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AHDB weekly potato report

Minor pick up in demand for potato packing markets

AHDB has released its weekly potato report. Free-buy markets have remained slow this week with contracted material continuing to be utilised. The bags market is feeling the effects of the government scheme encouraging dine-in events and the cooler weather is deterring some coastal trade too. For many growers lifting has been stop-start with heavy bouts of rainfall in some regions. The rain is very variable across the country though with some area’s still a touch dry.

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GB planted area estimate
The second provisional planted area estimate for the total GB potato area for 2020/21 is 119Kha.

This estimate is based on a sample covering 80% of producers by area. Statistical 95% confidence limits for the estimate are +/-0.9%, which means that the final figure for 2020 could lie anywhere in the range from 117,992ha to 120,078ha.

There was a minor pick up in demand for packing markets this week. However, market movement remains dominated by contracted supplies.

Movement of Reds has picked up as set skin supplies become available, though still prove difficult to find in large volumes.
Plenty of rainfall this week has again hindered growers across most of England and parts of Scotland. Those on lighter soils predict a return to fields on the weekend to resume lifting.

The bags market has remained under pressure from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which only dine-in premises can be part of.
The cooler weather has also affected coastal trade slightly, which is where the bulk of demand is coming from.

The prices have remained somewhat stable from last week, but trade is definitely limited to low volumes still.

Lifting of material has slowed with the weather, but this hasn’t largely translated into market support yet because of the limited demand.

Demand has mostly consisted of repeat orders this week, but generally steady.

Pub and restaurant trade during the government Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been reportedly strong, with demand for frozen chips persisting.

Requirements are generally covered by contracted material, limiting trade of free-buy potatoes.

We are unable to publish any export prices this week, due to an inadequate number of quotes.

However, there are reports of exports to the Canary Islands of both chipping and packing potatoes moving at a premium to domestic crop.
The demand picture from the Canaries is slightly mixed, with reports of a poorer domestic harvest on the island but potentially counteracted by a reduced expectation from the tourism industry.

We also heard of some limited trade into Northern Ireland this week.

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