Potato Weekly - 09 April 2021

'Much of the potato trade is awaiting the changes to Covid rules, set for today'

Prices for bagged chipping Markies and Agria have continued on an upward trend this week.

Much of the trade is awaiting the changes to government rules, set for today. Hopefully, with dining out allowed, and more movement of people out-and-about, we will see increased demand.

The cold start to the week, with snow flurries, paused planting for some, with soil temperatures lower than desired. However, the subsequent clearer weather has enabled many to push on and make good progress.

Packing trade is reportedly quiet this week. There is anticipation for the easing of lockdown measures on Monday, with the hope it will restore levels of demand to some sectors.

Supermarket demand is primarily for Maris Piper, though availability of best quality supplies are reportedly hard to come by. Price of such quality are high as a result.

Packing demand is said to be relatively constant, with repeat orders common. Demand could pick up next week as we enter the first week of hospitality restrictions easing, although this could take from the retail side slightly.

With Reds availability proving somewhat limited, premiums over Whites continue to stretch.

Image: AHDB

Agria and Markies continue to take the lead in the bags market. Many farmers are busy with fieldwork and planting, slowing the movement of material off farm. This, coupled with relatively strong demand for these varieties, has resulted in uplift in prices this week.

Trade has been mixed for chipping material this week. Some regions had increased trade for the Easter weekend but others didn’t see the uplift anticipated and had leftover stock into this week.

Restrictions are due to ease further on Monday (12 April). There are reports of holiday makers booking up campsites and self-contained holiday cottages from Monday, meaning more movement of people around the country. With more people out-and-about, hopefully we will see increased trade.

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