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Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

  Low High Average
Rooster box €330 €380 €350
Rooster10 kg bag €3.70 €4.20 €4.00
Whites box €300 €350 €330
K Pinks 10kg bag €5.00 €5.50 €5.20

 

Very little progress has been made on the potato harvest in the past week. A lot of growers around the country have still 20 to 30 % of their crop to harvest. With no major improvement in the weather outlook it is increasingly likely that these remaining potatoes may not be harvested until next Spring. At the very least this will lead to some loss of crop but if we get heavy frosts losses will be very severe.

As tare and harvest losses are higher than last season, the production from the 3% rise in acreage has been wiped out already. With crops still in the ground, the market is facing the real possibility that overall potato supply will be similar to the low levels seen last year due to the drought.

The extra cost of harvesting this year’s crop along with potential reduction in supply should lead to a rise in farm gate prices.

Lifting conditions are still proving very difficult across Europe, with many expecting a significant portion of the UK crop being carried into the New Year. Farm gate prices have strengthened across a number of lines as growers refuse to sell quality material at current prices.

 

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

  Low High Average
Rooster box (new season) €340 €380 €350
Rooster10 kg bag €3.70 €4.20 €4.00
Whites box €320 €370 €350
K Pinks 10kg bag €5.00 €5.50 €5.20

 

Reports around the country indicate that lifting progress is on average between 60 and 70, a significant improvement on this time two weeks ago. A lot of the remaining crop to be harvested remains on heavier ground and lifting is likely to remain difficult with more rain forecast.

Good progress has been made in Donegal where less rain was experienced, but more difficult conditions continue in parts of the south-east. Reasonable yields have been reported so far, with reports of good skin set and dry matter. However, poor harvest conditions have resulted in harvesting losses in some regions, which ultimately lead to lower saleable yields.

Once again reports indicate that there is good market demand for lifted crop. Growers are reminded not to rule out supplying the peeling market at this time.

Lifting conditions are still proving very difficult across Europe also.  In Belgium growers are working day and night, however 7-10% of crops still have to be harvested which is extremely late. The Netherlands is also struggling to lift crops with progress now estimated around 80/85%, however more rain is forecast. Lifting in the U.K. is on average 70% and in Scotland lifting has progressed very well and the crop is 95% clear.

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

  Low High Average
Rooster box (new season) €360 €400 €370
Rooster10 kg bag €3.90 €4.60 €4.20
Whites box €340 €400 €370
K Pinks 10kg bag €5.00 €5.50 €5.20

 

 

Lifting progress has improved slightly this week especially for those on lighter ground, however, more rain is forecast and there is still a severe risk that much of the potato crop may not be harvested if weather conditions do not improve.

Growers report indicate that harvesting losses are quite high in some areas hindered by poor weather conditions. This will result in lower saleable yields. There is good market demand for crop available at present.

 

Yields in the EU-4 (France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) have recovered slightly from last season, but still remain below average attributed to hot and dry weather over the summer. Lifting has been hindered by the heavy rainfall over the past few weeks, with many regions across the EU-4 falling behind normal.

 

Import demand for fresh potatoes from Eastern Europe remains strong. The latest production estimates from Poland indicate that Polish production is at 6.7Mt. This is down 11% from last season’s harvest due to the ongoing drought in parts of Eastern Europe, including both Poland and the Czech Republic.

 

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

  Low High Average
Rooster box (new season) €360 €400 €370
Rooster10 kg bag €3.90 €4.60 €4.20
Whites box €340 €400 €370
K Pinks 10kg bag €5.00 €5.50 €5.20

 

 

At this point there is severe risk that much of the potato crop will not be harvested if weather conditions do not improve.

Nationally, only 30% of the potato crop is harvested. Normally, it’s closer to 60% at this time of year.  Due to wet conditions, harvesting losses will be higher, which will result in lower saleable yields.

In the north east region where half of the national crop is sown, growers have experienced almost double the normal average rainfall in August and September. Harvesting of the main crop in this region is three weeks behind last year.

National potato acreage at 8,100 ha is the second lowest on record and only 3% above last year’s all-time low of 7,900ha.

 

In Europe similar situations are experienced. Lifting has been held up by rain and the delays are starting to raise doubts about whether all the crop will be lifted in Holland. On heavier soils, clearance is only put at 30% and lifting is “unlikely this week”. Contacts report that fields which have been irrigated (to 70%) are noticeably much wetter. On lighter soils in Holland, progress is put between 40 and 50%.

 

As regards exports growers with stock lifted in dry conditions are now pushing for higher prices, although values are broadly unchanged this week.

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

  Low High Average
Rooster box (new season) €360 €400 €370
Rooster10 kg bag €3.90 €4.60 €4.20
Whites box €340 €400 €370
K Pinks 10kg bag €5.00 €5.50 €5.20

 

Harvesting continues this week however, difficult harvesting conditions are hampering harvest once again. The majority of main season Rooster crop was harvested by the first week of November last year, it looks like it may be near the end of November this year.

There is excellent market demand for any Kerr Pink crops available, especially since Queen Potato stocks are now depleted, quoted prices reflect this.

Lifting progress is quite variable across Europe. Lifting progress was put at 60% in France but only 10% in Northern Belgium. Northern European coastlines got the worst of the weather, while parts of southern Germany report good progress.

As the Brexit deadlines gets ever closer, a British exporter has reported that a Portuguese supermarket has delisted all UK potatoes from its shelves, as if there is a no deal Brexit, technically it would be illegal to stock them. The Canaries while they are not a trading part of the EU are also erring on the side of caution in relation to Brexit. Some exporters are wary of having stocks ‘on the water’ on the 31st of October.


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