Once again, the amount of potatoes that remain in stores across Europe is a primary concern and planting strategies must be altered in some cases as a result. Market disruption continues as retail demand remains buoyant but the processing trade continues to struggle severely. The continued re-opening of some restaurants on a take-out basis is positive, however consumers are airing on the side of caution. Plantings continue with more growers finishing this week. Dry weather prevailed once again and soil is bone dry in parts of the country as a result. According to Met Éireann monthly data, it has been by far the driest April since 2017. Only 14mm of rain was recorded for the month of April at the Athenry Station.
In the U.K. the markets remain mostly unchanged, with some increased movement of chipping material. Many growers are finishing planting and others continue at pace. Dry conditions also prevail and some growers have started irrigating, especially those in the East.
Across Europe market disruption remains the key issue and the situation has not improved. Processing factories in Northern Europe remain open but at greatly reduced capacity. Buyers are concentrating on contacted supplies and there is next to no interest in free buy. Freezer stores are reported to be full of product. In the Netherlands, the government have introduced a compensation scheme. The fund totals €50 million and has been calculated on the basis of an estimated 1 million tonnes which will be funded at €50.00 p.t . These potatoes must be moved to Starch, animal feed or ethanol production but not processing. They can be exported but their end use must also not be for processing. In Belgium, it is reported that 750,000 tonnes of processing potatoes are at risk of being thrown away and the public are being advised to eat fries twice a week to alleviate the situation.
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|