Growers are reminded to plant for their markets this week, as the problem of what to do with stocks in stores around Europe continues to be a focal point and is yet to be resolved. The situation is entirely dependent on the current crisis. There is little change to the markets – retail trade remains buoyant and the processing trade continues to struggle. Demand for high quality Kerr Pinks and Golden Wonders remains. Plantings continue and some growers are now finished or close to finishing. The recent dry period has left ‘dust blowing’ in parts of the country and rainfall is needed soon.
In the U.K. the markets remain largely un-changed, there are increased volumes of frying material being sold into the packing market and lower end prices have been pressured as a result. For best quality, prices have remained firm despite this. The continued good weather has meant that growers have been able to continue planting with many regions in the South over half way complete. Once again, some growers are hesitant about planting their intended area with the uncertainty of market availability that currently stands.
Across Europe the situation has not improved, factories are working at very low capacity; cold stores are full of product and there is no export. The fresh market is buoyant but it is stressed that this is only for best washing quality. An initial estimate puts the volume of potatoes in store in France, which will require placement, at 500,000 tonnes.