Once again, this week retail demand remains quite positive and the food service sector continues to operate at around 25% capacity. Frost damage has been reported, especially in shaded areas in east Wexford. The extent of the damage is not yet known, but digging could be delayed by up to three weeks as a result in some areas and yields reduced. Continued dry weather has forced some growers to commence irrigating last week. Reports indicate that glasshouse potatoes are in the region of €2000-€2200/tonne.
Cold and dry conditions are also causing havoc for growers in the U.K. Soils are now very dry and reports suggest that frost damage on sites with lush top growth was nearly 70% in some cases but on irrigated sites, this was restricted to 10%. The market situation remains much unchanged.
In Europe drought and cold nights are also a primary concern, as temperatures fell to -4.5°C in Holland last week. Early processing crops in Germany appear to have escaped the cold weather. Processing prices remain “on the floor” and growers’ main concern is to clear stores. Outlets include starch, cattle food and ethanol production. Slightly more interest in exports to the East is reported in Belgium – although at low prices. Fresh markets are firm with buyers looking for new crop. All N.European countries report that varieties destined for processing are now competing for market share in the fresh sector, but high levels of skin blemish and dehydration are ruling out many stocks.
Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA
|Rooster10 kg bag||€3.30||€4.00||€3.50|
|K Pinks 10kg bag||€4.20||€5.00||€4.50|
|Golden Wonder 10kg bag||€5.00||€6.00||€5.50|