand in the market will be.  There is no doubt that we will see reduced supply for the remainder of the season from cold stores however, last season despite a reduction in the supply of the traditional early season varieties such as home guard, premier and queens in general consumer demand was disappointing and this has been the trend for these varieties in recent years.

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box €500 €520 €510
Rooster 10kg bag €5.75 €6.25 €6.00
Whites box €500 €550 €525
Kerr Pinks 10kg bag €6.25 €6.75 €6.50
Golden Wonder box €680 €720 €700

 

Following the usual increased demand over the Christmas period, the market may experience a slight lull over the next short while. Most growers report that they have less stock in store at present than at any stage over the past four years. Demand in the peeling and processing sectors remains strong and it’s recommended that producers supply this market particularly with product that has poor skin finish etc. Based on the fact that potato production is down by 150,000 tonnes compared to 2017 the market will remain very strong for the remainder of the season. Whether prices will go higher or not will depend on the availability in the UK and Europe. Prices have been kept somewhat in check up to now by volume being cleared from stores which is of somewhat suspect keeping quality.  However, production in the ‘Big Five’ EU countries is estimated at 23.4 mt, 18% less than last year and 8% below the long-term average which will ensure that farm gate prices remain at elevated levels.

 

Consumer demand for potatoes has remained strong as we enter the Christmas period and potato growers cease trading for 2018. Prices have remained static over the past few weeks with no price changes being reported by potato growers.

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Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

Low High Average
Rooster box (New season) €500 €520 €510
Rooster 10kg bags (New Season) €5.75 €6.25 €6.00
Whites box (New season) €500 €550 €525
Kerr Pinks 10kg (New season) €6.25 €6.75 €6.50
Golden Wonder box (New Season) €680 €720 €700

 

Consumer demand for potatoes has remained strong as we enter the Christmas period and potato growers cease trading for 2018. Prices have remained static over the past few weeks with no price changes being reported by potato growers. Chairman of the IFA National Potato committee Thomas McKeown has called on all retailers not to devalue their produce for consumer footfall over the Christmas period. After the challenging year with weather extremes, growers should be receiving a premium on their produce when demand is at its peak and not suffer price cuts. All crops have been lifted from the ground with no potatoes left to dig in 2019. Meanwhile in the UK, production is down by 13% compared to the 5-year average. This is due to a 4.4% reduction in plantings and 12% drop in yields. 2018 has been the worst year for potato production in the UK since 2012. However, Scottish potato yields increased by 3% on 2017 figures. The April 2019 European future price is now at €305/tonne.

 


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