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Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €380 €430 €400
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €4 €5 €4.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5 €7 €6
New Season Kerr Pinks €5.50 €6.50 €6

 

Although weather conditions have improved growers are facing additional setbacks due to reduced yields and skin set issues. Reports from growers suggest that main-crop yields are well below average this year. Poor skin set appears to be a problem for a lot of growers and some growers have halted liftings due to this problem. The food service sector remains under significant pressure as more counties face level three restrictions.

New restrictions in the U.K. have muted confidence and procurement for potatoes is on a weekly basis, as people sit tight to see how these new measures affect demand. Many growers are lifting into stores due to the depressed market.

Across Europe dry soils continue to slow up harvesting progress but physical markets in the processing sector remain very quiet. There are reports that early sprouting has been seen in some stores.

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €380 €430 €400
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €4.50 €5.50 €5
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5 €7 €6
New Season Kerr Pinks €5.50 €6.50 €6

 

Dry weather for the past week has alleviated lifting conditions for growers and progress is mainly on track now. Several reports from growers indicate that main crop yields are average, or just below average, this year. This is mainly attributed to growth cracks and greening because crops were too close to drills. The food service sector remains under significant pressure as the prospect of further restrictions around the country looms.

In the U.K. an increasing volume of potatoes are being lifted nationwide, with the weather remaining “helpful” in most regions. There are some reports of quality issues in stores with rejections this week for bruising but also an increasing number for wireworm, which appears to come into some crops very late in the growth stage.

The ongoing dry weather in France, Belgium and Holland is starting to restrict lifting, as growers are faced with rising levels of bruising and damage. Yield estimates have been described as “average” but late season growth has been curtailed by the lack of rainfall and more estimates are now saying “slightly lower than average”.

 

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €400 €450 €425
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €5.00 €6.00 €5.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5.00 €7.00 €6.00
New Season Kerr Pinks €6.00 €7.00 €6.50

 

Liftings continue at pace this week across the country as weather conditions have improved. This should allow for the final Queen crops to be lifted this week. Conditions are still challenging in parts of the country and growers are behind schedule at this stage. Retail demand remains quite strong, however, there is some uncertainty around the food service sector as ‘wet pubs’ can re-open from Monday.

In the U.K. free-buy trade fall has dropped this week and movement of supplies on contract continues to hold the majority in potato markets. Demand is subdued this week surrounding a potential re-imposing of stricter lockdown measures, which has seen some purchasers await further information before placing orders

The first EU 27 production estimate puts the total crop at 54.8mt’s which is about 3.7mt’s higher than last year. The total planted area at 1.655million ha’s is about 26,000 ha’s higher than last year. Total plantings this year are about 102,000 ha’s higher than they were five years ago.

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €400 €450 €425
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €5.00 €6.00 €5.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5 €7 €6
New Season Kerr Pinks €6 €7 €6.50

 

Demand remains buoyant as more new-season crop comes onto supermarket shelves. Once again, harvesting conditions remain very difficult. There are significant delays as soft areas are prominent even in traditionally drier fields. The liftings of the remaining Queen crops are much slower in some parts of the country because of this. Lifting of new season Kerr Pinks has commenced this week and prices reported from growers are in the region of €6.50 in 10kg bags.

In the U.K. better weather this week has allowed growers to continue to lift, and many have reported they’ll start burning crops off in the coming weeks in preparation for lifting. There is also a slight increase in demand across all sectors as schools return.

In France, Belgium and Holland, yields are predicted to be average but crops are senescing quickly. Tuber count is lower than average and Dry Matter high to very high. Demand from processors in Northern Europe and Germany could also be 1 million tonnes lower than last year – due to the pandemic.

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €450 €500 €475
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €5.50 €6.50 €6.00
New Season Queen 10kg bag €6 €8 €7

 

The potato market has picked up significantly this week. Queens continue to sell well with no pressure on prices. Growers are content to keep remaining supplies ticking over in the market. All retailers are now selling new season Rooster in prepacks. The recent wet weather has affected lifting of crops, therefore, limiting the supply of new season maincrop onto the market.

All indications suggest a lower production of potatoes this season due to lower tuber numbers. In addition, all the old season crop will be finished by September, thereby allowing a full marketing season for this year’s crop.

In the UK, prices remain under pressure on some lines, particularly as some growers try to dump poor value product onto the market. However, as the harvest moves forward, we should see this situation stabilize.

In France test digs are showing only average yields, while in other countries such as Belgium they are also seeing this trend of lower tuber numbers.


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