Retail sales and consumption are stable, with colder temperatures a driver of increased consumption. Conditions for remaining harvest, concentrated in Cork and the north east, are very challenging with saturated soils. Soil contamination is hindering the drying and grading process and high levels of waste continue to be reported. Overall, this year growers have reported that yields were highly variable with marked variability even among fields.
World Potato Market reports that exports of product from the EU reached record levels in September and were 7% higher than last year. Prices for product are beginning to level off and it is hoped that momentum can be maintained.
The fresh consumption market is described as “flat”, although exporters continue to make enquiries for movement to Spain, Portugal and Italy where prices are reported to be increasing. There is demand from Eastern Europe but currently these destinations are very competitive.
Reports from Scotland indicate that demand for the home trade is still “extremely subdued”. Following the release of some “more favourable” contract prices last week, traders in the South comment that growers have been more willing to talk although there are still very few orders being confirmed.