Consumption and retail trade is quite good for this time of the year, boosted by poor weather conditions. Following an unseasonably wet July and erratic spring conditions which delayed plantings significantly, crops are well behind schedule. Growers are reporting that bulking is very slow between test digs. The demand for new season Queens remains buoyant as stocks are slow to become fit. Yields are reported to be very variable.
Across Europe, lifting of new season contracts has been delayed by two weeks by some buyers to allow crops to bulk. Yields of early processing varieties in Belgium currently range from 10t/acre from unirrigated plots up to 16t/acre from irrigated plots but later plantings will now benefit greatly from the rain.
In the U.K, rain across the country has restricted lifting over the past week and prices remain firm. Crops look very well, but growth rates have slowed over the past week to ten days while it has been overcast and particularly where it is very wet. Slug damage is being seen more widely In Scotland, showers have been constant and there have been some low overnight temperatures.
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