Potato Weekly - 14 May 2021

UK trade mixed - Maris Piper continues to be most desired variety for packing and processing

Rain has certainly arrived across the country bringing much needed moisture to parched land. Although for some, it is now verging on too much. Sunshine and warmth is now desired to raise soil temperatures in order to boost crop development.

Trade has been somewhat mixed, with Maris Piper continuing to be the most desired variety for packing and processing markets.
With indoor dining set to open next week, talk is of a slight shift in demand between sectors rather than an increase in demand overall.

Market Commentary
Packing

  • Packing retail markets have remained at quieter demand levels this week, generally still covered by contracted material.
  • With the permitting of eat-in hospitality from Monday, there has been some reports of increased trade of packing supplies into restaurants.
  • The increased dining options could bring demand to the potato market as a whole. With next weekend being the first to permit eat-in dining, ‘restocking’ demand in preparation could ramp up early next week.
  • Interest in Maris Piper samples continues, with the best quality samples able to achieve £350/t. This high price has stood firm since 16 April, suggesting renewed demand at these price levels.
  • Whites trade has seen marginal uplift in volumes, but this has generally not fed into pricing.
  • Scottish packing markets have seen poorer levels of demand. The £190/t discount in the median between Maris Piper and Whites is seemingly not enough to stimulate additional demand in packing Whites markets.

Bags

  • Bags trade has quietened off a little for many this week.
  • The prospects of indoor dining opening up are weighing on the trade slightly. Shops are cautious of over stocking in case indoor dining trade takes away from their takeaway trade.
  • Agria is still fetching significant premiums over other varieties, but this is said to be being met with some resistance from shops now.
  • Markies has also remained strong, following the lifts seen in Agria trade.
  • Most other varieties are priced fairly similarly, with quality being the price dictator over variety.

Processing

  • Maris Piper continues to be the sought-after variety in processing markets. However, where possible, some factories are moving onto Whites lines due to the tight availability of Maris Piper.
  • There has been mixed reports of demand this week. Opening of indoor dining was hoped to bring a much needed boost to the processing sector, but this hasn’t been felt this week.

For more information: ahdb.org.uk


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