UK: Slow demand for potatoes due to uncertainty around tighter Covid-19 restrictions

Demand has been slow this week due to uncertainty around tighter COVID-19 restrictions and the potential increased closure of pubs and restaurants. Variable rainfall this week has put a stop to lifting in some areas, although some farms that remained dry have now finished. Quality remains generally pretty good with some reports of wireworm and slug damage. Yields on the whole are average to good.

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Packing
Free-buy trade is slow with retail sales the strongest. Lockdown measures are having a negative effect on wholesale trade and killing a lot of future demand. Overall quality is generally fairly good currently but reports suggest lots of the good quality material is being lifted straight into store. Many are suggesting that more is being lifted to store this season due to COVID-19.

England


Scotland

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Bags
Prices have been very similar to last week, with demand still fairly weak. The possibility of increased lockdowns is continuing to weigh on trade with shops not wanting to sit on too much stock. For those serving the north and Wales where lockdown measures are tighter, there has been a noticeable slip in volumes required. Poorer quality material is beginning to come through now, with more bruising present in some samples.

East

West

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Processing
Trade has been slow this week with many growers concentrating on lifting into store. And similarly to the previous few months much of the processing trade can be covered by contracted material. Overall quality and yields are looking good at present but can be variable between fields/farms.

Exports
Canary Island export trade is slow this week with a reduced number of tourists due to the COVID-19 situation. It is thought that demand is likely to stay subdued for the foreseeable. There are still small volumes of movement into Ireland but with the nation in lockdown again these volumes are very small.

Source: AHDB


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